Woe Is Me (Pt. 1)

In the entertainment crazed society we live in, very few people, even Christians, will endure a message of what they consider ‘gloom and doom.’  They would much rather hear some cleverly told story containing a lot of humor!  Nevermind that we are living in the days that demand a sobriety and a vigilance to understand and be ready for the events of Revelation.

As I begin a series of blogs titled “Woe is Me”, I guess I feel the need to try and preempt some of the negativity to such a serious subject.  I felt the same way back in the mid-nineties when I was given the message that was contrary to what a lot of people had been preaching, including myself, of the prosperity gospel.

Well, I never wanted to swim upstream of the flow or be a ‘prophet of doom’ – it is always easier to go with the flow.  But I didn’t choose the message, I’m just the messenger.  And that’s the way it is today with this series.  You are not going to hear a lot of ‘happy talk’ in this series.

As a Watchman for the Lord, the message I have been given to deliver to whoever will listen, takes on a very serious nature because of the Times we are living in.  Things are accelerating NOW.  NOW is the time to do exactly what you are told to do by God’s Spirit.

With that in mind, I am going to write a series of blogs about the Woes of the Bible.  They have never been more relevant than at this moment in time.

A Reluctant Messenger

Before stowing my briefcase, I retrieved the package and held it warily in my hands. Why, God? I thought as I stared at the package. Why have You given me this assignment? You know I’ll do anything You instruct me to do; but I confess, I’m scared. I don’t really want to be the one to deliver this. But I have promised to obey no matter what the cost, so I’ll do it.

Nearly a day and a half later, as I unpacked my luggage in a hotel room in Singapore, I took the package out of my briefcase and opened its contents.

Inside a leather three-ring notebook was a message—the most explosive, exciting, frightening, yet exhilarating message I had ever received from God.

The message had been ten years in the making; five of those years I had spent in a federal prison while God got my undivided attention and brought me to the point where I was willing not only to hear this message and accept it as the truth, but to proclaim it.

After my release from prison, the message remained sealed in my heart, burning within me, refining my own thinking and lifestyle. It was not until a few days before Christmas 1997 that God gave me the go-ahead to speak it aloud.

It was not the kind of message most people want to hear. It was a warning from God, and I felt that He had called me—of all people—to sound the alarm.

By and large, most of the church in the United States does not want to hear an apocalyptic message. It wants a message of health and wealth, hope, healing, and financial prosperity mixed with a measure of blathering psychobabble focused on getting our needs met. Rarely does anyone talk about sacrifice, repentance of sin, or our failure to be what God has called us to be. When, for example, was the last time you heard a message on the cost of discipleship? When was the last time you heard someone preach on the judgment of God or the horrors of hell? How often have you heard a message encouraging Christians to bear one another’s burdens?

No, we simply want to be happy Christians.

After all, who wants to be known as a prophet of gloom? Who wants to be the bearer of bad news? My temperament is one that cries out for people to like me. I have never enjoyed confrontations, arguments, or battles (although I’ve been in more than my share). My personality is that of a peacemaker. It is simply not my nature to bring a negative message. My desire has always been to bring joy and encouragement, and that is what I tried to do in a variety of ways during most of my ministry.

Yet now, as I studied the Scripture and contemplated the warnings I believed God had placed in my heart and mind, I came to realize that even this dire word was a message of hope, an encouragement for the body of Christ, the family of God, the true church. But it was genuine hope based on sound doctrine, rather than foolish spiritual slogans propagated by pleasure-loving disciples. This message had been formulated by considering a mass of scriptural evidence rather than contrived concepts derived from one or two obscure passages or the twisting or shading of biblical truths to one’s personal interpretation.


For those who heed this word from God, it will be life; those who do not pay attention to God’s final warning will be sealing their own tombs.


1998 in “Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse”

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