What do you see?

If you go to church on a Sunday or maybe Wednesday night, what do you see and hear? Is the service done as a show or is it a teaching service from a chapter in one of the books from God’s Word? Do you feel welcomed into the fellowship of believers or are you just a guest who is visiting and a number to be counted?

GowheretheWordisPreachedDo you see Jesus and His teachings being lived out for all to see when they come to His church or is it just a building with people in it?

In some churches today, regardless of the denomination, you will find the love of Jesus Christ and you will feel it when you come into the building. The people will seem to radiate it to you in their attitude and their greetings and the message will follow that as well. In other churches, again regardless of denomination, you may not feel it or hear it at all. You may hear it from a few people individually or from the message but the “church” feels cold and almost lifeless. As if there are a few people who are radiating the love of Christ but not enough to fill the building.

This is a sad state of affairs for the church of Jesus Christ. Not only in America but in other places around the world. The message has been diluted and changed with the addition of “man-made laws and wisdom” in the messages and in the bylaws of the church itself. The believers who began the church at Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus would not recognize the message that is being taught today or the people claiming to be Christians!

Now don’t read this and think that I am pointing my finger at any particular church or denomination. The facts have been showing up for a few years now and they are becoming more common. Granted, the facts that I speak of are only in America but it is possible that the same condition is present in churches all over the world.

Sadly, this is the condition which the church finds itself in today. Not so much because of the doctrine being taught from the pulpit, if it is a Bible-teaching church, but because of a dearth of teaching from the Bible at home! The Bible has been kicked out of public areas and from public schools along with prayer too so there are fewer people who have grown up hearing prayer and learning from God’s Word. With that in mind, why would the past couple of generations want to attend church to learn about their Savior?

TenCommadmentsThey may not realize that they need a Savior in the first place! That is one of the main problems plaguing our world today. A moral compass is missing along with the laws which guide that compass. So, how are we to tell young people that they aren’t supposed to do this or that if they have never heard of a reason for it?

See the Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:3-17

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

If you check most of the laws in Western society you will find that they are in line with nearly all of these laws of God.

A church reborn!

The church today is nothing like what Jesus intended for it to be. Why is that? Have we not heard from the Bible or have we been sitting in church but not listening?

Let me give you a quote from A.W. Tozer who wrote The Crucified LIfe:

The late Dr. A. W. Tozer, author and pastor, said, “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”

In our churches today, whether they are Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian, would anyone notice is the Holy Spirit was not present? In some churches, I don’t believe that anyone would notice at all. Is it possible to follow Christ so closely until there is little difference in your actions and deeds? I am not sure that any church would want to be revived enough to live that close to Jesus.

The things of God, which we hear about from our reading the Bible and from the sermon on Sunday, are what make up our faith and our trust in Him. We also delight in the Lord because of His goodness and the value of the treasures that are in our Heavenly home and not the one that we occupy here! When we value those things that God values then we stand with Him, spiritually, in heaven even when we are still here. We walk with Him here and seek His revealing on Earth and we will live for eternity.

Paul wrote about this in 1 Thessalonians chapter 1:

1 Thessalonians 1

King James Version

1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.
7 So that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

VineandBranchesIf our church, regardless of the denomination, is to be reborn then we must do it soon. Repent and ask for God’s forgiveness of our arrogance and our prideful ways. We have been prideful for many years in the church, thinking that our doctrines and our bylaws govern us and get us within reach of Jesus. That kind of thinking will send many straight to hell.

Why? Because no amount of works or money or “wisdom” from a preacher or a committee can equal the wisdom of God’s Word! Changing words around or even taking them from Scripture and calling the “new bible” an improved “translation” is also a good way to lead many into hell. That is an eternity which I don’t want to be responsible for, nor do I want to go into eternity without Jesus.

If you are a preacher and you are teaching your congregation that your doctrine or your “new translation” is the way to reach Heaven, please realize that you are taking a whole church into an eternity with Satan. You will be held responsible for leading them down the wrong path and you will suffer for it regardless of your belief in the eternal nature of Hell itself!