The state of today’s church
One major topic we have studied over the past few years is the state of the church today. If
you look at Malachi and Zachariah and other books of prophets in the Bible you will see a
theme running through them all. It is the same theme that we see Jesus dealing with when He walked the earth before His crucifixion. That theme is the state of the religious leaders of the day, mainly the pharisees and priests.
They were doing what they thought was right in their own eyes and they determined to worship God in the way they saw fit. Yet God, through the prophets, clearly showed them that they were not listening to God and they had hardened their hearts towards God. Although they were warned of the consequences of worshiping God how they wanted to and not according to how God desired the worship to be, they continued on their path. We all know the outcome of Israel. Jerusalem was destroyed.
Now, how does this all apply to us? Well, I believe that there is always application for us in the Old Testament from the lessons given to Israel. We fast forward to the church today and I can see very clearly that we have a similar situation happening today. Church leaders are wanting to worship God in the way they determine and not according to the Biblical way of worship. Churches are willing to compromise and let the world in so there is little distinction between world and church, and say they are doing this to get more people into the church.
Let me tell you this, it doesn’t matter how many people attend your church; if they haven’t made Jesus their Lord then they still have the same end destination. One cannot serve the
world and Jesus. People must choose one or the other. Yes, it will involve persecution or
suffering or both, but if you havent counted the cost of following Christ then are you worthy to be called one of His disciples?
Also, if the church compromises in order to get people in to hear the gospel, then will God
really bless using the world to get people in? Wouldn’t He more abundantly bless the church that was not compromising with the world yet preaching the gospel? If we do things according to God’s will, He will bless that ministry. When the Israelites did things according to their own ways, were the people blessed?
It is your responsibility in your church to ensure that all that is happening in your church is in accordance with the Bible. Not in accordance with a mans interpretation of the Bible mixed with their own pre-conceived ideas or beliefs. If you by standing up and deciding you will not compromise means that you are persecuted, and often by your own brothers and sisters in Christ, then that should not stop you from still sticking to God’s ways.
The Disciples of Jesus also stood for God’s ways and look what happened to all of them. The religious people of the day hated them in the most part. Yes, standing on the promises and teachings of God’s word is not popular, not even in most churches these days, but if no one stands up then many will potentially be lost as a result. Remember also, the church is not the building you are worshiping in on a Sunday. It doesn’t matter if you worship in a building or outdoors, or with many or few people. You are the church if you are one of God’s children.
In western society these days, we dont really understand persecution the way many before us would have. We are comfortable having what we have (LOTS) and enjoying church and family and whatever other great blessings and benefits come from being one of God’s children. However, being comfortable is not what we were called to be. I don’t see many references to promises of a good life on earth and comfortable living. I see many, many references to suffering and persecution.
The next post I want to touch on the gospel as I believe Satan, through a number of false
doctrines, is actually limiting the gospel being preached with effectiveness.