I was once told by someone, and no doubt you’ve heard a variation of this, that he did not need to go to church because he had a personal relationship with God and he just did church at home. What do you say to that? God simply had me ask this person a simple question: “How’s that working out for you?” Silence was the answer.
What’s the biggest complaint about the church? That’s right it’s full of hypocrites. So how do you counter that complaint? Tell the person if they’re so concerned about hypocrisy to go find a mirror.
Not going to church because it is filled with hypocrites is a rookie demon’s whisper given to man. It’s actually a pathetic complaint and reason for not attending church.
But I am not talking only of lost people; I know many a born-again people who do not believe they need to go to church. Fine, if you believe that then you should also believe that an orphan doesn’t need a home. If you are truly saved and are not attending church then you are an orphan in this world.
But Bro Dave, it is so hard to find a good church these days. Now that’s a legitimate complaint! We have churches more interested in their programs than prophecy. Churches are more interested in politics than piety. Churches are more interested in sensationalism than sin.
So how did they get to this point? Simple; the truth, the aletheia truth, is not there. It left long ago with the Holy Spirit. In Paul’s first letter to his young Timothy he wrote some qualifications for overseers and deacons because he believed these positions to be of utmost importance and he finishes off this section of the letter with these words:
“These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:14-15)
I cannot help but wonder at the response of the Apostle Paul were he to enter into the average American church today. No doubt he might copy his Lord and make a whip and clear out the moneychangers. Hypocrisy is indeed a real problem within the church and it is rooted in sin. So much sin is now acceptable conduct in our churches today that its hard to distinguish them from society’s immoral conduct.
You see many pastors and pro-family leaders today more interested in the affairs and ungodliness in Washington DC then the actual affairs occurring in their churches and organizations. I love this quote from the late great lion of the faith Revivalist Leonard Ravenhill:
I wish, in America, (that) we were as concerned about separation from church and sin as we are about separation between church and state. Church and sin– it’s a monstrous problem.
It’s hard to believe he’s been dead nearly seventeen years; he could have said that yesterday. That tells me we are only getting worse as time passes.
No matter the state of the church, I am more concerned for yours and my state of the heart. How do I view my sin? Do I rationalize it? Do I justify it? Do I love it?
Is my besetting sin keeping me from at first not serving in church and now not even attending?
Beloved, the monstrous problem the American church faces today is unrepentant sin. If we have pastors who not only overlook sin in his flock, but also condones it, then let us lovingly confront him. If you have a brother or sister in Christ in whom you know has unrepentant sin, then lovingly and biblically confront him or her. If you have unrepentant sin in your own life, fall on your face right now before the Lord and confess that sin and repent of it!
Oh would to God that we would look upon church attendance as did David:
“LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.” (Psalm 26:8)
Far too many churches in America are completely void of God’s glory. Why? Because they do not long for the presence of God. Oh imagine the American Church thinking of itself thusly:
“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (Psalm 84:1-2)
Can you not imagine Jesus crying out these words to America instead of Ephesus?
“I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:4-5)
Beloved this is my heart’s cry; that we the Church would return to our first love. Our American Revolution did not happen because the colonists desired liberty; it happened because the First Great Awakening planted the seed of Christian liberty into the hearts of the colonists and the end result was the founding of our country. When we throw off the tyranny of sin then the repulsion of the tyranny of men is not far behind.
This is the reason I will be launching a new venture in just 25 days and the Lord willing I will begin another one in the fall aimed at specifically equipping pastors and lay leaders to take back right ground.
Dear friends, the church must return to its first love but before that happens Christians must return to church and pastors must return their churches back to its rightful Owner.
Will you not be a part of this? Will you not help in sparking a revival, first in your own life, then your family, then your church, and perhaps it will grow into your community? Is not God capable of doing such a work if we will just surrender our wills to Him? Of course He will.
But we have to start.
A good place is in church. Dear Christian I hope you will go this Sunday.
If not, then you are an orphan in this world and I daresay for you that is a monstrous problem.
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers
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