The State of the Church
The Church in our day, for the most part, has the tendency to be far more passive than active in the work of the Lord. Most believers feel that if they show up for church on Sunday morning that they have done what is expected of them. This passiveness on our part has cost the kingdom of God and its advancement a great deal.
Passive Christians are the cause the Church has failed to make inroads into our communities, our cities and into the nations of the world. When we lose our passion for Christ and His kingdom we are no longer the light of the world or the salt of the earth and as a result we sink into a state of lukewarmness and spiritual apathy.
Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” – Matthew 5:13
In many places around the world, Christianity has been trampled underfoot by secularism and false religions. Most believers are so engrossed with their daily responsibilities, their own dreams and ambitions, that they have no room in their hearts or minds for the work of God and the advancement of God’s kingdom.
Jesus said that the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things have entered the believers’ hearts and therefore the word they received becomes unfruitful. The Church is in a serious crisis today; one that will determine the outcome of our future and the future of this nation.
This crisis will either bring us back to God with a repentant heart, which will enable us to regain our passion and zeal for the Lord, or will eventually lead us further and further away from the purposes of God and His kingdom.
Where to from here?
If I look at the state of the Church today and I ask myself “what can I compare it with? What words can we use to describe its present condition?” I always come to the same conclusion.
The words that describe much of the church today are found in Revelation 3:14-22
And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’— and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ””
The present day Church has fallen into materialism, worldliness, and lukewarmness; many are in danger of being spewed out of the Lord’s mouth, because He cannot do anything with them. We are neither cold nor hot.
The Lord spoke about three most important things the present day Church needs: gold refined in the fire, white garments and eye salve.
The gold refers to faith that is tested and tried and found pure. The faith of the present day Church needs to go through some tests and trials for the sake of Christ and His gospel and in the process be found genuine, true, and pure.
Malachi 3:1-3 speaks of this purification that is coming to the Church: “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.”
The white garments refer to works of righteousness, or works that are birthed out of faith and love. Genuine faith is always accompanied by works, and without them faith is incomplete, or rather dead, James says.
The eye salve speaks of prophetic vision and the ability to see what God sees; a vision which stretches beyond ourselves and our own needs and ambitions. A vision from God which galvanizes our faith and propels us forward in the kingdom of God.
Find Your Catalyst
I asked the Holy Spirit a simple question. How can a Christian regain his passion for Christ and His kingdom? How can a Christian regain his zeal for the Lord and become enthusiastic about the things of God? What will it take for the Church to arise out of her spiritual slumber?
The Holy Spirit answered me with a question; He asked, “How did it begin with you?” “What sparked the flame in your heart son?” What was it that aroused your zeal and motivated you to reach out to your community with faith and love preaching the gospel to them?
I remembered that as I walked with them and fellowshipped with them I saw the darkness that surrounded them, their deep ignorance concerning spiritual things, and their complete and utter separation from God through this ignorance, and my heart melted with compassion towards them.
I saw them scattered all over the place like sheep without a Shepherd and even though they had religion they had no life and my heart was filled with compassion towards them. Their condition became the catalyst that challenged my faith to such an extent that I was driven to prayer and fasting on a daily basis on their behalf.
Out of this consistent prayer my ministry to the Greeks was birthed and I went out doing whatever I could to enlighten them concerning the things of God.
Let me ask you a question; what challenges your faith today? What moves your heart when you look around your community or the existent condition of most churches? What disturbs you?
Any of these could become your catalyst in inspiring you, or motivating you to launch yourself into a journey of faith that will change the course and direction of your life as well as the life of many in this valley.
God can use many different things as catalysts to arouse our zeal for the Lord, to spark the flame of compassion in our hearts, and to capture our undivided attention for the furtherance of His kingdom.
My Challenge To You:
FIND YOUR CATALYST!
Search and find a cause that is greater than yourself, give yourself to it and you will rediscover your passion and regain your zeal for the Lord.
You will become an enthusiastic Christian that is full of life and full of energy for the things of God. You will again become excited about the things of God and regain your first love.
I pray that as you wait upon the Lord that He will help you discover your catalyst!
God bless you,