“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” -Acts 4:13 (KJV)
When we read the Book of Acts we discover a whole different church than we have in our culture today. In the first churches we read about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and how that manifested itself – in tongues of fire. In the early churches we have people being healed from their infirmities. We find men of God preaching and teaching with boldness and power. Men taught with the authority of the word of God casting out demons, raising the dead. Some of the Apostles were imprisoned and through their faith even in their chains others came to the knowledge of Christ. God’s hand was moving and it was clearly evident as the men of God preached the truth of the full council of His word. Sin was addressed and confronted. The Apostles were zealous and fired-up and lives were changed around them. Yes they suffered but that was a part of their calling and in their obedience to Almighty God. Could we even do this today?
“But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.” – 1 Th 2:2 (KJV)
Today, in Christianity around the world, we have powerless people sitting in powerless churches. People that come to church to get their weekly scorecard punched and get a warm fuzzy for their attendance. The majority of churches are in name only – they have a religion but not a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are missing a distinct oneness with the Lord in worship; in knowledge of Him and in the fear of the Lord. Most Christians have one foot in the world and the other in a religion. Most rationalize God’s truth with their own wisdom.
Pitiful at Least
I have attended many churches that have little knowledge of the Lord but a lot of programs, skits, dances, [rock] music, and “entertainment”; one being discipleship or the promoting of a ‘transformational’ church. Lots of fancy names, concepts, titles, words, pretty charts but what’s missing is a real substantial relationship with Christ. Sin is rarely mentioned, repentance almost an extinct term, and enthusiastic invitations for salvation maybe once a year. How pathetic! Let’s recall how Jesus confronted people during His ministry:
- Samaritan woman – Jn 4:15-19;
- Woman caught in adultery – Jn 8:1-11 ;
- Moneychangers in the Temple – Matt 21:12;
- Rich young ruler – Mar 10:17-27.
All done in ultimate love, grace, mercy, and truth, and yet He didn’t go after becoming their trusted friend first or invite them to next Wed night’s Bible Study, small group, or service. He ministered directly to their soul first, right then and there – and this should be our primary concern for the lost now. So who thinks about this and does this in today’s Christendom?
Churches Have Lost Their Way
And this is the course many Christian churches have charted. They get wrapped up in the wisdom, purposes, and traditions of men and forget the basic purpose of the church. And what is that, you may ask? It’s a love and devotion to Jesus our Lord and Savior. It’s living a holy life before the Lord. It’s reading and studying His word – for that’s how we learn and know Him. It’s telling others about Him, proclaiming the Gospel to all men. And it’s about sincere repentance of one’s sins – this is a must, an absolute to any church calling themselves “followers of Christ”.
Scrap the rock music, get rid of the drama, lose the “prettyness” of the service, throw out the traditional agenda … come on, we come to worship the Lord!
Many denominations of men practice rituals that define them and their church but they’re missing the real presence of God in their midst. When you rarely hear or see people being saved or healed or delivered or prayed over, then the church takes on the identity of a social club and not a House of Worship of the Living God.
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.” -Mark 16:15-16 (KJV)
I don’t mean to belittle anyone but I do mean to be a watchman on the wall and warn our churches that they have become defenseless, broken down bastions misrepresenting the Living God. I don’t mean to think myself better than anyone but I do mean to say that as you immerse yourself in God’s word you will find out just exactly who He is and what He thinks about sin and repentance, rejection and rebellion and the profaning of His name. And the defiling of His Temple within each Christian – 1 Cor 6:9. You will come to know what He thinks about Godlessness and idolatry which are prevalent in our nation and our Christian churches. Here should be our clarion call for all pastors, elders and leaders in our churches:
“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” – 1 Cor 2:22-23 (KJV)
Here in America we have churches that our powerless and lack the authority of the living God.Yes, we have gutless pastors and elders who don’t lead others to Christ for fear of offending them with the real truth of the Gospel. Franklin Graham said in a speech given at the Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall conference on May 22. 2014. Yes it’s an old speech but oh so relevant for today’s Christians and churches:
“God hates cowards. And the cowards that the Lord is referring to are the men and women who know the truth but refuse to speak it.”
You see many Christian church leaders fail to take a stand against the controversial and unBiblical issues that plague our society today – abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, sexuality impurity, etc. And in a column published in the July-August edition of Decision Magazine (pg 4) Franklin Graham writes,
“Christians cannot ignore parts of God’s Word because they are unpopular or cause division. Our commission is to proclaim Christ and all He stands for.”
And this is exactly what is happening behind the doors of our churches. No involvement in the affairs of men! Graham goes on to say,
“We are soldiers in God’s army, and we cannot stand down on biblical issues out of fear of being labeled a homophobe or judge.” (Read more on Mr Graham’s comments)
We even have pastors that fail to pray for our nation and Israel and the turmoil that the rest of our world is in right now. How sad!
So the bottom line – we have many, many Christians that don’t know where they stand in the Lord. Few fear the Lord or tremble at His word – Psa 119:120; Isa 66:2. They have been caught up in Western Christianity which softens God’s word into warm and cuddly concepts, slogans, entertainment, and words. Most don’t know about the spiritual warfare going on around them and don’t know how to combat it through our power and authority in Christ. Read Eph 6.
As these last days get darker and darker (make no mistake – they will) the spiritual attacks will grow more intense and fierce and according to Bible Prophecy many will fall away from the faith – 1 Tim 4:1. Christians that are not taught how to be warriors in Christ and wield the sword of the word of God will be crushed and defeated. Most Christian churches today are clueless on how to train people to be spiritual warriors; how to put on the full armor of God – Eph 6 and fight back at Satan’s army with the word of God! People who don’t pray today will grow weaker and any spiritual armor they did have will melt like wax. Folks, the church must speak with the power and authority of the living God; we must know how to kick the Devil in the teeth and make him to flee (pound sand or take a hike) through the effective use of God’s word -James 4:7. In these last days, we must have people and churches on fire for the Lord and ready to proclaim His word boldly to all men at any time.
-BPWatcher, Internet Preacher, and Bible Prophecy Watchman
“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3- heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4- treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” – 2 Tim 3:2-5 (ESV)
GIVE ALMIGHTY GOD ALL THE GLORY FOR HE IS KING and HE IS LORD!