Christians in some organisations and churches, regard other Christian initiatives as unworthy and unsupportable. Some outreach groups have Christians who are regarded as liberal, not evangelistic and there are unbelievers involved in it… How is that different from any church known to man..?!
Challenging situations are a great place to serve. We have to be clear about what we believe, and therefore know the Scriptures well to be able to speak the truth clearly with love, and freely accept others when they think differently. It is a great training ground for all other types of Christian service. In fact, every Christian should train up and do their active service for the sake of Christ, out there on the streets or their local town/city- out where the world and the church should meet.
We are too picky and too ready to elevate ourselves above other people who we judge as not knowing as much as we do..! We can learn huge spiritual lessons about godliness from surprising people, and often it is the least regarded that will be the ones who will teach us the path of love and peace. We elevate theological correctness above anything else and it becomes out of balance. We easily become puffed up in knowledge and the Spirit of God is shoved to the back of the mind. Correct doctrine is no good without love- it just clangs around and annoys people by its continual din…
Christian groups can easily become enclaves of some sort of exclusive and socially acceptable society. We have the whole religious system so worked out, that we don’t notice the absence of the Spirit of God. He is not needed any more because we have “church.” Our “set up” blinds us to our own need and there is no life or vitality in our “correctness”
The people do not exhibit the power and burning purity of the Spirit, denying His power and authority, so there is no fruit for eternity.
The outsider looking in sees rules and all sorts of judgment, and therefore stays away, because they know they can never live up to it. The outworking of this is wrath triumphs over mercy, and judgment over grace. People stay away from church. How are they to hear about a loving God, full and free forgiveness, and a living relationship with the eternal God?
Isaiah 29:13 “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”
A church once vibrant can quickly become dead- just following form to maintain a status quo…
Controversies rage. We judge, carp, quibble and disapprove of everyone but ourselves… we don’t rely on the teaching of the Spirit from the living truth of the Scriptures in our own lives, but rely on what we are “told.” We lack wisdom, discernment, proper judgment and the all-encompassing love of God. We believe that what we have always held to, is acceptable and reliable, and are grateful for the lack of challenge. The consequences for us is a lack of will to serve the Lord in a practical manner, and our once heartfelt service seems to melt away.
Our service is stagnant. We have no ideas, no drive and no care for the lost. Why?
Matthew 7:20-25 “Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them. Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
Is not this one of the scariest scriptures of all?
“Lord, I was an evangelical. I revered your word. I spent lots of time serving you. I believe all the doctrines that my church taught. I was quiet and submissive. I did what I was told. I taught others about you. I even told people about Jesus.”
But did you know Him? Is He precious to you? Do you have a living, vibrant relationship with Jesus? Are you aware of the power of the Spirit in your daily life? Is your service the outworking of your faith?
Only those who do the will of God will be in heaven.
God’s will is that no one should perish…
God’s will is that every Christian should be like Christ…
Our prayers should centre around…. “Your kingdom come”
So these will be the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. The inward working of God that changes Christians and makes them like His son, their Saviour Jesus. Along with the outward graces shown in care, love and sharing the way to God with those who don’t know Him yet.
If I obey Christ and walk as He walked, I will have a solid foundation of safety when that great day of trial and testing comes.
May we ask those searching questions of ourselves, and have the courage to look into our hearts, and refuse to be satisfied with anything less than Christ Himself…