“And unto 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 would that you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:14-19)
Let me begin by saying I love the church. As believers in Jesus Christ we, as the body of Christ, are in fact the church. So my intent is not for this blog post to come off like an attack against the church but I rather it be received as an admonishment to the church. Americans’ conceptualization of “church” is extremely distorted! Although I would be considered as “young” in my walk, I have witnessed various different operations of different churches and understand the dealings of the generation before this generation. Consequently, the errors of the generations passed have trickled down and are affecting this current generation. The difference I have seen in us, that is, this generation, however, is more and more “young” believers desire to shake the whole concept of church at its core and get back to being the early church described of in Acts! So I will be making a series of points that stem from what the Holy Spirit has allowed me to discern about the present state of the church thus far.
First, if you think simply going to church is your way to salvation, you’ve missed it! God is so much bigger than your halfhearted attendance at a church service on the weekend. We have discussed two references to “churches” so far. The first being the body of Christ being called “the church” and now the physical place that is referred to as “church”. Let me reiterate, SIMPLY GOING TO CHURCH IS NOT YOUR TICKET TO HEAVEN. Just because you follow the doctrine of your church, you think you’re a good person, and you try not to say bad words DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE GOING TO HEAVEN. We need to break past this deception! So many times I see people look up on themselves and down on others because they have such an over reliance in their church, but then if you examine their lives they don’t even KNOW God for themselves. They may attend a service on the weekend and a Bible study during the week, but the rest of the week is “their time” where there is just scattered prayer some days and minor scripture reading sprinkled in as well. What kind of relationship is that? You think that attending church and Bible study is making God happy, when in actuality your intent in going renders what you’re doing as a “work.” Really, the desire to fellowship with other believers should stem from your extreme love for God and a desire to be in His presence EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Imagine if a wife or a husband only saw their spouse for two days during the week. One day on the weekend and one day during the week. Furthermore, they barely speak the other days that they don’t see each other. What kind of relationship is that? It’s not hard to assume that either one of them may feel lonely and will begin to look elsewhere for attention (especially with the type of society we live in today). This marriage would burst at the seams. The Bible says the church (body of Christ) is Christ’s bride and He is the husband. This is the same picture! A marriage wherein one spouse doesn’t desire and doesn’t long to spend time with, talk to, and be intimate with their spouse is a marriage that simply WILL NOT STAND.
Why are some from this generation of believers getting it, but most of the one’s behind us are still in the dark? We are picking up our Bibles and reading, and what we see in today’s church is nothing but corruption, compromise, and chaos. God is calling us to break past these traditions and commandments of men, trim all the excess fat, and come to a place where we want ALL of Him. Not just a little bit here and there.
Truly the Bible says in Matthew 15:8,9 “This people draws near unto me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
The Bible also says in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”
It would also benefit you to read Matthew 25:1-13 of the Ten Virgins, five of which were wise and five of which were foolish. Study those scriptures and completely understand why the five were considered foolish.
Again, this generation is starting to pick up their Bibles and is actually reading! There should be no reason for me to ask the following questions that relate to situations I have personally experienced. Why is it that when I give to the homeless and have no desire to be rich or wealthy here on earth, “Christians” counsel me otherwise? Why is it that when I get uncomfortable and take a step of faith, “Christians” counsel me otherwise? Why am I told don’t drop everything and live for God? Ask yourself this, when you read, do you read just for a feel good story or do you take the Bible literally and do what it says! None of the previous questions would come up if we did one thing that the Bible so vehemently teaches, to DIE TO OURSELVES!
Read the next section here: The American Church – 2/2