Many people, me included, do not like where this country is heading and the policies being shoved down our throats daily. But, one of the reasons this is happening is because the church, as Keith Green once sang, is "Asleep in the light". Consider a few of the words from this song he wrote and performed over 30 years ago:
"Do you see, do you see, all the people sinking down,
Don't you care, don't you care, are you gonna let them drown,
How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done.
Oh Bless me Lord, bless me Lord, you know it's all I ever hear,
No one aches, no one hurts, no one even sheds one tear,
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, and He cares for your needs,
And you just lay back and keep soaking it in, oh, can't you see it's such sin?
Cause He brings people to your door,
And you turn them away, as you smile and say,
God bless you, be at peace, and all Heaven just weeps,
Cause Jesus came to your door, you've left Him out on the streets.
The world is sleeping in the dark,
That the church can't fight, cause it's asleep in the light,
How can you be so dead, when you've been so well fed,
Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can't even get out of bed."
From the first time I ever heard this song, it had a huge influence on my life because I couldn't believe someone had the guts to lay it on the line and tell the Christian community what was really going on in their houses of worship. When the church is dead, it fails to carry out its single greatest mission which is "The Great Commission".
All across this land and around the world we have huge mega churches with thousands of members who gather on weekends to watch musical productions, plays, operas and once in awhile hear a sermon that might help someone. For the most part, many of these churches have become nothing but religious country clubs minus the golf courses. Is this what Jesus gave His life for? Did Jesus willingly die on the cross so that 2,000 years later His so called "church" spends most of its time and resources on blessing itself?
The "Bless me Lord" mentality that has swept over countless churches of all denominations (and non-denominations) has ushered in a selfishness that is far more pronounced now than in the 1970's when the above song was recorded. It is not only sad but downright obnoxious how many Christians go to church for the sole purpose of "getting blessed" and once done do nothing with those blessings other than bask in them. Sure God wants to bless His children, but His reason is so that we share those blessings not selfishly hold on to them.
The whole concept of church being a place one goes wearing suits and ties and fancy dresses bears no resemblance to the church Jesus envisioned and was in operation in the book of Acts. The church is not some tired old building of brick and stone but a living and ever changing entity that is constantly reaching out to find more and more desperate people who can be shown the love of Christ through acts of compassion and by people willing to get down and dirty so to speak.
What this dying country needs is for more Christians to be willing to trade their suits and ties for blue jeans and boots. If Christians got off their high and mighty horses and started working with the people they claim they want to see get saved; they might actually do some folks some good. But, to simply attend a building once a week and sit on a pew isn't the way to reach out.
Those Christians who are willing to be living sacrifices via countless hours finding and delivering meals to the hungry, clothes for the cold, water to the thirsty, medical care to the sick, friendship to the lonely and help for the helpless are the ones living the gospel and not just talking about it. I will stand with and support these individuals and groups any day of the week.
As this country slowly sinks in its self imposed quagmire as a result of rampant sin and ungodliness; the cry from our Master is to WAKE UP and get out of bed. We have all been so well fed that we are all spiritually obese. We need to quit sitting around listening to more and more Bible teachings and seminars on how to be a good Christian and get out in our communities and start living the gospel by helping those in need and showing them what Christianity is all about and not just telling them.
I spent years of my life either personally starting churches from scratch or helping others do so. These were not just churches found in buildings but fellowships in homes, at schools in libraries and at work places. These churches were simply believers coming together to pray, sing, read the Bible and talk. These churches thought nothing of inviting anyone and everyone to come and be a part of their "fellowship".
A building isn't necessary to have a church. You do not need a name to hold a fellowship. You do not need sanctioning from any organization to get together and share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All you need is LOVE, COMMITMENT and COURAGE.
Please oh mighty and living church of our Lord Jesus Christ; I beseech you in the name of the Lord to Rise Up and Reach Out. Now, more than ever before is the time for God's people to cast off their fears, selfish desires and laziness and get out there and help those who are hurting. Now is the time to bring those who have lost all hope under the shadow of our loving God's wings. Now is time to feed the hungry, heal the broken hearted and bind up the wounds of those hurt by all that is going on in this world. Now is the time go forth into the mission fields of your neighborhood for they are white with harvest.
This blog reminded me of a message my pastor preached at the beginning of the year. My church runs several thousand over the course of the weekend. I don't know as that's quite a mega church but it is much larger than the congregations I've pretty much always been a part of which ran about 40-50 people.
Anyway, this blog caught my attention because I recalled my pastor talking about a recurring "nightmare" he has had periodically over the past 15 years or so. He's dreamed he's standing before the Lord and God tells him he was good at drawing a crowd but then asks him this sobering question. [i][b]"But did you make disciples?"[/i][/b]
He went on to talk about the things you mentioned in your blog and challenged us to ask ourselves the same question God keeps placing before him. "What are you doing to make disciples?" It's a question I believe we must never stop asking ourselves and then we must do something about it!
For many years with a career in the corporate world, I have seen many in the corporate world who have tried to hide their desperate cries for spiritual help or meaning to life behind masks of efficiency and hard work. When the masks are pealed away they are just ordinary human beings who need the Lord. While many Christians focus their evangelistic efforts among the poor and hungry, there are also many among the rich and filled who need the Lord. Let's not forget them for when converted and Spirit-filled, they do become firebrands for the Lord impacting many lives. In my experience there are many among the Full Gospel Business Men fellowships and other similar fellowships who have been won for the Lord and have contributed impactfully to evangelistic missions and charities and sponsored laborers into the harvest fields around the world to bring the Word to others and make disciples.
Yes, people at all levels of society need the Lord and the Lord has placed us in unique positions within society to fulfil His purpose of glorifying Him and winning souls to Him. Let's be faithful - you in your corner and I in mine.
May the Holy Spirit convict, convert and sanctify His church for His service and may we be willing to go as He bids. Amen.
Thanks B2Y for your rallying call.
Great Blog B2Y, I to agree we must get out of our comfort zones we are in,we are God's hands & feet.We must witness and worship him in truth, people are really hurting in this day and time we live in. They need Jesus and if we dont tell them, who will? Not the world. So thanks for a blog that put alittle fire under me. Love AJ
Thanks B2Y - in Matthew 25 we find the heart of God and how it works & responds to the sick, poor, imprisoned, hungry, etc. If that heartbeat exists in the tent of a true believer, it can't help but be found in prisons, food shelves, hospitals, missions, etc., that is of course if "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me". From your comments, I think it's time for a new song to replace "God bless America" with "America bless God" and from there to bless others. As we wake up, and act out, revival will be seen!