I am so terribly burdened for the state of the Church… Not the whole Church, of course, because God always has His faithful remnant, and He’s certainly doing mighty things. But for all the lukewarm and apathetic believers who care so much about all that the world has to offer — money, sports, TV, etc. — and yet don’t care about the things of God — eternal things that will last — I grieve. I pray. I sit in anguish of heart because we have an eternal hope, and yet we can’t find time to worship God and thank Him for it. I grieve because souls are perishing and we (yes, myself also) are too afraid to speak the gospel to our neighbor — too afraid of what they might say.
I am terribly sad and burdened. And I see how commercialized our churches often are. And I see how consumeristic our society often is. And I see how very much like the world our average Christian often is. And it absolutely pains my heart…
Do we not read in the Scriptures that if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in them?
Do we not read that Jesus spews the lukewarm believers out of His mouth?
And are we not, so often, in our sterilized Western society, merely whitewashed lukewarm believers?
I listened to a quote recently from Leonard Ravenhill, and he said that Christians are the most busy decorating the exterior when the inside is dead. And isn’t this exactly what Jesus said? He said that the Pharisees — the ones who were supposed to be the /leaders/ of the day — were dead on the inside and only beautifying the exterior.
Isn’t this exactly what we do? We make our churches elaborate, decorating them just right. We make sure we have the latest and greatest music. We give everyone the perfect coffee and cozy seats. We teach our singers to smile and raise their hands… But so often we find that these things don’t fix the problem — our hearts are far from God.
I don’t mean to say that our churches are full of unbelievers. Perhaps, sometimes, they are. And perhaps, sometimes, that’s a good thing — to help them see the gospel. But, what I am saying, is that we have too many genuine believers who live disingenuous lives. They say one thing on Sunday, and live a different life throughout the week. They may sing and praise God on-stage, but off-stage they couldn’t care less about worshipping God.
We have too many heartless, prayerless, powerless Christians, teetering on the fence — just enough Jesus to keep appearances up, and just enough of the world to blend in just right. It seems hardly a person is willing to stand out for Jesus and actually take up their cross, being willing to take the necessary sacrifices to live a godly life in Christ Jesus — while being fully aware that doing so necessitates being mocked and persecuted: even called out as ‘too radical’ by more “normal” Christian friends or family members.
And please, I do not at all intend to say there are not genuine followers of God, truly doing everything in their power to live a holy life before God and actually let His Word and His Spirit guide them. I know these people exist — some of you are even my friends reading this right now. And I thank God for you. And I love you as my brothers and sisters in the Lord. May God continue to give us strength and boldness to follow Him wherever He leads!
And yet my heart is terribly burdened for all those souls who find themselves dancing with Jesus on one day and dancing with the devil on another. It’s not okay, it needs to stop, and God will be sure that it stops someday. But I am praying so much for all of us in the Church that we would wake up and follow Jesus out of a true heart, not being double-minded or unstable, but truly standing firm upon all that Jesus is.
That is my prayer.
Oh God, help us. We need You. I need You. The Church needs You. The lost need You. This whole world needs You, God. Please help. Please help. Thank You.