Monday, September 21, 2015

The Comfortable Church

Are you part of a church that doesn't want to preach anything from the pulpit that might be 'divisive'?

"Well Dennis, our church just chooses to stay away from "End Times" messages because they can be SO divisive!"

"Well Dennis, our church just chooses to stay away from the whole "Gay marriage" topic because sexual orientation is just such a divisive topic!"

"Well Dennis, our church just doesn't want to take a stand against Islam or other religions because lots of our attenders have friends in other religions and we just don't want to be who are we to really say another religion is wrong?"

"Well Dennis, we really don't preach on the topic of abortion because as you know there are lots of good people who support it and lots of good people who are opposed...and we just don't want to be divisive."

"Well Dennis, we really don't like to preach about Christianity being the ONLY way to heaven, because we believe there are lots of good paths to God...and we don't want to be divisive."

"Well Dennis, we really don't preach on hell anymore because we find that all that "fire and brimstone" stuff is just not what folks want to hear on a Sunday morning!"

Have you heard any of these?  Have our churches all just grown lukewarm because we believe that UNITY trumps everything else?  Have we become unwilling to take a stand on anything because it might be offensive to someone?  Have we become so comfortable in our padded pews with cup-holders for our coffee that we have CEASED being salt and light to a world on a highway to hell?

Here is a devotional I received today and it appears to be very timely.

The Comfortable Church

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17) 

This is the heart of Christ’s rebuke of the church at Laodicea, the “lukewarm” church (v. 16) of the last days. This is an evangelical church for its candlestick is still in place (note Revelation 1:20; 2:5), but it has become a neutral church, “neither cold nor hot” (3:15). The reason for its tepid witness is because it has become “rich, and increased with goods,” comfortable in a culture which tends to equate material prosperity with success and God’s favor. It may have acquired large and beautiful facilities, developed special programs of many kinds, featured a variety of musicians and other artists, and even gained a measure of political power. Yet, Christ calls it poor and blind and naked! 

Not all large churches become like this, of course, but it is always a real danger. The desire for large congregations can easily lead to compromising biblical standards of doctrine and practice. “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion,” the prophet warned (Amos 6:1). 

Note that the Lord began His letter to the Laodicean church by identifying Himself as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14). This strongly suggests that a major reason for the development of such complacency in a large church (or a small church, for that matter) is neglect of these three doctrines—the sufficiency of Christ, the inerrant authority of God’s Word, and the special creation of all things by God. 

The letter to this church ends with the sad picture of Christ standing at its door, seeking admission (v. 20). “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (v. 22). HMM 

If you are part of a church that isn't actively preaching the ENTIRE WORD of God, even the "divisive" probably should find a new church.  Remember EVERYONE OF US is going to have to give an accounting to Jesus on what we did with our time and talents during our short time on earth.

"But Jesus, our church never told us any of that stuff because they thought it was too divisive!"


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