Ok, I will come right out and say it!
Many that go to church each weekend, most weekends, and some weekends are fooling themselves if they think they are Christians.
Why would I say this? Christians are followers of Jesus Christ. Christians are disciples of Jesus Christ. Christians are active members of His Body that are led by Him; He is the head.
- Can you be saved and not be a disciple of Christ? Can you be a disciple and not be part of the body that is fit together and directed by Jesus Christ? Can you be saved and not be part of the body of Christ?
- If you said yes to any of the above, I challenge you to look at all the scriptures and not just the ones that seem to support your view. Look into them and pray for understanding on how they all fit together. I believe you will find as I do that the answer to each question is “no.”
I have several friends who are pastors, and we talk regularly and have had many discussion on what we see as a major issue that affects the churches in the area. We survive in a society that is becoming more and more self-centered, has less respect for authority, less respect for other’s viewpoints, and less feeling of responsibility to and for others. These aspects have infiltrated the hearts of many in the church body. (Read 1 John)
The mindset of “what is the church giving to me.”I see this becoming the norm and replacing the biblical base of “how can I be used of God to help those in His Body, the church?”
- It this the heart and mindset of a person that truly believes in Jesus Christ? A mindset of one who truly understands how their sins are forgiven? A mindset of one who knows the door to eternal life and to live in the presence of our Creator has been opened? The mindset of one who understands this all was possible because of what our Lord Jesus Christ did through His death, resurrection, and ascension? That our salvation is only because of His Grace and Love?
- To attend church without these foundational beliefs operating in one’s life I have to ask, “Is that person save?”
- To be “In Christ,” to be part of “His Body,” to be “Born Again,” to be “Saved,” are all much greater than simply attending church!
You may be asking “Pastor John, what is occurring that has stirred you up to write this?”
Well, it is not an incident that has occurred but a general change in attitude I have been witnessing in those that attend church over the past thirty years.
- Less interest by many that attend church in the Scriptures, Gospel, and Truth and more interest in music and programs.
- Worship is becoming more of an emotional environment lead by excellent musicians and singers and less on worship from the heart for Who God is and what He has and is doing.
- Involvement in church, body, activities are becoming optional based on what a person perceives they will get out of it instead of looking at each activity is an opportunity to share with and edify others in the body that are present.
- The internet and numerous Christian TV networks are creating an army of self-proclaimed These experts are parrot out the theological flavor of the month or some other personal belief they found support for on the internet. The teaching of the elders, teachers, and pastor become minimized, and the experts’ unstudied belief is preeminent to the point they will not listen to another’s viewpoint even when the scriptures are behind the different view.
When you read the books in the New Testament, the picture of the church body as a tight community, caring about each other and being responsible to one another stands out loud and clear.
What I am seeing develop in the churches today is the replacement of this biblical view with one that places more value on the numbers that attend, music, programs, and priority of church involvement have dropped close to the bottom.
- Biblical priority as I see it: 1) God, our Lord Jesus Christ 2) Spouse and family 3) Church body 4) Personal time, work, community…
- The Priority that I see developing: 1)Self & personal time 2)Work 3)Family 4)Church 5)God
What can be done?
Now is the time for those truly committed to Christ to live their belief like never before. To talk and encourage those coming to church but not committed to Christ to take the step into seeking Jesus Christ in prayer and the scriptures.
The purpose for this post has been mostly to vent, and more on what true believers can do to encourage the church going lost will be shared in later posts.
In Jesus Name, John