“Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell. I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” (CT Studd)
Sitting passively in our favourite seat in a comfortable building every Sunday…Is this really what Jesus intended when He said,
“The gates of hell shall not prevail against my church.”
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19)
“”All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20) ?
Hmmm….. not sure that’s what our Lord meant. I think He had adventure in His mind, entailing both extreme hardship and extreme joy for His Church as it continues His work in seeking and saving the lost.
When I look at the Church in general this not what I see.
What do I see?
What does the world see?
And what does Christ Himself see?
I see predominantly a group of middle-class people driving expensive cars to a big, lavish, comfortable church on Sunday morning. They sit and clap at the right time, they worship and praise and feel joy sometimes when the music reaches its crescendo. They might hear a short message from the Word of God. It may be inspired by the Holy Spirit or it may be a self-help motivational talk with the Bible as a convenient back drop.
I see a people whose comfort and convenience cannot be upset or unsettled.
I see a people who will not be disturbed for the sake of the lost on their way to an eternal hell.
When I think of the early Salvation Army getting pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs as they marched into villages preaching the gospel, or I think of the Wesley brothers riding on horseback over miles and miles of countryside to take the gospel to the poor, my heart breaks and I wonder how it is so that we have lost our Lord’s heart.
Is there anyone that weeps over the lost multitudes on their way to hell?
Who will go out into the battle and warn them?
Are there any that even care?
I have found that when I speak or write on this topic it is the one that upsets Christians the most. It is the topic that causes the most offense to Christians and the one that brings the most resistance. Often I hear in response, “Well if Jesus tells me to go then I will, but He hasn’t told me.”
Actually He has. Read the Great Commission. He didn’t say that to a handful of evangelists, He said it to His followers. Each one. Unfortunately there is no way around it.
You don’t have to go to the city streets, but you do have to go to the lost. There are people in your life, whom God has put around you, who do not know the Saviour. If there is no heartfelt grief for the lost in your heart, nor desire to see them saved, then check your heart. Go to the foot of the cross and ask Christ why not. For this is His very heart.
If you’re upset or offended by this post of mine, then I think that may be a good thing.
God bless you
October 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm
I do agree with you. However, I go to church to praise and worship our wonderful Lord. I am fortunate that I don’t go to a church where I sit passively in a seat. I go to a church where the congregation is part of the meeting, not observers. We are mightily encouraged to praise our wonderful Lord, in a loud voice, from the body of the church. We are also encouraged to pray and give prophecies. I love to give testimonies on a sunday – and do hope that these testimonies encourage the church to go out and obey the Lord – by preaching to the lost, and “getting out of their comfort zones” while doing this. I find that life is very difficult, especially at the moment, and on sunday morning I can’t wait to get into the car and go to church. I find encouragement from the brothers and sisters, but most of all, I find peace, and joy, as I feel the love of our wonderful Lord reaching out to me. I absolutely agree that our life should be one where we are reaching out to the lost, and really feeling great pain for those who are on the pathway to hell. But I do think that there is a place for “going to church”, praising and woshipping our wonderful Lord and getting the strength to go into the battlefield again on monday morning.
October 12, 2013 at 1:13 am
Thanks for your comment. I am glad that you are part of a church where you are happy and can be involved. My post was never intended to dissuade believers from attending church, instead to encourage us not to be a passive “seat-warmer” in a religious institution. I would like the church to consider what Jesus meant when He said the statements which I quoted above. I absolutely believe that followers of Christ need to meet for fellowship, mutual encouragement and to corporately praise our Lord and feast on the Word. Rather than religiously going to a building each week, however, because we love Christ, naturally we will desire to be with like-minded others and this should happen at the leading of the Holy Spirit, whether it is with a large group, or with only one or two others. My central point is that I think that the (Western) church needs to re-consider what we consider “church” to be and to be about our Father’s business, just as Christ was, rather than focusing on attendances at meeting.
“You’ve heard it said that “a ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Well, a church is safe in its buildings, but that’s not what a church is for.”
October 11, 2013 at 11:58 pm
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
EXCELLENT POST—THE HOLY SPIRIT IS SPEAKING…RIGHT HERE!!!!
October 12, 2013 at 1:13 am
Thank you for your encouragement 🙂
October 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm
I THINK THIS MESSAGE HIT THINGS RIGHT SMACK ON THE HEAD—SATAN’S!!!!! 🙂
October 12, 2013 at 1:14 am
Praise God 🙂
October 13, 2013 at 11:59 am
I love this post and I totally agree with you. Being a Christian is about people. The Church is “The Body of Christ” not a building. It’s our job to reach out to the lost http://www.startsandendwithyou.com/2012/09/17/entering-the-world-of-the-lost/ and spread godly love. I see the same thing as you when I go to Church(building) on Sunday, but it’s post like this that bring the awareness that is needed to help change that. Thanks for a great post!
October 13, 2013 at 10:39 pm
Thank you for your comment and your encouragement. It in turn encourages me to know that there is a growing awareness out there in the church of what Christ has called us to. May God bless you.