The state of the Church breaks my heart. Yes it does. I weep over it, and I believe so does Jesus.
The deadness, the formality, the coldness. Where is the life? Where is the joy? Where is my Jesus?
I don’t seem Him in it.
I don’t see Him in the dry formality, I don’t see Him in the ritual, the “way we’ve always done it.”
Why do people’s faces look sad and somber in church? Why do we feel we have to pretend to be serious to be spiritual?
Jesus where are You?
The thing is, we know it. We know it’s not right, that something is missing. We know that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t so we could sit and be bored in Church for two hours every Sunday morning. We feel it. Something in our spirit says this is not the way it was in the early Church, there is something more. What are we missing?
So, we try to fix it in our human-ness.
Entertainment, rock concerts, frenzied behavior, yelling, emotional manipulation. Get people to cry, yes, if that brings emotion, ANYTHING but that dead dryness. Oh God, anything but that.
Entertainment for true joy.
Emotional manipulation for true broken-ness
Frenzied behavior for the real work of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus where are You?
After awhile, the yelling makes us tired, the emotive manipulation falls on dead ears, and, after all, we are not changed.
That didn’t work either. Oh God, what next?
Look at pubs, worldly concerts, sporting events. They are full of happy, excited people. There are crowds. They must know something we don’t. We must learn from them.
Advertising, marketing surveys, seeker-sensitive churches. Things not to mention:
- the cross
- the Blood
- God’s holiness
- never ever use the word “sinner”
- judgment (shriek)
(But make sure you use the word “unpack” in your sermon at least 5 times.)
Jesus where are YOU?
Something wrong. something missing. something different than the Church in Acts.
Spirituality. Candles, liturgies, labyrinths, darkness. Ooooh, we get goosebumps again. This is it! we feel again, we are not dead, not bored, we are spiritual.
JESUS where are YOU?
Don’t we see? don’t we know where He is?
He is outside the Church.
He is outside the door.
Long ago He was asked to leave. Oh yes, we use His Name, but we don’t really want Him. We want to be comfortable, we want convenience at all costs. We don’t want our formality and rituals confronted or thrown away. We want to feel good, positive emotions. We don’t want to be convicted. We want to feel intellectual and deep and have wonderful spiritual experiences. We want lots of people around us because that shows we are on the right track.
But we don’t want HIM.
Him – the goodness, the holiness, the righteousness, the kindness, the love, the truth, the mercy, the conviction, the call to the lost, the call to obedience, the faithfulness to Him that is required, the cost of the cross of Christ…
Jesus is a gentleman, He will not stay where He is not welcome.
There is only one way back to Him.
Let us cast off everything else and fall on our knees before Him.
There is only one thing that is required:
Let us fall on our faces before our Lord and weep for the state of our own hearts, for the Church, for the lost around us. Let our hearts be broken. It is only when our hearts are broken before the Lord that LIFE, the real life of the Holy Spirit enters in.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the deadness any more. I have had enough of formality and boredom. I have had enough of human solutions to the problem. I can’t handle any more extraneous rubbish – I WANT HOLY GHOST REVIVAL! This world needs men and women who have the fire of the Holy Ghost.
Lord, send Your Spirit. Revive us again. We need You Lord. I repent of my hardness of heart Lord. My heart breaks for the state of the Church Lord. My heart breaks for those around me on their way to Hell. Enough Lord ! Rend the heavens and come down!!! In Jesus’s Name, Amen