It appears not to be so . . . but the statistics are there. 30% of Bible believing Christians are not affiliated with an organized church according to both Barna and Pew studies, two groups which measure these things. [www.barna.org and http://www.pewforum.org] Why?
First, the church as presently organized is not based on the Biblical model. In several places the Bible says the church looks like a person, the neck bone is connected to the chin bone, connected to the jaw bone, connected to the head-bone, and so on.
Ezekiel 37:3-5 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
You know the song.
Now look at the TV screen and you will see most churches are only a jaw bone, a single often very good and qualified person ministering, teaching, leading, traveling, raising money, doing good works and the like. This is not correct but it is still better than the 1600 year old Roman model, a group of gaily decorated men elected to a governing body which in turn elects a Pope which then not only decides what to believe but also determines who and when and where worship and other religious duties are performed. This is not Biblical either because it does not allow for new revelation and it takes the church out of the hands of the individual worshiper.
John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
The unteachable will be left behind.
We may see the end of the Catholic church in our generation. Secular commentators will probably decide it is because of scandal and child sexual abuse but more than likely it is God Himself calling an end to something that is not scriptural. Protestant denominations have also followed part of this model except they allow congregational input, which may or may not be Biblical. I think of some groups allowing homosexual priests which is not only wrong, it brings a curse on them.
People join churches for the wrong reason – for economic or social contacts, so their children will be raised in a Christian atmosphere, or where they feel safe. Those churches surely will flounder. Many join groups because they don’t want their sin touched by truth; all of those will collapse.
Second, church is to be run by a 5-member group: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. The apostle, such as Paul, no matter how famous he is, no matter how powerful or popular or wise, must still return to the 5-member group (of which he is only 1 vote) and submit to those authorities. In addition the early church required a unanimous vote. Now that might be the hardest thing to copy in modern times!
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
The third reason for failure is false authorities. God does not give ministries to the disobedient or those in error, or those whose personal life is tainted. The congregation is right is asking for an explanation from a father whose son has rebelled and is in jail. The minister is not to leave the ministry totally but to submit to correction. This is a hard standard but it is Biblical.
The true church has no relationship with the secular government. I suspect we shall see an end to charitable deductions when the tax code is overhauled. And high time. As a result many churches with a tainted situation will go under. The scriptures point to this: the angels will take the tares (those who pretend to be believers) and separate them from the wheat (the true believers) and then the end will come.
Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
We are seeing this separation already.
It is all too common for someone to say “God told me” when in fact they were talking to themselves. These ministries usually never get very far, and often do little harm but they are out there. God is not a tyrant; he will let you fumble along for years going nowhere until you start doing it His way, unless of course, you are completely in error, like teaching there is no hell! Then He will step in.
A fourth cause of failure is denial of some part of the Bible. The most recent widespread denial came when the Baptism if the Holy Spirit was called false, or irrelevant. Most of those churches have gone by the wayside or are shrinking. Some groups give no authority to women or refuse to allow divorced members; they are weak and failing too. Churches like this may have huge memberships because there are people who need to feel superior because of their sex or race, or because they refuse to grow. God uses these people anyway but their ministry is confined to that one section of the Bible which they accept. Frequently however, their missionary efforts flounder. Anyone or group that denies any part of the Bible is actually under a curse, and that needs to be taken seriously.
Revelation 22:18-19 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
The true church of Jesus Christ will be “in Christ.” That means women and men, educated and uneducated, foreign and local will all be on an equal footing and eligible for leadership. Women who have been eager to serve God alongside men will rejoice, but the issue is being “in Christ.” Groups that will not accept everyone cannot be “in Christ” by definition.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
I look forward to seeing this day!
The last and most important reason is the presence of the Stronghold known as Jezebel. It is a spirit, and it is not to be confined to women. Jezebel silenced the prophets. A prophet is someone who speaks for God and teaches and promotes God’s words. Since this is the main mission of His church, it touches everyone who is doing God’s will. This demon power, a principality, is ruling over Washington, D.C. these days and in many, many churches. Jezebel is the main demon behind political correctness. It must be bound, gagged and its feet shackled. If churches will take this spirit seriously it will come down and bring many false ministries with it; it will also free up the true church.
So, you have your orders.