We have evangelists 6′ deep on TV getting people saved and revved up. We have music ministries, choirs, and concerts coast to coast. We have pastors working with wounded people and guiding the flock. We have teachers at every level. So how come the church is standing still – noisy, active but not moving forward? I see people focused on the 2nd Coming of Christ which could be 50 years in the future. Today is the day of the Lord.
On these posts I often speak of what is wrong with the church. So far I don’t think I am in the least bit wrong. There is too much attention to the anti-Christ, the rapture, the foibles and flaws of the ministers, complaints about how much money men make (but if nothing is coming in you’ll notice the church folds); there is competition for office, power, place, position and ministry, none of that being appropriate or Biblical I might add. 20 years ago a church in England each week was sold for an Islamic Mosque!
The painting could be today
Vincent Van Gogh, a very serious Christian, painted this picture of a rather unappealing church, dark and obscure. Two paths walk around the church; the paths are clear and well worn. But there is no entry way into the church! That was the 18th century.
Today it is exactly the opposite. The church doors are wide open, people enter in great numbers and often have no idea why they are there. Doctrine is not taught, or if taught, not followed. Consequently the internet can tell many thousands of lies about God, faith, life and death and hardly a murmur is heard because no one is following up on the “converts.” Churches are social places and ministers have secure pensions. This means half of the gospel is missing.
A perishing church
I see the church is perishing despite all this busyness. The scriptures say flatly, we perish for two reasons (1) lack of knowledge and (2) No Vision.
Where there is no vision, the people perish:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
Get out of the pews and into the world system
The Lord’s rules provides both vision and knowledge for the community. The New Testament church had the following fuve leaders, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher. That list is in order. No one person was over another in this list because each did his (or her) own job.
The One Leader is a flaw
Today churches get stuck with one leader, usually a pastor or an evangelist and wonder why they don’t move forward. The leadership team in the New Testament had five voices, not one big shot.
The answer is right in front of our New Testament noses. We lack the Apostles. Apostles have both the vision and the knowledge.
There is gossip abroad that they don’t exist anymore. This is the usual slander about God. Why should God push us forward to the Kingdom with one hand and stop all our assets with the other? It makes no sense. This not only makes no sense, it is demonic slander. As usual the devil finds that the Church can’t handle the task. Not a word of truth in that.
In fact the scriptures say, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
God does not change
So whatever God did before, He is doing now and will be doing in the future. The gifts of the Holy Spirit (which produce fruit I might add) promote the plans of God for the future, the call, the casting out of demons, yes, even that and out of real people, if He can get their attention long enough to seek his will instead of that of psychologists, support groups, and a myriad of self-help programs that often leave God in the parking lot.
Denominational churches are run by a bureaucracy. That should help explain why hundreds of churches have filed for bankruptcy, why 30% of all believers do not attend church, and why churches do not grow. God’s work must be done God’s way. You will find the blueprint in the Epistles.