These days Churches forget to consider God's great expectations about them. They degrade their core spiritual values to increase mass appeal and relevance in the current culture. In the rat race for success and significance if we ignore God's purpose for us, it may contaminate the purity of our motives. The unclean motives are the evil bricks that build Godless towers of Babel. We are called to love and serve all people. But to touch the hearts of people with what we preach, our life should be Christ centered. Our perfect union with Christ the Light of life illuminate the dark world. As Royal priests appointed to minister to God, our first and foremost priority in the ministry should be about pleasing the heart of God for building His Kingdom than ours.
Ecstasies in the earthly space and the ecstasies in the Heavenly place!!!
The ecstasies of worldly excellence today draw new people to the congregation. But if we make Heaven ecstatic by our worship in Spirit and truth, more people will be drawn to the Throne of Grace and will fall deeply in love with Christ. Be on alert to always resist evil. Guard your heart with all your strength. We are called to joyfully remain as bond slaves under the yoke of Christ. Let nothing separate us from the love of Christ. His love song to us sings the same old tune. "Do you love ME more than these?!!!" Let your heart embrace and kiss the Holy Son, not the world with evil sons.
Church of God is the ultimate initiator of life change.
We should be driven by the Spirit of excellence in all dimensions of life and ministry for winning souls. Every single soul matters to God, because Christ died on the cross for all. But our compromises on the core scriptural values makes masses identify a comfort zone inside. And if they enter a Church thinking they don't need a change of heart, they get filled with wrong perceptions on Christian life. If people are drawn by the glory of the world instead of the love of the Father, Church may take the role of an entertainer instead of a life transforming soul winner. The Church of God is the ultimate initiator of life change. Christ redeemed and separated us from the evil cultures of this dark world and we got transformed by conceiving His life and culture. If masses walk in through the entertainment corridor and take a seat, leaders may say, we have won all the souls for Christ after counting filled decision cards.
Message of the cross has inherent power to touch hearts and transform lives.
Filled decision cards reflect positive responses and it bring praises to God. It gives a good beginning for many. But from the new beginning on a decision card towards the crown of life, we have a long journey to eternity with Christ. A visitation from God inspires people to become a permanent habitation of God. Message of the cross has inherent power to touch hearts and transform lives. If we believe and act on His word we will never be the same again. If we deny ourselves and love God, we will constantly grow more mature in Christ. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. The abundance of the grace in Christ helps us to continuously work out our Salvation to remain worthy for Him. Those who run their race to finish well in Christ should stay submitted to the Sanctifying works of the Spirit of Grace.
If there is no real life change, the great commission stays unaccomplished.
Instead of disciplining new comers, sometimes leaders take a short cut without emphasizing on the formation of the life and nature of Christ. Without engaging the hearts with Christ, they keep the crowd attracted to the Church through infotainment or Spiritainment. Gathering, keeping and managing the crowd is the part of executing the great commission. Very good, but ultimately if people don't become true disciples of Christ, the great commission still stays unaccomplished.
Without constant renewal of minds many revivals died and became histories.
When God's word is practiced and preached in the Church, sometimes people vanish as if travellers getting into a fast train for a secure place which demands no life change. Here Churches become Railway Stations, where people don't to stay for long. Sound and Light shows en-thrill us, but if it fails to produce glorious new creations in Christ we miss the U-Turn of life change. Signs and wonders plus extra ordinary miracles heal the sick and deliver the Captives. But afterwards, if those blessed people never thankfully returns to become fully mature in Christ, their bodies get healed but their souls get lost. Theological studies are excellent, but if it creates puffed up heads with loveless hearts poisoned with human philosophy, the restoration of Christ likeness never happen. If Churches are not filled with a Divine atmosphere for transformation of character and conduct, people will never submit to God and get separated from evil. John 3.19 says, "This is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil". Remember, without constant renewal of minds many great revivals died and became histories of the past.
Satisfied in printed notes on Christ than Christ Himself?
The Living Word wrote, the written word to lead people back to the Living Word Himself. The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. But now people are satisfied with printed notes and certificates than Christ Himself. It is like buying a car for its owner’s manual instead of the vehicle. Here we ignore the person of Christ and refuse to give our companionship to HIM who sacrificed Himself to become our eternal Companion. We grieve the Holy Spirit if we don't commit to live a life of true adoration and worship. If all of us stay focused on Christ and do the God ordained ministries given to us by contributing and complementing without compromising spiritual values, then we can witness Christ building His glorious Church in this generation.
Some Christian celebrities may become the architects of the Towers of Babel.
Some Christian celebrities think they have everything they need and they celebrate their success even before God celebrates His. They manufacture revivals without transformation that leads to transfiguration. They think they are rich and strong, can handle any problem with money power and influence. They speak or do anything and no one dares to speak to them even if they are terribly wrong. They will curse those people who ask questions. They refuse to slow down or stop even if God Himself may ask. They will say they will discuss with their mentors who are well paid to keep quiet. There seems no need for accountability and credibility. Now if we posses this mindset, doubtlessly we are the architects of the Towers of Babel. Today's Churches terribly miss the inseparable union with Christ. We see Churches worship their leaders or traditions or programs, or even buildings more than Christ Himself. As a matter of convenience, maybe that's what pleases many leaders! Today's local Churches are messed up badly. Nevertheless if we are willing to clean up this mess, God can help us. But can we deny our selfish ambitions and humbly wait for God's perfect plans? Are we ready to be led by the Spirit? There is hope, if the sons of God are willing to Change!!!
A Christ centered Church will be a heart cleansing, life transforming, world changing Church.
The Kingdom of God is not built by man made Theology and management expertise. And it is built on Christ the Solid Rock, if we ignore the foundational principles of Christ we will be building an entertainment Theater instead of a Church. A Christ centered Church will be a heart cleansing, life transforming, world changing Church. And its principles and action logic never contradict with the voice of the Spirit in the word of God. Its formulas are universally applicable for a victorious Christian life. The vulgarity of leadership gimmicks practiced in the name of effectiveness degrade the Christian values. To prevent this decay, all leaders should remain submitted to each other in the fear of Christ and stay accountable to God and the Church which they serve as servants not as owners or masters. If leaders don't flee from these compromises, they may fail to witness Christ being fully formed inside and delivered outside from every single soul they have gathered for Salvation.
How praise worthy will you be in Heaven, what does your ministry ultimately promise people?
Great soul winning Churches may become greatest soul loosing places if the leaders are not led by the Spirit of God. When people disappear without returning, leaders driven by the Spirit of this world get back to their Entertainments again and the show goes on with false promises. The same mediocre spiritual story repeated over and over again. Take a break!!! How strong is your credibility? How praise worthy will you be in Heaven? What does your ministry ultimately promise people? The promise of God is not a cheap cultural or spiritual gimmick. The promise of God is Eternal life where we get seated on the right hand side of Christ. The name of the Lord is a strong Tower, the righteous will run into it and be safe. But the Towers of Babel built with the demonic doctrines of the wicked men is cooking recipes of Spiritual disaster. Enter and abide in the everlasting Kingdom of God and celebrate your life with Christ. The Door to the Kingdom of God is Christ the Son of Man, let no other man dare to stand in His place.
He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him !!!!
Leaders of today, if you have read this much, it's time to self examine to renew your minds to upgrade your commitment to the new covenant of Christ. You are wonderfully and fearfully created for the glorious purposes of God. Reflect astonishing excellence in everything you think or speak or do. Nevertheless whole heartedly seek the face of the Father for fulfilling the desires of His heart. Don't fall for cheap alternatives in order to please people more than God. Stop self worshiping, get back to your first love and fix your eyes on Christ. The Lamb of God alone is worthy to receive all the praise and glory for every good work His grace has done through us. Without putting the mask of self righteousness let us seriously scan our deepest motives and desires before our God who is holy and surrender to HIM completely. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall gaze upon Him and beat their breasts and mourn and lament over Him. Even so [must it be]. Amen (so be it). -Rev 1:7
Without a trace of selfish ambition re-define your passion for Christ all over again. When His Majesty the Lion of Judah appears, let HIM find you faithful and fruitful in His Kingdom. Hold on to what is everlasting, in the spirit of excellence accomplish everything God wants you to accomplish in this generation for the praise of His glory. When your heart is deeply rooted in Christ, from you God creates a glorious masterpiece molded in the mind of Christ.
Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see the face of the KING of GLORY shining on them everlastingly. May God be with you always to guide you till the end. Amen!!! - www.vjtraven.com