This is actually a revised e-mail that I sent to someone regarding a message that they had sent to me on the Private Messenger. As I got to reading it over, I felt that it might have some value to share with those who really have a heart for the church! We all are aware of the backslidden condition that the traditional church has lapsed into. So do we loose heart? My goodness no! What we do is seek God through the Holy Spirit to find out what we must do to rectify this condition. We are ALL part of the body and we must ALL assume responsibility for what has taken place. The church is very near and very dear to Godís heart, so we dare not take lightly what all our precious Savior has done to redeem it and make it holy and without blemish in His eyes.
When we become discouraged, then a Scripture like this one found in 2 Chron. Is very uplifting and brings much faith and hope, not only for the church, but also for our country.
2 Chron. 14:11-And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, "Lord, it IS NOTHING for You TO HELP, whether with many or with those WHO HAVE NO POWER; HELP US, O Lord our God, for WE REST on YOU, and in YOUR NAME we go against THIS MULTITUDE, O LORD, You are our God; DO NOT LET MAN PREVAIL AGAINST YOU!"
God is looking for intercessors in the church who will stand in the gap, and fight this battle of apathy, for this seems to be what has taken hold of our people, and this is a very serious spiritual battle, that we can only win with and through the help of the Holy Spirit.
When we begin to seek God with all of our heart for answers to this dilemma, He begins to supply answers, and here are some that He gave me that I would like to share with you.
Letís look back to the beginning when God became so angry with His OWN PEOPLE, that He was ready to consume them from the face of the earth. Letís listen in on the conversation that God had with Moses!
God was so angry at His own people that He was going to consume them! Exodus 32:10-"Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them (His People) and I may consume them. AND I WILL MAKE OF YOU A GREAT NATION."
(Now I think that it is marvelous to note that Moses didn't jump up and down and say, "O praise the Lord, look at what He is going to do FOR ME! "Hallelujah, praise God, I am so blessed." I can just see a modern day preacher doing JUST THAT! (smile) But not Moses, bless his heart, he pleaded with God.)
(12) Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said; "Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against YOUR PEOPLE whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? (12) Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, 'He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? TURN FROM YOUR FIERCE WRATH, and RELENT from THIS HARM to YOUR PEOPLE. (13) Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom YOU SWORE by YOUR OWN SELF, and said to them, I will multiply your descendants, as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever." (14) So the Lord RELENTED from the harm which He said He would do to His people.
(Now it is interesting to note that God did not relent because of anything the people had done, but because of this promise that He Himself had swore to Abraham. We need to be seeking God and reminding Him of the promises that He has made to the church through Christ. IT IS OUR JOB TO DO THAT!)
Eph. 3:9-And to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has BEEN HIDDEN in GOD who created all things through CHRIST; (10) TO THE INTENT that NOW the manifold wisdom of God MIGHT BE MADE KNOWN by THE CHURCH to THE PRINCIPALITIES and POWERS in THE HEAVENLY PLACES, (11) according to THE ETERNAL PURPOSE which HE ACCOMPLISHED in CHRIST JESUS our LORD.
(Now it is interesting to note here, that He is NOT saying make this manifold wisdom known to the church, but BY the church, and NOT to man, BUT to these principalities and powers. We are fighting a SPIRITUAL WARFARE, which must be taken in the spirit realm before we are going to recognize it in the physical realm!)
Eph. 6:12-For we DO NOT WRESTLE against FLESH and BLOOD, but against PRINCIPALITIES, against POWERS, against THE RULERS of THE DARKNESS of THIS AGE, against SPIRITUAL HOSTS of WICKEDNESS in THE HEAVENLY PLACES. (I did not even know that there are hosts of spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places!)
(So by the help of the Holy Spirit, we make known to these principalities and powers just what our Lord accomplished on the cross.)
Col. 2:14-having WIPED OUT the handwriting of REQUIREMENTS that was AGAINST US, which was contrary to us. And HE HAS TAKEN IT OUT OF THE WAY, having NAILED IT to THE CROSS. (15) HAVING DISARMED PRINCIPALITIES and POWERS, HE MADE A PUBLIC SPECTACLE of THEM, TRIUMPHING OVER THEM IN IT.
(Then we read in 1 John 3:8-FOR THIS PURPOSE the Son of God was MANIFESTED, that HE MIGHT DESTROY THE WORKS of THE DEVIL.
Now we can begin to walk in faith and confidence that God is going to RESTORE THE CHURCH as we read in Eph. 5:25-Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also LOVED THE CHURCH and GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT, (26) that He might sanctify and CLEANSE IT WITH THE WASHING OF WATER BY THE WORD, (27) that He might PRESENT IT TO HIMSELF A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT OR WRINKLE OR ANY SUCH THING, but that IT SHOULD BE HOLY and WITHOUT BLEMISH.
This is Christ's vision for His church, and this is my vision for the church also! It is up to you and I through the leading and the help of the Holy Spirit in the word to help bring this about. As we stand in the gap for the church and pray for God to pour out His Spirit in abundance reminding Him of these things!
Titus 3:5-not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according TO HIS MERCY He saved us, THROUGH THE WASHING OF REGENERATION and RENEWING of THE HOLY SPIRIT. (6) whom HE POURED OUT ON US ABUNDANTLY through JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR.
So may we all stand in agreement and in prayer that God will indeed cleanse the church by the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself A GLORIOUS CHURCH, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, BUT THAT IT SHOULD BE HOLY and WITHOUT BLEMISH! Amen!!!!
It is time that we in the Church of Jesus Christ not only hear this message; but begin to put it into practice in our lives. We need to make sure others hear it as well. Well done, Sharon. The HOly Spirit is using you to bring His healing and purposes to the Church.
A beautiful well written Inspirational article to encourage The Body of Christ into a deeper walk with our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, we must pray for the healing of broken hearts in the Church and also that we would all desire to have a more closer walk with our Saviour and Lord.
May Jesus Find His Church Faithful when He returns!
Thank You Sharon for sharing your heart and encouraging mine!
With Jesus Love,Dee
Beautifully written, Sharon, a very needed and timely word to the Church. The mainline, traditional churches have, for the most part, bought into the Doctor Feel-Good, say anything, do any thing to get you into a pew, having a world-view of church. Programs designed to manage you, not disciple you. Placate you, not give you the ďhard word.Ē Thank God for the few who have not sold out to churchianity. You da bomb!
Sharon, This is a very powerful and well written article! Someone once gave this description of an ideal church, which I think is 'right on': "A church is a hospital for the soul". It is a place where souls come to be healed and so I believe it should be a place of love and encourgement. However, when a church focuses more on activities and commitees than on God's Word, spiritual healing cannot take place. I am not talking about 'healing' a sickness, but healing in a sense of growing in the Lord. Let us all continue to pray for our churches, but let us focus on the individual hearts who make up those churches... for it is the individuals who need to be open to God. One by one as they are 'healed' their churches will also 'grow' in the right direction. GOD BLESS YOU for addressing this issue and stirring our hearts, Sharon! Love, Peggy
This is a very timely article for all of us who had seen the downfall of many churches for variety of reasons. I agree that we need to stand in the gap and yield to the power of the Holy Spirit, stand in agreement in prayer, and boldly proclaim the Word of God inside and outside the church. Like what Sis. Peggy said, the church being the hospital for the souls need to focus on individual healing first, focus on spiritual growth of each member. Although church activities and participation in ministries are good,we can be very busy with "doing" instead of "serving with love." I confess that at times, I tend to see the faults inside the church, but I learned that I need to concentrate rather on how I can be an effective Christian, and a good testimony for others. As we know, the church is not just a building where we worship on Sundays, but it's a body of Christ who must encourage and build each other up. If we continue to show God's love everyday, and yield to the Holy Spirit in us, we can fight the battle, the spiritual warfare that we confront everyday. Thank you Sis. Sharon for this annointed writing. It is a wake up call as well as a blessing to me and hopefully to many readers. Love, Gloria