One of the saddest situations that have plagued churches today is the “What’s in it for me?” mentality. In our desperation to make converts, we have diluted the gospel in the hope that by reducing its demands, we can increase the numbers in our churches.
To some extent, this method of evangelism has borne a certain numbers of converts. Many have come to churches with the hope that the gospel would meet their needs for a breakthrough in their lives physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. True enough, the gospel has the power to transform lives in such manner.
However, some began to preach a gospel that will gratify the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life. We preach the forlorn Father in Heaven who would give us our every whim and fancy in order to bring as many as of His children back to Him. Certainly, this reminds me of a spoilt child to throws a tantrum every now and then in order to get his way.
We preach the “lay it and claim it” principle. Do we believe in the promises of God? Yes in every way! But we have forgotten the exhortation in the book of James 4:1-3 (The Message) “Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way.”
Spoilt children! What a tragic reality in many of our churches nowadays!
We forget that we are called to make disciples not just believers. We have taken the discipline out of the meaning of a disciple. We forget “Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God's people; once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:10) Like the children of Israel of old, we complain and murmur for meat when God has given us bread and forget the One who came first to deliver us. The sad truth is many of us have forgotten how much we have been forgiven.
The one who previously needed mercy has now become the child who demands His Father to meet His every need. No wonder the kingdom is lacking and in want of true servants of God. Where is the voice of one crying “Prepare the way of the Lord!”? Is he silenced by the voices of those who cry out for more? Where has the message of repentance gone “Repent for the kingdom of God is near”? Do we Christians differ from the religions of the world? It is a tragedy that most disciples of other religions practice “righteousness” and “love” more than a Christian in a church.
I believe the Spirit is speaking our churches again. Once again, He is calling for a man or woman who will rise up and live a life that will illuminate the world around us. Once again, the call is not for children but for sons and daughters of God who will reflect His true character. Can we really say “He who has seen us have seen the Father.”?