Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose.
I know I'm not. And I'm not even God (thank goodness).
Ah, yes, another Sunday down the drain. Another Sunday without a mention of Jesus (the only exception being the fact His Name came up in one of the new worship songs). Another Sunday without a real concern for the lost of our city. I'm sensing a pattern here.
Let me interject here that there seems to be something up here in New England. New Hampshire in particular. I'm guessing it has to do with the "seeker friendly" movement that appears to be popular across the country nowadays. Here's what I mean: I actually heard from our pulpit that we should each go out this week and ask a sinner why they don't come to church. Because, "...it's all about them." Really? I was thinking maybe it's about a Creator that has graciously given His Son as our gift (not because we deserve it or because of our righteousness). See, it' actually about Him.
What, no big screen tv?
Now, you may be asking yourself (and I hope you're not) "What's wrong with asking the lost why they won't come to church?" Wellllll, what do we expect them to say? My assumption is that they don't like being preached to. Nothing like a sermon against sin to keep 'em at bay. Would you want to go to a place where they preach against YOUR pet sin? I wouldn't. But, the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness. Do we expect that that might say, "Well, hot coffee would be nice," or "Gee, maybe if you'll had recliners I'd be more apt to come".
They're LOST. Or, to be more accurate, they're dead. Dead in their sins. And unless the FATHER draws them they're not coming to our churches. And they shouldn't. I don't care why THEY don't think they should be in church. I'm interested in why God hasn't drawn them to church. If God's not drawing them then I wonder what the problem could be? And, by the way, I'm also not interested in numbers. I'm concerned with conversions. Real heart felt, Jesus loving, can't wait to get to heaven but in the meantime how can I serve Him, conversions. I'll take true Holy Ghost filled, Jesus loving folk that are dirt poor, but, can't wait to get to church so they can worship Jesus with other believers any day over a church full of nice looking, appropriately dressed, nicely coifed decent folk that just want to fulfill a Sundays obligation.
The Way We Were
You know, I spent some years in Kansas and, at least in the church I attended, most of the congregation couldn't wait to gather at church. They prayer room was always full, even an hour before service! They loved being with each other during the week (whodda thunk that was possible), people were looking for a reason to gather and pray, the worship portion of the service was explosive and folks just loved the gospel being preached.
And by the gospel I don't mean a sermon about how we're owed some kind of material bounty. We heard about heaven and hell, living a sanctified, righteous and HOLY life. Seems to me sacrifice was mentioned once in while as well. Kinda along the lines of fasting. Giving, not getting. You know, the opposite of todays sermons.
Really, it hurts me to see the turn the church has taken to reach the lost. Early I asked what the problem could be if God's not drawing them to our services. It's us. We really don't care that they're lost. We lose no sleep over them. We rarely witness to them. And ultimately, it's because our hearts aren't the heart of God.
Now, having said that, I do believe there is a remedy and that remedy is prayer. If we spent quality time with Jesus we'd be more in tune with His heart. We'd weep for broken, the lost, the maimed, the hurting, the poor, the abused, the ones society has cast away. We'd ask Jesus to send them our way so we could tell them of the good news. We ask Him to have our paths cross with them and that we'd be sensitive enough to know when it happened. We wouldn't be asking them why they don't come to church. We'd love them enough to ask them if they know Him and His peace. And healing. And deep love for them. We'd tell them He sees them in their hurt and He understands. He doesn't look down on them or have disdain for them (just the hypocrites do).
Okay. That's it for today. The point is just like before. Pray.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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I have for a lot of years been very upset at what we are seeing in churches today. I want and need the cross of Jesus and the saving power of His blood which for the most part you won't hear being preached. I want Him , I need Him and when i walk into church i want to hear Him and fellowship with Him and have all the gifts of the Spirit at work. Your right , a lot of the fault falls right at my door. I'm not praying enough! Very good article filled with truth.
Your article is filled with truth. There are folks like us out there who are fed up with the way things are being taught and done in the churches. Afterall is said and done, hell is real and waiting to swallow up souls. I love your words about the poor and those who really love and worship Jesus. The truth needs to be preached from the pulpits once again! Thank you so much for this piece. Anita