We will always find ourselves in trouble when we get comfortable with things as they are
– Francis Chan
Two of the scariest chapters in the Bible are Revelation chapter two and three. You can either read the Bible or READ the Bible. I think that it is impossible to truly read the Bible and stay the same. It breaks you. Some people consider the Bible to be a book of love letters. The Bible does show us the love of God, but it also shows us the wrath of God. The Bible is filled with God’s promises but the Bible also reveals to us the terrifying effects of ignoring God. To me, the Bible is one of the scariest romantic books that you will ever read. I believe that if more people read and studied the Bible and didn’t just do it for the sake of reading it, that we would see a huge change in the church.
I have recently started reading books by Francis Chan and Dag Heward-Mills. These two men of God have truly challenged my perception of what it means to be a Christian today. When I was reading the Bible last year, I was creating my own individual notes. When I got to the book of Revelation, I remember asking myself and writing down ‘which type of church am I?’ This has been a message that has stuck with me for a long time. I began to realise that I can’t just settle. As Christian’s we can’t just sit around waiting for Christ’s return, we have to be active. We have a huge role to play. We weren’t called to mediocrity.
One of the reasons that I know that God has placed me in the church that I am in is because we are currently praying for a revival. A revival of the church. Week after week, the pastor is preaching about the role that we have as believers to introduce others to Christ and to make sacrifices for God. Week after week I am reminded of the sentence written in my journal ‘what kind of church am I?’
As a generation, we have become obsessed with the sacrifice that Christ made, yet we don’t even know Him. We are His bride, yet we know very little about Him. We are focused on what He can do for us and could care less about what we can do for Him. We have 100% attendance at church and 98% of those in attendance are regulars at the altar. Constantly seeking to be prayed for because we don’t know Him personally enough to pray for ourselves. We are obsessed with prosperity preaching, trying to find out how God can bless you. We are lovers of the Father and the Son but ignore the convictions of the Holy Spirit. We believe that we can enter the gates of Heaven by osmosis. We have distorted the true meaning of Christianity and as a result, we are the distorted church.
Backsliding is considered to be such a normal part of our Christian walk. But how is backsliding even possible? Backsliding is made possible because we have distorted the church. We tell people about the love of Christ but they never see our love for Him. As a result, when they realise the true cost of following Christ they turn back. We end up relying on the message of our forgiveness and create a church full of presumptuous sinners.
Francis Chan made an interesting point. There is no such thing as lukewarm Christian. A Christian is a disciple. Someone who has picked up a cross. By no means are they perfect but they have made the conscious effort to make sacrifices for Christ, the same way that He made a sacrifice for us.
It is true that the modern church does not reflect the plan that God has for us. However, we are all in charge of our own salvation. We can’t rely on osmosis, we have to be the change that we want to see. Matthew 13 paints an amazing picture that has actually forced me to take my salvation in to my own hands. God allows the wheat and the tares to grow together in the church but He will one day seperate us. It is possible to have 100% attendance at church and still be a tare. My prayer is that we will all be wheat and be the Faithful Church that we are called to be. May we no longer be content in the fact that we are forgiven, but start to live a life of gratitude and start to see what it is that God wants us to do to help strengthen and grow His Kingdom. The harvest is plenty and the labourers are few, but if we come together and understand what it means to be Christian, we will be able to get the job done.