I don’t know about you, but I am to the point where I can hardly listen to the news anymore. The chaos and evilness that is occurring in America, let alone the whole world, is overwhelming at times. Reports of wars, innocent blood shed, bullying, brink of a financial collapse, prices increasing, propaganda, healthcare being shoved down our throats, IRS scandals, VA scandals, lying, deception, murders…it is enough to make someone want to go hide under a rock! I have come to the point of limiting my news consumption and to focus on other things. However, among the chaos, my question is: where is the Church? Where are the Christians?
In Revelation, it talks about the seven churches. Each church received a warning and urged to repent. One church that was mentioned: the Lukewarm Church. Revelation 3:14-22 is directed to the Church in Laodicea, but I believe it is so relevant for the Church in America today. Jesus said, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”-Revelation 3:15-16 [NIV]. There are too many Christians and too many churches in America that are lukewarm. They are neither cold or hot. You are either for Christ or not. You are either grateful for what He did on the cross for you, or not. You either love Him sincerely or you don’t. It can’t be both ways. What I don’t understand is how some pastors and Christians can be only “Sunday” Christians and not Christians 24/7. IF you boldly profess to be a Christ follower, yet contradict everything you preach…how is that even possible? There are too many pastors and Christians who willingly compromise their convictions to be loved by the world. Therefore, they steer away from preaching about sin and the power of salvation, that Jesus dying on the cross for the world will free them from their bondage of sin, addiction, fear, doubt, anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc. That is too controversial, I guess. No wonder America is messed up!
I truly believe that Jesus’ return is so near and closer than we think. It Is Time for the Church to be the Church. It Is Time for Christians to take their relationship with Jesus Christ seriously. It Is Time for Churches to STOP being so focused on fame and fortune, and get outside their four walls and help America. Something that just absolutely cooks my grits, is when pastors and Christians in churches think they are “too good” to approach other people who may not be in the same “league”, “socioeconomic”, “status” as them. Did Jesus ever do that? OF COURSE NOT!! He was right there with the humble. Jesus reached out to those hurting. He healed the blind, caused the lame to walk, walked among the lepers…Jesus was never “too good” to be around those who were in need of help. I want to ask some of these pastors and Christians, “Who do you think you are? You didn’t get where you are at by your own works. You got where you are at because of God. Don’t forget it!” I wouldn’t actually say that to them, but you get my point. James 2:1-4 [AMP] says, “My brethren, pay no servile regard to people [show no prejudice, no partiality]. Do not [attempt to] hold and practice the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Lord] of glory [together with snobbery]! For if a person comes into your congregation whose hands are adorned with gold rings and who is wearing splendid apparel, and also a poor [man] in shabby clothes comes in, and you pay special attention to the one who wears the splendid clothes and say to him, “Sit here in this preferable seat!” while you tell the poor [man], “Stand there!” or, “Sit there on the floor at my feet!” Are you not discriminating among your own and becoming critics and judges with wrong motives?”
It Is Time for Christians to be Christians. This whole “I will be holy on Sunday” and act like the world Monday-Saturday is sad. People who are not Christians are looking. Those who are trying to make a decision whether or not to be a Christian, watch too. They look to see if Christianity is real. Those who profess Christianity, they are walking testimonies and it would be a shame if their message became tainted and discredited because they were seen at a bar kicking back 5 shots of whiskey, 3 shots of rum, and 2 large glasses of beer, cussing profusely. Or, what is worse…is when you see the worship leader at a church buying a variety of cases of beer. If I didn’t know he was a worship leader, I would have thought no big deal. But, because I knew he was the worship leader, it changed my views of him (I actually saw this happen). You never know who is watching.
As Christians, we are ambassadors of Jesus Christ. When people see us, they should be seeing Jesus. We are called to be light in this dark world. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus-not just saying it but doing it. America needs help! If the Church would just stand on the Word of God and do what God commanded, to love one another…oh my gosh, can you imagine!?! Pastors need to stop being afraid of mentioning Jesus, sin, or America because they don’t want to “offend” people. Jesus said in John 12:32 [NIV] “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” When we honor Him, He will honor us. Christians can help America by electing politicians who uphold values, morals…better yet, Godly principles. Christians can help America by feeding the poor, help clothe the less fortunate, help the widows and orphans. Christians can help guide the youth in America by helping them reach their fullest potential and encourage them that God has a purpose for their life. Christians can stop bullying in the church by helping the bully and the victim. The Church can be a safe haven for those who are lost, scared, or have no hope. When people walk into church, they should be able to experience the love that the Father has for them, not judgment.
The good news: there is hope! It is not too late and it starts with you and me. Together, lets be the change the Church needs. We can start by showing kindness and God’s love to those around us. We can start by sharing words of kindness to those we come in contact with. We can start by encouraging our friends and family. We can start by posting encouraging tweets on Twitter and statuses on Facebook that are uplifting to the Father. I challenge you today to make a difference. Each day, purpose to make a difference in the life of someone else. Like I mentioned before, there is so much evil in this world. But, let us not be shaken and share hope. As hate increases, let our love increase. Together, we can share the faith, hope, and love that we have in Jesus Christ. Jesus said that when we lift Him up, He will draw all men near to Him. Jesus’ return is so near and there is no time to waste. Together, we can be the change and show the world that we are Christians who mean what we say and do.
It Is Time!