The church today is losing and here’s why.
Christians are just as sick, just as tired, just as depressed, and struggling just as much as unbelievers. All that we have presented to the world is eternal hope but we haven’t given them a lot of help for today—for this life on earth. The church today isn’t presenting victory not the victory that Jesus talked about, not the victory that He offered to us— victory here, now. Victory that inspires us, spurs us on and lights a fire with us that leads us to a better life and helps us lead others to a better life here and in eternity. The church today isn’t bold and strong. The church today has become tired and defeated and though we look energetic and put on a good face for social media, we are dying inside.
Our lack of victory has relegated us to looking to Hollywood for inspiration and we now mimic their methods of entertaining us and with a scripture and some religious lingo, it now looks like we have something we can offer. Yet…as churches grow in number, we have become what we always criticized….religious. We cannot offer to others what we do not have ourselves. There is no depth…no anchor. When life’s battles come, will we fare better than the rest of the secular world…? No…There is no evidence that we are faring better…Battles have come and we are still suffering. Death, illness, depression…Many ask, when will we see the victory Christ promised?
Since the church can’t offer the world what it needs now, we’ve had to change. We’ve had to adapt the world. We’ve had to find something to offer them to keep our doors open, so we chose to become like the world and we justify it by saying “by being like them, they will become like us.” This doesn’t even make sense and it’s not a principle that we would teach our children. We would never teach them to look around and do what everyone else is doing….We would never teach them to succumb to peer pressure, but instead to be different, to stand out. So, what are we doing and how did we get to this point?
The legalistic church has mixed the old and new covenants and are so busy working their way to heaven or into God’s good graces that they have no time for God—They are too distracted by man-made religion. (Mark 7:9, 13) They cannot obey Jesus’ command to go into the world and make disciples, heal the sick, and raise the dead (Matthew 10:8). They cannot access the power that Jesus left them through the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:5). They are just trying to stay afloat in the sea of rules and regulations. The sin of pride.
The grace church has been so focused on God’s grace that they, too, have been distracted from the full gospel of Jesus Christ. They, too, cannot access the power (2 Timothy 3:5) left them because in the guise of freedom, they have become like the Nicolaitans of old (Revelations 2:6, 15) and are too busy enjoying the pleasures of “sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25) and suffering from the consequences of a life filled with sin the rest of the time (Romans 6:16, Galatians 6:7-8). Yet still, the sin of pride.
If we want victory in this life and the next, we must come to end of ourselves (Luke 9:23-24; Matthew 16:24). We must decide that knowing God and His Word is the most important thing in our lives. We must decide that our opinion of what He said is unimportant (Romans 3:4). We must let go of everything that we have been taught, everything that we have believed and everything that we want to believe and choose to do as Paul did (Galatians 1:16)—lay ourselves out before God-and commit all that we have and all that we are to Him. He will teach us all we need to know if we are focused on Him (2 Timothy 3:16-17). A life focused on Him is full of faith, studying His Word and denying our flesh. Doing so requires a sacrifice of our empty pleasures, our “me-time.” But the price is so little compared to what Jesus Christ paid in becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We have a job to do and we have great power and victory to share, if only we would take a hold of it for ourselves.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV