Sunday, 2 December 2018

We Have Lost Christianity

by Andrew Strom

Despite the thousands in our megachurches today, soaking up the warm entertainment offered to them every week, I want to put it to you that we have lost Christianity. Despite the Christian books now found in every Walmart, and the "crossover" of Christian
artists into the mainstream, and our Christian mega-stores and CD´s and DVD´s and Study-Bibles, I want to put it to you that we have lost Christianity.

Despite our lavish Cathedrals in the suburbs (Charismatic or not) with their pastel hues and comfortable pews, their projector screens
and $30,000 sound systems, I want to put it to you that we have utterly lost Christianity.

We left it behind somewhere when we shifted our churches from the inner city into the "comfortable" suburbs. We left it behind when we stopped welcoming the bums off the street into our meetings and started welcoming only the "respectable" people. We left it behind when we stopped preaching "take up your cross" and turned the gospel into a success formula - `Seven Steps to your Best Life Now.´

Somewhere in our comfortable suburban streetscape with its manicured lawns we lost the real thing. Somehow in our concern for "property values" and a better `dental plan´ we left it behind.  But that is not the worst part of it. The worst part is that we don't know how to get it back again. Or perhaps we don't really WANT to get it back again. The cost simply doesn't bear thinking about, does it? 

And so, as we drive around in our nice shiny cars with our groovy plastic toys, and attend "church" as we know it twice a week for 2 hours;- As we live a life that is about as unlike Jesus as you can get, a life of comfort and coddling undreamt of by billions around the world;- a lifestyle in the top 10% of the
earth today (-in debt up to our eyeballs all the while) - the fact is that we don't really CARE that we have lost original Christianity, do we? We are too busy, man. Don't bother us with that kind of talk.

It will all be OK, the preacher tells us. We will all make it to heaven in the end. We are all "decent" people here. We have "prayed the little prayer". We have `given our heart to the Lord´.

But wait - what is this?

"Not every one who says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works?
And then will I say unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity."

-Mt 7:21-23.

From Brenda:  I received this message a few days ago and this is the age we are living in.

Revelation 3 v 14 - 22:  "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
 16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
 17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
 18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
 19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
 21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
 22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

It is the Laodicean age, the 7th letter to the 7th church that Jesus gave to the Apostle John when he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos aged 90 years old.  Jesus is sending the same call for radical adjustment to us today.  Not many are shouting this out, and not many are heeding the call.

To get back to the way Jesus wants us to live needs to be planned in stages.  There needs to be sorrow for sin, selfishness and indifference.  A commitment to allow Jesus to make changes in us.  

We need to read a chapter of the Old Testament, plus a Psalm, plus a chapter of the New Testament, every day.  We need to apply the wisdom in those chapters to effect the changes God highlights to us. 

We need to pray together with our family once a day minimum, because the family that prays together stays together.  Pray gives God a chance to direct our steps and meet our needs.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we need to get out of a rut that is keeping us away from the pure life You intended for us, Your children.  We have become prodigals eating tainted food and are wandering in gloom thinking its the Light of Jesus.  
Father we need the full Light to make it through these next year's till Jesus comes.  Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear and our minds to understand because we don't want to be spat out of His mouth or left behind.  In Jesus' name. Amen.