January 28, 2014
OK … Last week I shared the ‘Dream’ I
had about the coming storm and the inadequate shelter … and how this all
related to today’s world .. how this inadequate shelter would NOT protect us
from this soon-arriving storm …. then I shared that I believed this lack of
protection concerned two things … the nation, and the church. … Last week I
addressed the nation, so now we will take a look at church, and why I believe
it won’t protect us in its current condition …
First of all, we must realize that we are
definitely in the era of the 7th Church … the Laodicean period spoken of in
Revelation 3:14-22 … and that we have become ‘lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,
— fat, lazy, complacent, wealthy, seemingly in need of nothing’ …… This is
prophetic. …… Sadly, because of this ‘dead’ condition, the real danger is
that most truly believe today’s church is fine and that it will ‘protect’ them
in the coming days.
So let’s look! … To start, when taking
even a quick glance at the Church of Jesus Christ today, we see fewer
Christians allowing their lives to be governed by God’s Word. … Many will no
longer sit through a church service to hear sound doctrine preached. … Why?
.. Over the past several decades, during what is now called the ‘church-growth
era,’ an entire generation of believers has grown accustomed to musical
entertainment, skits, and ten-minute sermons. … Church growth is all the rage
these days. … In fact, it has become the ‘measure of success.’ … If your
church makes the ‘fastest growing mega-church’ list, you are then considered
one of today’s ‘happening’ churches … regardless of what you preach, or what
your theology is!  …
Now while it’s great to see lots of
people attending church, the bottom line is this … is it providing what they
need concerning these fast-approaching stormy days? …. Sad to say, most are
not! … The fast-growing mega-churches seem mostly based upon how we, as
individuals, can have a better, more prosperous life here on earth … how if
we remove the judgmental attitudes from the pulpit, more people will feel
better about themselves, how if we have the best entertainment in music, plays,
pageants, seminars on wealth retention and better marriages …. this will
certainly keep them coming and will ‘fill the collection plate’ far into the
foreseeable future …. and as for theology, ‘if you tickle, they will come’
…. which translates to safe, non-judgemental, diverse teachings … a
theology based totally upon ‘feelings’ as opposed to ‘thinking.’ … It is a
fact that ‘feeling trumps thinking’ in these selfish, hedonistic days
2 Timothy 4:3-4 says this …. “For
a time will come men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will
gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears
want to hear.  4) They will turn their
ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
While I don’t want to condemn any pastor
or congregation for their well-meant efforts to become ‘friendly’ to sinners
and seekers, I still must speak out against the dangers this mentality can
create. … Over time, these churches, without even knowing it, build their
houses on sand. .. We are seeing a generation of Christians attending these
foundationless churches who know little or nothing about the true Word of God!
… These people have spent years sitting in the church and yet know nothing …
and why? … because it is NOT being preached! … As a result , many
Christians are, or will be utterly lost when trials … the storms of life come
upon them. .. Why? … Because they have NO ROCK to stand on. … They simply
don’t know the Word of God!
So what should the church look like? …
Let me share a comment from Pastor Randy White ….
  
“I recently attended a relatively small Bible-believing,
Bible-teaching church as a guest. .. I was refreshed to see that almost every
participant had their Bible — and opened — during the sermon. .. This told me
that the pastor regularly delivers enough verse-by-verse content that looking
up one verse on an iPad just wouldn’t suffice. .. Bibles, for this rare
congregation, were a necessity. .. I was also impressed by the music. .. It was
bad .. and that impressed me. .. It wasn’t polished. .. There wasn’t a
carefully selected Praise Team who passed the ‘Sunday morning test’ of looks
and sound, dressed in color-coordinated clothing,closing their eyes and looking
to heaven as if they were in an ecstatic moment (I’ve often seen these ecstatic
moments turn on and off like a light switch). .. In fact, the song leader was
clearly not a professional, and his tone was often off just a bit. .. But the
people sang with joy. ……. I was impressed with their prayers. .. They
prayed for real and legitimate needs during a Sunday morning service. .. It
would never pass the church-growth test, because it wasn’t seeker-friendly at
all with random people from the congregation praying at-will over the needs of
the members. .. As a first-time visitor, I felt out-of-place during that
prayer, and I thought it was wonderful. .. After all, if I was looking for a
church, I’d want one that really cared about the hurting people they knew, the
flesh-and-blood people who sat in their pews each Sunday.”
What did he see? … A body of believers
who obviously studied the Word of God … who prayed for, and with one another
.. a body of believers who are standing solid on a foundation built on rock!
…. Is your church like this one, or like most others that simply ‘go through
the motions’ .. relying on the ‘feel-good’ self-centered messages which have
little or no Scriptural support? … I personally can say that, after much
searching, I have found such a place … a place where EVERY Sunday, we stand
and read the Scriptures together, and the Bible is the center-piece each and
every week! … Hallelujah! … (Thank you, Pastor Ken) ….
OK, we see the picture here. … We know
that a horrible, nasty life-changing storm is coming and soon! … We also know
that most all the ‘shelters’ we have created in our society will not stand when
it arrives. …. So what should we do? ….. Start by taking a hard look ..
first .. at yourself, and your knowledge of God’s actual Word. .. If it’s
lacking, get a program going .. a new discipline … that gets you into the
Word. … Next, look at where you, your family and friends are attending
church. … Is it teaching from the Bible? .. Is your pastor quoting Scripture
with his Bible open, or is he just shouting out some quick verse that relates
somehow to his distorted, ‘ear-tickling’ message? ….  If this is the case, you must flee! ….
Remember this. … It is your responsibility to know. …
Time is short and the storm IS coming.
… We must be certain that our Spiritual foundations are built upon the rock
.. that being the knowledge of the Bible’s teachings, which ultimately leads to
a strong and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. ……… I know this … We
will all stand before God someday to be judged for reality, and not feelings.
… Until that time, I will first spend my time and energy learning as much as
I can about the truths of God’s Word, and then to share it with as many as I
can before the storm. … I pray you will do the same ….
Know that I am praying constantly for
each and every one of you, and will till the ‘winds blow’ …. I love you all
… and …
Until next time,
Red
 
 

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