During Saturday prayer services this morning, my pastor shared with those of us in attendance, a handout which discussed some research results by a Christian author named George Barna. The writer in the handout stated that he had concluded from Barna’s research that America is suffering from what he calls a “holiness deficiency”. I love it when I meet up with my brothers and sisters in the Lord and find out that God is talking about the same thing to all of us. This is how it should be when we attend church services. The pastor or leader – whoever is ministering, should be confirming what God is speaking to His church as a whole in our private time with Him.1
God has really been dealing with my heart about being set apart and different from the world. I know He, through His Holy Spirit is calling His church up and out of the world. We are to live in the world, but not be of the world.2 We have higher standards that He is holding us accountable to. However, it seems that many leaders in the ministry today are not hearing this message. Therefore, the messages to their flock consists of what I call motivational speaking, and how we can be blessed in the natural. Sermons that make us feel good and don’t dare touch on the sin that is choking the very life out of the bride of Christ. Sermons that are written and delivered carefully, so as not to offend anyone. The fear of man, through diminished attendance and tithes is what motivates many leaders today. Where is the fear of God in the church? This is very dangerous ground.3 No wonder Barna’s research found that most American Christians are living lives that cannot be distinguished from non-believers. I also read something recently that indicated that Christians, themselves, are the strongest proof for Atheism – as there is no evidence of God in our lives. Our pastor posed a question today: “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Sadly, for most of the church, the answer would be a resounding, No! We would be found “Not Guilty!”
It’s time for the church to get back to the basics. Let’s get into the Word and allow the Word to get into us, for it is the Word through the Holy Spirit which brings about change.4 Allow the Word to make a difference in our lives as we submit to God and follow, wholly, not partly (picking and choosing what we want to obey) His ways and His commandments.5 His Word promises that we will be blessed when we hunger after His ways.6 The world, and many in the church would have us believe that “it doesn’t take all that”. That “I’m ok and You’re ok” giving lip service to God about how much we love Him as we sit in church once a week and sing songs led by the choir, read the scripture provided by the preacher, then close up our Bibles and go home and don’t give God or His Word a second thought until the next week.7 It’s time for the church to stand up and be healed; set apart and sanctified, and it all begins on our knees.8 America is waiting on us – the church. Please know this, that God is coming back for a church no less than the one He left. It is my prayer that God do such a work in me, change me so drastically that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that I am a believer and follower of Christ. How I have profited both spiritually and naturally will appear to all and my life will be a living testimony to the goodness of God. It is my prayer for the church that if any were to be arrested for being a believer, because of the difference God is making in each of our lives, there would be enough evidence to convict each of us, lock us up, and throw away the key! (then we wait for Peter’s angel) Meditate on and pray the scriptures found in this post. Pray for a hunger and thirst for righteousness in the church. All will be blessed!