A Troubled Land – Part 4

Matthew 16:18

by Paul George

The source of the problems in our nation is disobedience. The source of the problems in the Church is disobedience. This is not a popular subject and difficult to deal with. We would rather sweep it under the carpet. If we are going to be honest and solve the problems in the Church, we must deal honestly with the source. The Church is not a building. The Church is the body of Christ. Its purpose is to be a beacon in this sin-darkened world directing the lost to a safe harbor and away from dangerous waters. The Church cannot perform its responsibility if the light goes out. The light in the Ephesus church went out when it left its first love. The first sign the light has gone out and the church has lost its first love is the abandonment of devotion.

When the light goes out worldliness, heresy, and compromise enters into the body of believers. When the light goes out the minds of men and women are filled with confusion and doubt. When the light goes out the hearts of men and women fail them because they are filled with fear. When the light goes out the church is just a building. When the light goes out the church loses it power to have an impact and influence on society. When the light goes out God’s love is not revealed to the lost and dying; spiritual apathy erases the Christians testimony. When the light goes out love for God is replaced by the love of things, which results in a departure from the faith and loss of effective spiritual testimony.

It may come as a surprise. When the light goes out the church does not need more programs to recharge the batteries and restore the testimony of the Church. Programs have failed to restore the sacredness of marriage. Programs have failed to heal broken relationships. Programs have failed to build foundations for the building of values and virtue. Programs have failed to solve the drug problem. Programs have failed to reduce the abuse of children and spouses. Programs have eased the Holy Spirit out of the worship service. When the lights go out, we do not need entertainment. When the light goes out we do not need some gimmick to draw the people back to Church. We need the Word of God and prayer.

Programs cannot replace the Word of God and prayer. I have seen hundreds of programs fall by the wayside. Thousands of dollars invested in programs. They did not fall by the way side because we did not try to make them work. Entertainment lasts until the refreshments are served. Gimmicks are useless. The greatest need when the light goes out is the presence of the Holy Spirit. We need to open the door and let the knocking Son of God into His Church. Without Him, it is impossible to turn the light on.

In our disobedient society, the God of the Bible is not recognized as the Creator of the universe and life. Some impersonal “Force” is recognized as the creator of the universe and life. This force is often referred to the “Universal Mind” or “Nature.” The power of the Holy Spirit is being replaced by alleged “mind power” or psychic powers. Sin is nothing more than a bad self-image. We are told our greatest need is not a regenerated heart but a renewed self-image. Our problem is not that we think too highly of ourselves but too lowly. We do not know who we are. A popular pastor and television evangelist made the claim we need to be like Jesus, He knew His worth. His success fed His self-esteem and He suffered and died on the cross to sanctify His self-esteem and our self-esteem. He claimed a person is in hell when he has lost his self-esteem.

I listened to a man stand before a congregation and he used the term “mother nature” at least five times. I asked the question, “Does he know who mother nature is?” Since he was a thousand miles away and could not answer the question, I did the next best thing I turned off the television.

There are multitudes in the world that are living under a false sense of security built on the compromise of the Word of God. A promise of peace built on the philosophies and doctrines of the New Age Movement, cults, and mysticism. Thousands are falling into the snares of Satan baited with the promise of godhood. Professing Christians are ignoring warning signs and running stop signs. They are making decisions based on prejudices, assumptions, and speculations. They are not taking the time to explore God’s Word. They are looking at the world through eyes that have been blinded by the god of the air, the great deceiver and father of liars.

More than 2500 years ago, Israel was standing at a crossroad. The decision the people made was according to what they thought was best for them. They doubted the love of God. They did not trust the One who had brought their fathers from the land of bondage and through the Red Sea. They relied on their own abilities and human logic. They put their trust in their enemies and bowed before pagan idols and worshipped gods made of stone.

We are standing at a crossroads. The problems in the Church are the results of a people who claim they love the Lord and doubt His love. They question His motives. They are putting their trust in human abilities and knowledge. Sin is no longer a deadly spiritual disease. We are merely the victims of circumstances beyond our control. Criminal rights are protected and the victims ignored. Doing what they believe is best for them they ignore what God has said is best for them.

Someone once said, “There are more things between heaven and earth than our schoolmaster’s intellect can grasp. Let us not put our trust in any new tower of Babel; rather let us trust in the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures.”

Will we ever rid our nation and the Church of the problems they must deal with? No. Can we rescue those who are dying in the sea of darkness sweeping over this land? No. However, we can tell them who is able to rescue them. In these dark days, we must stand strong in the faith. We must not let the deceivers who have made their way into the Church through deceptive means destroy the flock.

It all begins with letting God have His way in our lives.

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