"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| The Sleeping Church -by Johnny Parks|
[b]The Sleeping Church[/b]
I believe the Church of this generation has fallen asleep; that we have given up on the Power of Jesus Christ thus the Cross has lost its meaning. Even though we go to church and fellowship with other Christians we deny that God dwells within us. Our lives have begun to reflect the world and its activities. Our spirits are living in poverty. We have seen the cost of picking up our crosses and we have run away because we dont want to nor are we ready to give up our lives. Yes, we have accepted Christ into our lives but we tell Him how its going to be
how we are going to live our own lives. We still go to church and engage in Bible studies but all of that has been planned into our lifes routine. Instead of letting God show us what we need work on in our lives we tell Him where we want Him to work on. We have planned out our life and included God in it. But we reject Him if He wants to move in a way that affects the comforts of our life. To the outside world we seem like Christians with Good Intentions.
The biggest enemy facing the church today is the dictatorship of the Routine. Routine has become lord in the life of the church, programs are organized and the prevailing conditions are accepted as normal. Anyone can predict what Next Sunday's Service will be and what will happen. This seems to be the most deadly threat in the church today. We come to a place in life where everything becomes a routine and nobody expects anything unusual from God. We talk with false hope of church revival. Some even spend time in the Bible but not with God and we begin to complicate our spiritual lives. I have no hesitation in saying that all the symptoms in the church today points to Christians doing things they should not be doing - this is Sins of Commission and Sins of Omission. To be unaware of these sins is to be spiritually asleep.
These Sleeping Christians do two things that God must grieve over. One is that they control church affairs. We are democratic and if we do not like our pastor we give him a bounce or pray that he will get another call. And then when the time comes we vote in whom we want and vote out whom we dont want in. Church People control church affairs because they are intellectually, mentally and physically awake but they are morally and spiritually asleep and most people who are asleep are those who control church affairs.
The Second thing Sleeping Christians do is set the standards for new Christians when you bring in a newly converted Christian. He or she automatically takes on the coloration, general mood around them pretty soon they are just like they are and once again there are no good examples of the Christian life.
True Conversion means radical repentance, a changed life, conscious forgiveness of sin and a spiritual rebirth.
An unexamined Christian lies like an unattended rose garden. Luke 12:1-3, says, In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear of inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops".
These are some examples of the constituted means of faith and obediences, we sing this and do not know we are singing it: Trust and obey for theres no other way but to be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey. We sing that but we have sung it so long that we might as well sing mother goose rhymes, because we dont know nor believe what we are singing about!
I believe people are in a rote. This is repetition without feeling. If someday people would read the Scriptures and believe it and believe what is sung in the Christian Hymns, there would be a blessed spiritual revolution underway. But too many are caught up in the rote, repeating without feeling, without meaning without wonder or happy surprises or expectations. In our services God cannot get in because we have taken control of everything that happens. Then when we are unable to see and sense the bondage we have to the rote we have fallen into a rut. Then after being in this spot for a long period of time after many years the church becomes affiliated by dry-rot. This is best explained when the psychology of non-expectation takes over and spiritual rigidity sets in, which is an inability to visualize anything better, a lack of desire for improvement.
If we truly call Him Lord of our life how dare we sit any longer in the rut! The Lord has called us to move on, not even the Angel Gabriel could help them if they will not come out of it.
When we allow our jobs, our friends, our families and our entertainment to consume our lives and our personal goals then we become no different then the world and God cannot and will not work within our routine when we pencil him in. We wonder why the church today barely suffers from much persecution is because we have decided to only use words when we feel is necessary and not when God of all creation feels necessary. If we as Christians had begun to believe in and act in the power of the Holy Spirit as the Bible declares that we can than life on this earth would be different. God would be able to work among this earth more freely!! Christianity has become nothing more than a mere industry we make albums of Praise to God and Put a High Price on it. We dont trust that through the spreading of our gifts that God would bless us for sharing them we would rather rely on our own (the world's way) of living. Camps and Colleges and Universities cost the same and more than worldly Educational Institutions.
The funniest thing about our spiritual life is that North and South America has the most advantage to access every spiritual biblical book published on every adversity the Christian faith suffers from but yet we are in the most spiritual warfare. People in Africa are feeling a great movement and God is recruiting missionaries over there because the people from those countries are listening and believing and doing what they are being taught and what God is laying on their heart. They have it worse off then we do: they suffer from poverty and disease and yet they never worry about tomorrow.
How do we get to Spiritual Awakening
Examine yourself and your lifestyle...What comes out of your mouth, would you tell Christ the same dirty jokes that you tell your buddies?, do you gossip?, do you judge other Christians?, do you pour yourself with earthly pleasures or do you occupy your mind with heavenly things?, what are we doing to help save the lost?... Think about them - they are dying out there and we are responsible for their lives, their blood is on our hands and we will have to answer to that one day for we too will go through the Judgment and there will be many things that we didnt do that God asked us to do, that our hearts didnt care while we were still living on the earth. We're not on this earth for our careers, we're not on earth just to start a family or have a brand new car, we're not here to party or get depressed about life. We're not here for our own service but for Christs service we are His servants
Realize where we are and repent, we are sinners who dont obey the Word
Repent and come out of the world my friends if you dont realize this now well then God help you
Christ didnt hang on the cross for your enjoyment... what does the cross mean to you anymore and are you willing to pick up your cross again and carry it?
Pray and fast, go alone somewhere with God and meditate on His Word allow Him to break you and rewrite your life. Do you want to know who the real church is?; the real church is those who show up for every prayer service.
Where are you right now and where does your faith stand and do you really have a lot going for you in Christianity to really keep you there and if not whats keeping you from giving up?
Where is your focus? Is it on your job and if your making enough money to pay your bills or put gas in the car or what you will wear on your outing or if your showing enough flesh to attract the right person or the right emotional desire? Where are you my child of God? Are you lost right now? If you are get alone in your room and put your heart in the right spot you can be sure God will show up. Cry out to Him, Hes been waiting to hear from you.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2006/6/18 14:18||Profile|
| Re: The Sleeping Church -by Johnny Parks|
Greg, good post but I hope Johnny Parks looks outside the box sometimes also because me personally have ran across many new Churches and Christians coming up and are on fire for Christ lately that I am just in awe and maybe God is putting these Churches and Christians in my path to keep me inspired and let me know regardless of what some might say He is still on the throne, who knows but I am pleased from what I have seen lately, and another thing we did the Fathers day thing Saturday, my wife and daughter and grand kids took me out to eat and I personally witnessed so many Praying at there tables it was an awesome sight. Yes I am sure we Christians can all if we look hard enough we can find problems with anything especially the Church, but I also think if we "all" spend a little more time looking in the mirror probably 99% of the Churches problems will go away. We all should strive to build the kingdom and never let our guard down, but when is the last time you have heard Christians say "anything" good about the Church we need to really be careful on what were confessing, to me the Church is no different than it's been for the last 2000 years because we the people "are" the Church and that would tell me that there are no perfect people so there are no perfect Churches, and the only reason the problems today are more known is because of modern technology Internet,Phone,etc. that means more people know more about the problems and spread the gossip faster, when what we "all" should be doing is talking and posting and confessing the solutions, I know Johnny Parks was probably just writing what was on his heart but if your on fire yourself as I am for Jesus Christ in my heart, I try and look for the good, and be the salt and the light I was called to be. :-)
| 2006/6/18 17:43||Profile|
Great article. I'm trusting Jesus to begin to awaken his bride.
True Conversion means radical repentance, a changed life, conscious forgiveness of sin and a spiritual rebirth.
John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.
1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak [this] to your shame.
Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
| 2006/6/19 10:39||Profile|