Ineffectual Christianity Revived
There is a growing discontent amongst Christians with the lack of spiritual power and the inability of the Christian church to change the majority of its congregations lives. The purpose and relevancy of the modern church is being questioned by those Christians who want to see a greater move of God in our generation.
Church for many people has become a social club. A place to make new friends, find support and build networks for the purpose of making one’s life easier, more connected and more fun. In truth, these things are not bad per se. The problem is that God has been left out of His church. The call of Jesus to the Christian to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15) has been cast aside or left abandoned to a few folks. Instead, the message from the pulpit is now either on prosperity teachings or how God loves you just as you are. The pastors seemingly over emphasise the grace of God without appropriately highlighting the inevitable consequence of sin (sever punishment) if one does not repent from sin. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29).
God hasn’t changed. God doesn’t change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Yet, the message of Christianity nowadays can make one feel unrepentant after a church service because the sermons are nothing more than a motivational speech, delivered by a charismatic pastor, mixed in with some electrifying worship songs that arouse the emotions to a state of euphoria - misinterpreted as holiness or the experience of the presence of God. Has Christianity become so conceited and self delusional that we believe God turns up because of the music after three to four songs, and after we have lived our entire week in sin and carry all sorts of defilement (sexual immorality, unforgiveness, greed, pride, vanity, anger, violence, etc) in our hearts as we enter church? Where is our reverence, respect and fear of God?
Christians en masse cannot claim to be fulfilling their Christian potential as declared by Jesus. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. (John 14:12). It is by believing in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour who died for our sins, being born again, baptised and by receiving The Holy Spirit are we able to achieve our Christian potential as willed by God. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26).
Furthermore, The Holy Spirit leads Christians away from sin, points us in the direction of righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ, and gives us the power to cast out demons and heal the sick and so on. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:18). However, very few Christians can claim any of the above.
So the question one has to ask is why is this the case? Is God a liar? Of course not! However, the correct question is why are Christians not living like those Christians found in the book of Acts who moved in The power of The Holy Spirit and bore witness to the mighty moves of God on regular occasions? This is the very issue that this conversation seeks to address.
Christians are not maturing as we should. Whilst some should have become teachers of The Word of God by now, we are instead, requiring explanation of the most elementary truths of the Christian doctrine. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food (Hebrews 5:1). Christianity has become a religion but the purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection was not to establish a religion but to restore the relationship between God and man. Christ is the fulfilment of the old testament (prophecies and laws). Christians are now expected by God to live by faith in Jesus Christ. With the Holy Spirit now in the heart of the born again Christian, we are supposed to be compelled by The Holy Spirit and therefore manifest the fruits of The Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23). As such, we no longer live by law (a set of written code) but by the grace of God which compels us to love, to show compassion, mercy, share the good news of Jesus and teach others to obey Him. This is because we now have The Holy Spirit of God in us. Henceforth, we are supposed to take on the image of Christ in our conduct and decisions. The law was only ever supposed to be a place holder until such a time that Jesus Christ paid the full price for our sins and set us free from the written law so that we can be free to act from love and not law. 19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin,so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. (Galatians 3:19-25) You see, God is interested in us acting because we want to, out of love, rather than following a series of legal obligations without a trace of love behind the action. God himself is love and He wants us to choose to love Him and each other genuinely and sincerely from our heart.
This leads me to my final point and that is this. Many Christians believe that by going to church they are somehow fulfilling the expected rules that God demands from us. Going to church in itself is a good thing. I encourage it. However, if it creates in you a sense of false security that that’s all God is expecting from you then, friends, you have missed the point entirely. You are supposed to go to church to build each other up so that you can go out and share the gospel of Jesus thereby, drawing more people into the Kingdom of God. I am not saying that we cannot reserve a day for worship. As Christians, we ought to be worshiping God daily. And worship isn't just singing hymns, or listen to a preacher, and drinking beverages after service. That’s a very small part of it. Active worship is being obedient to Christ’s every command. That pleases God even more.
But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)
“If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15)
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15)
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2: 3-6)
Let us revive our faith in Jesus and pray to God for a sincere desire to see the lost souls be saved. Let us pray to God for a heart that loves the lost and a soul that travails for their salvation. Let us pray to God for a genuine desire to act as intercessors for this generation so that many more people will give their lives to Jesus. And let us pray for the boldness to go out and preach the gospel of Jesus (The Good News) so that we may see the Power of God and a revived, vibrant and Spirit filled church once again.
Check out these groups who have found their purpose in Christ: