Were you entertained last Sunday, did you leave the service feeling better about yourself, feeling uplifted and happy just to be alive? How long did it last, a few hours, maybe a day or so, were you ready by Wednesday or Thursday to get back to church so you could get your next fix?
Welcome to the lives of many who call Christ Lord, fixated upon feelings, energized by emotions, uplifted for short durations and then in need very soon of more encouraging words. Conviction is not preached in these churches, the blood is not brought up, sin is a subject rarely if ever broached, the itchy ears (2 Tim. 4:3) will not stand for it. Many who stand behind the pulpit in so-called evangelical churches should not be there, they are not called by the Lord, they are born salesman, and what they are selling is good feelings. Their desire is to please the congregation, in fact, most were hired to do just that, and they are good at what they do, setting up shows for the onlookers, preparing videos that will touch the heart but not the soul. Songs that lift up the spirit are not the norm today, the ones that speak of the sacrifice that was made, the hymns that spoke of the blood, of the debt paid, of the need to obey and follow have been replaced with the new songs of praise, but with no deeds on our part needed.
The fruits of the Spirit are withered, dead, non-existent, even within the church walls, small talk of the obvious abounds, any form of praise is over the moment the last “Amen” is spoken. Churches that teach discipleship are few and far between, for discipleship requires conviction, accountability, perseverance, traits few profess in their own daily lives, much less their spiritual ones.
The world has taken over many churches, the news of the day is the sermon topic, the trials and tribulations a thousand miles away take precedence over our own neighbors needs, the witnessing to others is replaced by mostly petty, selfish prayer requests. There is no true fellowship in these churches, there are friends for the sake of friendship only, and nearly all are prepared to place the knife in the back of the first member that “gets out of line.” Those who are searching for a God-fearing, Christ-centered, Bible-believing church, if they are even nominally spiritually aware, will not stay long, for they are searching for a place to worship God on a regular basis, a place to be fed and be a blessing to all that are there, so they will not attend for long. They can quite easily see through the charade, the gimmicks do not work on them, they are not looking for happiness, but a furtherance of the joy of the Lord in their souls.
Some will simply stop showing up, and to the elite of the church, to the long-standing members, “good riddance” will be the reply. Some will speak up though, they will speak of the truth of what an assembly of believers should be like, how the community should view them, as set apart, not as a part of the world. These may not be asked to leave, but they will no longer be accepted, they have shown the truth to those who have been living a lie, they have stepped outside the boundaries of tradition and entertainment.
If you are not leaving after each service feeling convicted, if there is no discipleship with accountability, if you heart does not ache to submit and serve the Lord of glory, then you need to get out. Jesus told His disciples one day, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matt. 15:14)