One cannot always find Christians on Sunday morning in the churches across the planet, not all who enter through those doors are doing so because they have a desire to worship Christ in the body of the fellowship of believers, many are there because it is Sunday morning and that is where they are supposed to be. It is an obligation that has turned into nothing more than a habit, an ideology more than an opportunity to worship in the company of like-minded others, those whose minds are stayed on Christ. (Isaiah 26:3)
It is sad to watch, they bow their heads at the appropriate time, their faces turned toward the one behind the podium, their thoughts on the rest of the day or the general circumstance of their lives. They have done their duty, time to get back to life. This is of course not all, but it represents a large part of what is called the congregation of most churches, their knowledge of the Word of God is based almost entirely upon what the pastor has said over the years, their walk with Christ is only on the path to and from the building they call a church, there is little fear of the Lord within them, except at those times when they find themselves in dire straits, their path is one of the fear of His chastisement, not of the glorification of His name in every thought and movement in their life.
And to a small degree, some of the blame can be laid at the feet of those who are in authority over them in these churches, those who should know and contemplate daily James 3:1, for they are in a truth held to a higher standard by the Lord. When those in the pews stare up at them with glazed over looks, spending more time staring at their cell phones instead of intently listening, the nodding heads, the subdued conversations with each other, one can understand how the fire can slowly go out, especially when one is witness to the quenching of the Spirit right before our eyes. The video monitor of course will draw their attention to the front every time, at least until they make a decision as to whether it is enough to keep their attention, if not, then it is time to begin wishing that the clock in the congregational hall was not stuck in molasses.
Many simply want their ears tickled today, (2 Tim. 4:3) and if you as the pastor determine to do otherwise, those that sit on the finance committee will be the first to inform you of who signs your check and what they expect of you. This sign of the apostacy, of the last days, is the one sure sign of the Lord’s return, but many still look to the fires, the floods, and earthquakes and even this new version of the flu that we are being commanded to fear. No my friends, look to the place where you go for worship, look honestly about you at the faces, how many can you truly say are your brothers and sisters in Christ, how many are truly suffering with those who are suffering, how many carry Bibles that are worn and torn, how many shed tears at the thoughts of what is approaching for the world of man, and how many can, or will do no more than talk about the woes that will soon be here.
Is the pastor preaching repentance, or is he continuously on the “subject of the week,” is he singling out individuals and asking them how the Lord has used them the previous week, is there reproof and correction in love coming from the pulpit, or is it business as usual, small talk, start the service, go through the motions, finish the service, small talk, see you next week.
The love of many growing cold is the love of the church for a lost world, the love lost from a personal, intimate, accountable to Christ relationship. Love is all you need they spout, yet each day they grow further and further away from the true expression of it, and each day become more and more like the world. This is the biggest news of the day my friends, not what the television and the internet says, this is the proof of the coming of the King, this is the only story worth listening to when the talk of the end times enters into the conversation, the falling away. All else are only signs for those who will not face this truth, those who still need to see the Red Sea part every other week, they are signs indeed, but they are not the surest.
We have become afraid to confront our brothers and sisters in Christ with even the simplest of questions, how has the Lord been using you as of late, what are you reading and studying in the Scriptures at home during the week, how is your prayer life, who did you witness to last. These most basic of concerning, love centered questions have become taboo in nearly every church, they are now seen as contentious and judgmental, as intrusive. We are dying, and do not even possess the spiritual wherewithal to realize that we are sick, we are so far removed from what we should be that we are like Samson, we do not even realize that our strength is leaving, and in many is already gone.
This day has arrived as it was expected to, slowly, subtly, over a long period of time, but if you have been blessed with eyes to see, you can see it, the question is, are you your brother’s keeper or not, do you or do you not love your neighbor, are you willing to risk your friendships for the truth. Most will not, it is why it is called the great falling away, (2 Thess. 2:3) it is why the possibility of offending has taken the place of love with firm truth. If you begin to preach these truths to them, if you begin with the power of the Holy Spirit to preach “Thus saith the Lord,” if you point out these faults to them either individually or within the meeting of the assembly, you will more than likely be preaching to a very sparse church within just a few weeks. More people in attendance does not always mean that more of the grace and glory of the Lord is present.
The fire of the church, as the world calls it, is going out, there are but a few embers left, the remnant, when the fire dies, at that moment, that exact moment, the body of Christ will be removed from this planet, saved from the wrath of God that will then begin. Do not leave them where they are, if you know these words to be truth in any individual that you know, do not leave them where they are, even if it causes that friendship to cease, even if it means being cast out of the church you attend. Act in love, but in the firmness of the truths of the Word of God. It is time to stand for Christ, or be caught in the great falling away.