Summary: Reality hurts! This message offers a dose of reality to the church in America
A DOSE OF REALITY
* In the beginning God created all that is (I.E. heavens, earth, plants, animals, sea, and mankind) and said “It is good.” When God declares something to be good, you can take it to the bank, “IT IS GOOD!” The prevalent thought of today is that those words are still the mantra. It goes like this: the world is good, people are good, God is good, and so everything is good. Yet we forget God view of the world & of specifically mankind when you get to Genesis 6 (read).
* Our young people today use this expression, “Keeping it real” while us (not so young people) use the word ‘reality.’ Candidly, we are not big on reality. While we may ‘watch’ reality shows, when it comes to real life, we prefer to accentuate the positive. The dictionary defines reality as ‘The quality or state of being real.’
* The first title of this message was a ‘taste’ of reality, but to simply taste something is to get just a little and be done. A DOSE, on the other hand, is to partake of enough to effect healing and change.
* The first reality I bring to your attention is this: “It is appointed unto YOU, once to die, and after this judgment.” This means that one day, you & I will face God! Voltaire was not a believer of God yet he said, “What if there is a God and You actually have to stand before Him?” Today, Voltaire KNOWS there is a God.
* Keeping Genesis 6 in our minds, I want to argue a case of reality & realism for us.
1. Our Circumstances – What is the truth (not the spin) about our lives, lifestyles, and living in this country, this state, this community, and even in this church. (4 things)
a. Our Country is dying – Please hear this: Every quantifiable sign which we can see or read today tells us that this country is on life support. Economics, productivity, unemployment, foreign policy, and more point to one end, the end. All of these areas of this great nation are hemorrhaging in such a way that we are bleeding out. But these are not the fatal wounds. The fatal wound is found in the moral, ethical, and principles of our land. These are the same wounds which have brought down nations in the past & will, if left unchecked, destroy the USA. A nation who will kill 50 million unborn people will think nothing of pulling the plug on the Aged (who the Bible says we should honor) & terminate them. A nation who will embrace the sin of immorality, whether adultery, homosexuality, fornication, or any other sensual sin, will ultimately become a nation of unfeeling & uncaring juveniles. A nation who removes God from the public places has already removed God from the private places. Every time God has been dismissed from a nation, that nation has disintegrated! Our country is dying.
b. Our Churches are dying – Notice I didn’t say, “God’s church is dying” but that “OUR CHURCHES” are dying. Every survey taken indicates that between 70%-90% of churches in America are plateaued or declining. Statistics just released tell us that every month 2700 churches in the US hold their last services. You know why?
* Candidly & honestly, I have attempted to convey the reason to us, both generally & in specifically. Anytime a non-profit organization begins to function ‘for’ those on the inside, at that moment, the organization begins to decline (another word for die). No church goes into a business meeting with the thought of making a decision to kill the church, but too often without any thought of God’s desire for His people & His church, decisions are made which become ‘a cancer’ to the life blood in the church. Churches die because they cease to focus on HIM & THEM.
c. Our “Christianity” is dying – Christianity of today might not even be recognized by Christians of past. As recent as a half-century ago, Christianity was not defined by ‘what the Church has to offer me’, but rather, what I can give. Those who were identified as ‘followers of Christ’ were followers because of how Jesus had impacted their lives and they saw themselves as followers, warriors, ambassadors and disciples of Jesus’. That brand of Christianity were made of people who gave, who sacrificed, who prayed, who were passionate about the Lord, and those who were committed to both HIM & HIS church. HEAR THIS: You can be committed to the church & not committed to Him, but there is no Biblical way to be committed to HIM & not be committed to HIS church. That’d be like having a best friend & never talking to His bride. Unselfish & totally committed Christianity is dying.