Summary: It may be doable but does it work with the Lord?
"It is only the atheist who adopts success as the criterion of right." - Robert Lewis Dabney
If Dabney were here today he would have to modify that statement to include many so-called Evangelicals. Just because you have a large church and mucho dinero don’t mean God is blessing. We are success driven and we equate huge buildings with success. Crowds may or may not mean much as all as even 100 acres of tares are still just tares. More is not always good.
Indeed, Jesus ran off more "seekers" than He won. People were attracted to his personality and miracles but when He hit them with hard questions and sound doctrine they either took off running or plotted to kill Him.
The biggest crowd ever won was on the day of Pentecost and there was not a positive, seeker sensitive message preached there. It was a finger pointing, Hell and damnation sermon, recounting the history of history, the prophecies and the recent events that brought about conviction and conversion.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. KJV
No God has a wonderful plan for your life or an hour of praise and worship music replete with dancers and dramatic vignettes on this day. No appeal or sermon directed towards the Pharisees and one for the Sadducees and one for the Zealots or Herodians. No classes aimed at the Young or Old Married, College-Career, Women, Men, Boys, those with Blue eyes, the Left Handed or Right Brained and those who love John Deeres. Just one message to all, "Repent". 3,000 converts with one message would be any preacher’s dream!
There was at least one Church in Scripture that met the modern definition of success and spirituality.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. KJV
Yes, the dead Church that Christ was trying to get into had it all!! They were large, rich, well situated and renown but they were dead spiritually. The pastors had their$5 mill houses and $23K marble toilets in their office. Speaking engagements surely abounded and they had the latest motivational and self-help programs that were the best in the land, but they did not have Jesus inside thus there was no real Intel inside either. They didn’t have Jezebel in that church. She was down the road at Thyatira, but there were probably fans in the congregation who read her books and went to her meetings if they were traveling far from home when she was in the same area as their vacation or company’s conference.
Fleshly manipulation abounded but the fruit of the Spirit was nowhere to be found. Hey, what they did worked so surely God was in it!!! Nope. They locked themselves into their palaces and lived in their make-believe world while Jesus stood outside knocking. Will these be the folks in Matt 7:21-25? I would say they could be called the usual suspects. Folks from small churches will be in that number as well but since we are talking larger numbers it only stands to reason where more will come from in the end.