Summary: It is quite clear that the church is under attack. It’s open season on pastors and the entire church as well. It is almost as if the world system is pushing the church into a corner and challenging the church to produce its credentials
4 The Lord will wash away the filth from the daughters of Zion. He will wash away the blood from Jerusalem. With a spirit of judgment that burns like fire, he will make everything pure. 5 Then the Lord will create a cloud of smoke in the day and a bright flame of fire at night over every building and over every meeting of the people on the mountain of Zion. And there will be a covering over everyone for protection. ERV.
Jesus said that half-hearted, lukewarm, indifferent Christians make Him literally sick to His stomach! He says to them, "I know your deeds and works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either one or the other, cold or hot! –So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew (vomit) you out of My mouth...Be zealous, therefore, and repent!"--Revelation 3:15,16,19. Jesus wants a church that is alive and on fire.
Here in the year 2013 it is quite clear that the church is under attack. It’s open season on pastors and the entire church as well. It is almost as if the world system is pushing the church into a corner and challenging the church to produce its credentials. It seems as if the world system wants to see what we really are all about, are we alive as we claim to be or is the church today on life support?
The church is being challenged very vigorously concerning the church’s doctrine. We are being asked to back-up what we believe the God of Word says concerning some of the most controversial issues of the day. For example, when the church reminds people that the Word of God calls same-sex marriage, abortion, infidelity, et cetera are a sin—the immediate response is prove it! But the catch is, they want you don’t prove it with your Bible because they want a more humanistic sort of scientific kind of proof. It is like Elijah vs. the Prophets of Baal all over again.
I recently participated in a discussion with a group who advocated same-sex marriage. This discussion derived from an interview Oprah Winfrey gave the well-known pastor Joel Osteen of Houston, Texas. Ms. Winfrey asked Osteen if he thought Gays would be accepted into heaven? Of course this was asked to booster Ms. Winfrey’s agenda and so she took the opportunity to ask “her favorite preacher” and I can tell you that she was not disappointed with his answer.
However, in the discussion, which I was a participant, a very intelligent young man who will remain nameless stated to my group that, “…You guys talk about the bible like it is a single cohesive work...it was written by many people with many points of view...not all of them against gays” he contended. I told the young man that contrary to his belief the Bible actually is a unified cohesive work.
But then I realized that this was perhaps one of the major disconnects between the church and the unchurched. They, or most of them believe that the Bible was written by flesh and blood only, and they have totally dismissed the fact that the Bible is a compilation of 66 books written by men under God's control through His Holy Spirit, which was my response to the young brother by the way. If mere men wrote the Bible without the Holy Spirit’s involvement and influence then what Dr. Phil, Oprah, and Iyanla and the other sooth-sayers of today says or believes is equal to anything the Apostle Paul or the other biblical writers has ever written or said. I praise God that this is not true!
The question that world ask, the question that the secular humanist, the atheist, and the LGBT just love to ask us is, “Do you have the goods to back up your doctrine and your widespread claims, or is the church just another institution that preaches one thing and practices another? Is the church today like the Church of Laodicea, the only church in which Jesus had absolutely nothing good to say about? Or can today’s church come alive and on fire in the way it is suppose to be?
1.) The Church Alive And On Fire Recognizes God’s People
Contrary to the today’s popular belief, the church is not a building comprised of bureaucracies, denominations, auxiliaries, and programs. The church is people—everyday people, down-to-earth people who are the “ecclesia” the “called out” ones.” They have (or we have) been called out of this sin-cursed world to perform a ministry to the people of the world, and only through the Holy Spirit we are enabled us to do so.
However, the church needs to recognize the fact that we are all tied together. There are no big I’s and little U’s within the church body. The angel of the church must do his level best to use each and every member that is willing do his or her part; he must be free of a judgment spirit. Paul puts it this way, “The eye cannot say to the hand that I have no need of thee” I’ve personally witness willing, able, and anointed members of a particular church just rusting away because of some wild, unfounded, unwarranted, and preconceived notion the pastor or another church leader had concerning them. I for one would rather wear out than rust out, but for the church to be alive and on fire every member needs to be involved.