Summary: Everywhere we hear the Church is dead, but does that mean that we have to bury her?
From everywhere we hear the cry of the world that the Church is dead. People are leaving the Church because there is so little life left in the Church. I think if we can write an obituary about the Church, it will probably be as follows:
For many years the Church was in a battle for survival. Through al these years she had many highs and also many lows, but finally death also came and stood at her door. Her life was not always easy. The biggest problem she always faced was the lack of commitment from her members which every time had the effect that finances came and press her precious life out of her. Luckily there were also many times of prosperity and joy. It was times when commitment came to the fore and joyful singing and praise and worship was heard in her midst. But unfortunately finances always came to ruin the joy and happiness and put his deadly fingers around her, pressing the little bit of life that was left, out of her.
A few times in her life people came in and violated her beauty, breaking in and stealing from her, but that which hurt her the most was the times when her members did not love one another as they were supposed to do. Every time that her members gossip about each other, she became weaker and weaker. Although she tried very hard for reconciliation between her members, they were not concern about her but rather about themselves.
There were also times when she experienced so much joy when her members came to visit her, just to be forgotten in a short while, just because her members came, not for her, but for the program that she offered. Today she is so weak that she cannot hold two services on a Sunday anymore.
Is this maybe also a description of your Church? Can we just sit by and let she be put in a grave? Or isn’t it time for us as members of our churches to resurrect her back into a life of prosperity and happiness?
Read with me 1 Peter 2:4 – 10.
We all know that we are being described in the Bible as the temple of God, but Peter says in this Scripture that we are also a spiritual house. It is important to notice that this house consists of living stones, which are you and I. That means that the only reason a church is dying, is because her living stones are not alive anymore. Yes they are still there, but they do not have life in themselves anymore. A church is only alive to the extent that her stones are alive. When circumstances came and press the life out of the stones, the church is dying. I believe it is time that the stones of the church must be resurrected out of the grip of death en became once and again living stones in God’s spiritual house.
The first question that needs to be asked then is how can we become living stones again?
Verse 4 states it very clearly that we first of all must come to Christ, the Living Stone. First of all we must allow Him to be the centre of everything again.
Bible in Basic English: “To whom you come, as to a living stone, not honoured by men, but of great and special value to God;”
In God’s sight, He is of great and special value. It is time again that Christ is of great and special value to us again. He is the living stone that gives life to all the other stones. Without Him we cannot have life. The same life that is in Him must also be in us.
John 15:1 – 5.
The same juice that flows in the vine is the same juice that flows in the branches. The same attribute that is part of the vine is also part of the branches. Thus, the same life that is in Christ is the life that also must be in us. The only reason why the church is dying is because the life of Christ is no longer in her stones.
In this passage lies the secret of life in the church. All that we need to do is to turn back to Christ so that He can make us living stones again.
The second question to be asked is what does a living church or rather living stones do?
· We must be build up as a spiritual house.
Bible in Basic English: “You, as living stones, are being made into a house of the spirit…”
The Common Edition: New Testament: “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house ……”