Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A nation afraid of the Light?

Over the last 40 years, many of our churches in our nation have brought their theological convictions of the Bible and the priesthood of all believers and local autonomy of the church to a very significant place. Many churches are in a great place to hear and heed God’s will. However, I do believe that, we need a wake-up call. Many churches are solid in the Bible, but as a group of Christians nation-wide, we have been on the decline in evangelism and missions.

Christ's message to the church at Sardis in Revelation 3:

I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you."

The most rational decision now is to acknowledge the reality of our overall decline, so we might deal with its consequences and discover solutions. Looking for places and people to blame is not the answer. There are bigger issues and we need to face some facts: we face a culture turning its back toward us, a declining and aging church membership, and young leaders who are choosing other partnerships. Is the culture getting worse? Sure it is. But we should be the ones giving a reason for our hope rather than hoping for a reason. We need a resurgence of genuine relationship with God and with others. We have moved too quickly away from these two very important facts in an effort to provide activities that give an impression of life rather than opportunities for relationship that affects lives… we have to slow down, and build meaningful, genuine relationships… first with God in worship as life, and then with all other people we are connected with. That is where the power and activity of God is at.

In His presence we are drawn to repentance and forgiveness. God then issues His clear call on our lives for today…. Then we are faced with the answer we must give to Him. We need to get back to this in every part of our life individually, as a local church, denominations and as the international church.

As children we were afraid of the dark. Now as adults we are afraid of the light. We are afraid to step out, to become what God has designed us to be and do as a follower of Christ. We are afraid of the truth and cower when lies are told. We need to move towards the light, expect our leaders to do the right thing before God and people. Hold them accountable. We can not lead others any further than we have been our selves individually. Change begins with the individual believer, which in turn awakens the church… that will then affect their community… maybe along the way, our leaders and our nation will awaken again to God. It must and should begin with me..., let's go, are you afraid of the light?

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