Is Your Church A Mirage? Part One

Posted: June 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’ve labeled this part one but to be honest I don’t know how many parts there will be I only know, I have a lot of thoughts on the subject. I want each part to be a bite sized nugget of truth to be prayed about and to provoke an honest assessment of your heart. Too often we as a church talk about making disciples and yet we are not even true disciples ourselves. We spend hardly any time in the word because we are too busy…too busy updating our Facebook status or tweeting. We have to watch all our favorite shows and tivo the ones we can’t. We are not developing in our own walk with the Lord but we want to, or at the very least, talk about outreaches in our community. Let’s look at how Jesus created disciples and how He trained them in turn to create disciples.

In Mark 3:14 “Then He appointed 12, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.”

It’s a 2 step process. Before they could be sent out to preach, they had to be pulled in. It was absolutely critical that they be with Jesus before they be sent out.

In Luke 6 Jesus identifies and appoints them and brings them under His direct tutelage (“that they might be with Him”) It’s not until Luke 9, several months later that He gives them power to work miracles and cast out demons. Not until then did He send them out to preach.

Today, being with Jesus looks like this; We get in His Word daily and devour it. We pray continuously through constant communication with God. We wait on the Lord. We listen for His still small voice, we recognize His voice. We totally submit to His Will and forsake everything else for Him. We repent of any and all sins daily. Then when He directs us, we move without question. Then and only then are we prepared for the challenge before us. We will be effective and produce fruit in the form of committed disciples, harvesting a crop 30, 60, 100 fold. 

We do not achieve these results  if we are floundering in lukewarm Christianity, devoid of the Spirit and His Power. We will not know when God is speaking to us if we don’t know His voice. We won’t know His will if we are not communicating with Him.

Too often we ourselves are not living the abundant Christ-filled life, (not talking about prosperity), but we want to go into the world and duplicate ourselves. The enemy is doing a great job of destroying this world, he does not need your help although he welcomes it.

Apathy produces apathy. If your walk with the Lord is stagnant, what type of disciple will you reproduce? God warns us Where there is no vision the people will perish. We need to seek wisdom and vision from the Lord. A life on Fire destroys apathy.

Just as apathy produces apathy, passion produces passion. Think, for a moment, about the kind of people you are attracted to. What about them draws you to them? Is it because they are always depressed and complaining? Does the fact they hate their job, regret their choice of spouse , want to disown their kids, and hate their own exsistence, mesmerize you? You can’t get enough of them? You want to hang out with them and wallow in their misery? Yeah right.

Unfortunately you may know a lot of people like this, you might be thinking of a few right now. You know the ones you avoid. You keep their number in your cell phone so their name pops up and you don’t accidently answer it. Thank God for caller ID. Can I get an Amen?

Now think about the people you enjoy being with. The ones who add value to your life. You look forward to getting together with them and start making plans for the next get together before the visit is even over. What about them causes you to want to be around them? Think about these qualities that draw you to them. Do you possess these character traits? Do others long to be around you?

Be the kind of person that you like to be around. Better yet think about the ones you can’t stand to be around for 5 minutes, and don’t be that person.

I like to think of a tall refreshing glass of ice water on a humid, muggy summer day. How good it feels and tastes, and how it re-energizes me. There is life in the water, literally, because water is life sustaining. If you don’t think so, try living without it. This is the very reason Jesus said we are to have streams of living water flowing up out of us. So that a lost and dying world can find life and a refuge in our presense.

Sadly too often the church is just a mirage. Lost and hurting people see the cross on top of our beautiful structures and they run to us in an attempt to escape the enemy of death. They crawl, beaten and broken to us seeking refuge and living water. They are so very thirsty and long to drink the cold living water of life in Christ, only to be met at the door with judgment and condemnation.

Sadly they turn away, the enemy was right after all. They’ve done too much for God to ever love them. They walk away, shoulders slumped in defeat, hopeless. They glance back just one last time as the mirage fades, leaving only a picture of despair.

How did we lose our way? How could we have gotten so far off course? Jesus did such a stellar job laying the foundation on which He built His church. He even appointed teachers and leaders in the form of disciples, to build His church on that solid foundation. He cast His vision, explained the mission and issued us detailed marching orders and things were going so well…at first, but somehow, somewhere we made a wrong turn. Maybe we thought His plan needed refinement. Maybe Jesus didn’t really want us to talk to filthy sinners. There’s no way He would really want them to come into His house and mess everything up.

The Church in America today, when aligned with the church in the Book of Acts, is unrecognizable.

We have forgotten our first love. We have become complacent, stagnant lukewarm churchgoers. Our buildings are breeding grounds of contempt among the lost. We are known more for what we stand against then who we stand for.

I recently read a sign in front of a church: I kissed a girl and I liked it…then I went to hell.

Obviously this was referring to the popular Katy Perry song of the same title. But do you think that turned anyone to Jesus? How many homosexuals read this sign and felt compelled to visit this church to learn more about Jesus? I guarantee you, it had a negative impact on them. That is why Paul clarifies things for us:

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 “When I wrote you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or swindler. Don’t even eat with such people.

it isn’t my responsibility to judge unbelievers, (emphasis mine), but it is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways.

God will judge those outside the church; (once again emphasis mine), as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

Where are the church signs that read; Attention all Christians, stop viewing porn! or To all you “Christian” men, stop having sex with your girlfriend! These are the signs that we need to be displaying if we want to be Biblically correct… til next time

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Comments
  1. Shawn says:

    Great Blog. Why is the “church” so shocked when non-Christians act like……..Non-Christians!

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