What Has Happened?

ChurchPeople
Written by: Robert L. Davis
December 19, 2013

“If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.”
— 2 Chronicles 7:14

This verse is clear and precise. It would be easy to think of how many people this passage of scripture would apply to… if they would only pay attention. In reality, this is exactly what is needed by everyone that names the name of Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

We can coast along in life thinking that all is well and what we have to do now is to go through some religious procedures and all will be wonderful. We might even try to deny that we have any responsibility to God or to the lost world around us.

One day (possibly very soon), the trumpet will sound, the voice of the archangel will echo throughout the world and the dead in Christ will be resurrected. Then, the living (in Christ) will be caught away to be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18). We can think of what it will be like then and rejoice, and rightfully so.

But, what about the opportunities that we have and do not use wisely for the glory of God?

What went wrong?

Why is there so much corruption and sin in the world and even in many churches?

Is this just a normal thing or can something be done about it? Oh yes, we can sit back and observe and even criticize what is going on nationally, politically, socially and religiously. But, what are we willing to do about it?

In the Word of God, we are told that there will be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earth quakes, and pestilence in the time before the Lord Jesus Christ returns for the “blood-bought”, redeemed ones. And yet, even though we do not like to hear of these things or experience them, they are happening, and with increasing frequency.

Are we going to stick our head in the sand and pretend that these things are only figurative or even a myth or a mirage?

I am sure we will not be able to cause a tsunami to be calm or a tornado to not tear its way through cities or the countryside. Just possibly these things are being used by God to try to get our attention so we will cling close to Him and serve Him in these last days. We can be used of God to reach souls with the gospel message before it is eternally too late.

Not too many years ago, you could go into most churches and hear a good Bible message delivered by a godly pastor who loved his people and was interested in seeing that they were fed from the Word of God. You could expect to see souls won to the Lord and new Christians baptized on a regular basis. There was an alter call and people responding by either getting saved or, possibly, there was some pressing spiritual need in their lives.

But, the picture has changed considerably. In many of the churches that were once enthusiastic for the Gospel and serving God there is now a coldness and complacency. The preacher seems to be more interested in his retirement, golf score or going to some ecumenical function which would demand compromise of the doctrines of the Word of God.

The gospel message has been so watered down in most churches that you cannot find anything that faintly resembles salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

You might listen, without success, to find these facts:

  1. Man is a sinner, totally depraved and on his way to a Christ-less eternity in the Lake of Fire;
  2. Jesus (the perfect, sinless, virgin-born Son of God) was the only one qualified to take on Himself the sins of all mankind;
  3. He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, then, after several days, ascended into heaven to be once again with the Father;
  4. We can have forgiveness of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross at Calvary;
  5. Being born-again, we can now live victorious lives by God’s power.

What has happened to cause such a massive devastation of the foundational truths of the Word of God?

It has been a sly, steady denial of the Word. In many areas, it started with a new beat of music (or rather noise). Some thought that they needed to compromise the music standards to, hopefully, attract people to attend their services. They brought in the music of the ungodly world and incorporated it into the services. They had their combos and many of the 7–11 type songs (that is 7 words sung over and over again for about 11 times). They called them “praise songs”. They even had their special praise teams.

Then, some of those cold, dormant churches even sent some of their promising young people off to Bible college or seminary. Some of those schools have long since departed from the teaching of the Word of God. Instead, they teach evolution, nice sounding theories, and other non-Biblical doctrines and subjects.

Then, there are the Bible colleges and universities that teach many right things… but, the vast majority are failing miserably to train their young, potential preachers how to preach the Word, and how to win souls to Christ. They are turning out future missionaries and pastors who are not in tune with what the gospel is. They might preach well on things pertaining to the Christian life and give encouragement, but they are not preaching the gospel!!!

Earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 3) is unheard of… I personally had the occasion where I asked 6 people who were seasoned church members: “What is the gospel”? One by one they gave their idea as to what they thought the gospel is. Some said it was the Bible, another said it was the teachings of Jesus… whatever that meant, I am not really sure. Others gave a philosophy or idea. I never heard from them what the gospel is, as explained so plainly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

I believe the leadership of our schools, Bible colleges and universities needs to train these students in what the gospel is and how to effectively present it in their teaching and preaching. Doesn’t the Bible proclaim that if the gospel is hid, it is hidden from the lost in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4?

Are there other things that have led us down the road of ineffectiveness? YES, there is more. We have only touched the “tip of the iceberg”.

Consider the vast confusion that has set into many churches about “which Bible should I use?” Some so-called scholars have thought it necessary to revise, re-translate, mutilate, and desecrate the Word of God. I believe Satan knows that his time is getting short and the catching away of the born-again ones is getting very close. He is bringing out his ”big guns”. He wants to create as much doubt and confusion as he can possibly muster up.

Do a search on the internet regarding how many English translations there are. I was amazed to learn that there are 250 (plus or minus a few). Some of these translations are done by people who have a certain pet “viewpoint”. Some translators are unbelievers and some dearly love the Lord and His Word. Some have an agenda they are trying to sell to the public.

Why can’t we stick with a good, standard translation that we can memorize, read, preach from, and win souls from??? I highly recommend the King James Version. It has what is needed today. It is very accurate and needs no apology.

There is also the ecumenical movement. This is an effort of some “religious” groups to bring all churches into line with a common goal, doctrine, and message. Their message is plainly a deviation from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. They have departed from the solid teachings of the Word of God.

They would rather give up the teachings of the scripture for the sake of “getting together”. This is compromise. Many of these people are blind leaders of the blind. They are teaching the Devil’s gospel. Sometimes this process starts small with a cooperation outreach of some kind, or ministerial alliance, or a council of churches. They all involve compromise and a forsaking of the teachings of the Word of God.

God has told us that He wants us to “Preach the Word”. Second Timothy 4:2 tells us: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” God doesn’t want His people to compromise the things of God with the tricks and devices of Satan. We must stay faithful to the Word.

Remember… The church is no stronger than its leaders. Weak leaders will result in weak undernourished people. God exhorts us in Ephesians 6:10“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

We need revival.

We need to get back to the “BOOK”.

We need to make sure our schools are strong and stay strong.

We need to encourage godly pastors and missionaries to stay true to the Word of God.

We need to do our part as individuals who have trusted Christ as our Saviour, in staying in the Word, witnessing and winning souls to the Lord Jesus.

May the Lord Jesus find us faithful to His great cause until we are caught up to be with the Lord, to be with Him forever.

R.L.D.

©2013 Mark Davis

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