Where is the Church?
So I actually have many things on my mind right now, so they will probably all appear in a blog at some point. This topic was requested by a few of the people who follow me on Facebook and Minds. The topic is: Where is the Church? What is the Church doing (or not doing) to combat this world. So what is the Church doing about abortion? How is the Church spreading the Gospel through the World? What is the Church doing?! I wanted to preface the rest of this blog with a few verses of Scripture which will help give you context from my point of view. I will share the verse with you and then give you a comment on them, all of the verses I’m sharing are examples of why Christians and the local Churches need to be doing more than they are. Most Churches in our country are doing absolutely nothing. Many of them are contributing to the problems that we are seeing in our country. Many churches condone homosexuality or abortion and then the world says “Well the church said it is ok therefore Jesus accepts me as I am”. News flash: Jesus is going to break you, he is going to eternally punish you and the churches who do this and say it in his name will also face his righteous judgement.
So let’s start with this “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.. (Romans 1:16)” Ok so I’m going to be addressing Christians and Churches who actually know and proclaim the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, is life, death, burial and resurrection (not the love is love, Jesus loves your sin, FALSE gospel). So Christians: If you are not ashamed of the gospel then why do you not share the gospel? Maybe you say “I do share the gospel, with friends and family. Or I share the gospel after I build a relationship with that person (we will talk about how you should share in a bit)” Maybe you say “open air preaching doesn’t work, you never see the fruit of your preaching, and no one is saved”. To that I say you must not believe Romans 1:16 is true it says “it is the POWER OF GOD FOR SALVATION” if you believe that then why would open air preaching not be effective? The Holy Spirit does the regenerating work in all of God’s people, so if you believe that God can save anyone and that the gospel is the power of God, what right do you have to say it doesn’t work? Maybe you don’t have someone stop on the street and just drop to their knees and cry out to God, but he waters the seeds he has planted and why would you not want to be God’s instrument to plant? Next verse: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..” (Matthew 28:18). Jesus Christ himself commands you to go! He isn’t singling out a specific person here, he doesn’t say “If you have this gift go, or you 12 go but no one else”. Christ is giving a direct command to ALL believers! The same verse says “all nations” that doesn’t just mean your friends and your family, that means share the gospel with everyone!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Jesus again is speaking saying that we are to be his witnesses to the end of the earth, that means we have to witness to people about him! He also says that in doing so we are empowered by the Holy Spirit himself! How amazing is that?! And why would you not want to be apart of that! Wake up church! In Acts 2 Peter gives a sermon at Pentecost and he preaches to the public and proclaims the gospel and 3000 people were saved! How long will it take 3000 people to hear the gospel through friends and family evangelism? I’m not sure but I know it will take a lot longer than it would take someone like Peter to stand up in front of a multitude and deliver his message and have 3000 people come to Christ!
If you are struggling with your inner self to get out there ask for boldness and zeal. Acts 4:29 “And, now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness..” I’m going to be honest with you, the gospel is offensive to those who don’t know God, and they are going to oftentimes be hostile to it, so look at their threats and pray for boldness. You must be willing to take the threats and the persecution that is to come, Jesus himself said it will come and you need to endure through it, and if you ask him he will carry you. Acts 5:29 “ We must obey God rather than men.” This is what I’m talking about, you are going to face men who suppress the truth (Romans 1) and try to stop you from sharing the good news, but do not obey men, obey God and stand firm in your faith! The apostles faced continual persecution for the sake of Christ yet: “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” (Acts 5:41-42). How amazing is this! These men were being dishonored and persecuted DAILY for the name of Jesus Christ and yet they continued to open air publically preach and they shared the gospel house to house. How many churches do you know of that have members open air preaching to the public? How many churches do you know that have members sharing the gospel from house to house in their towns/cities? Jesus himself during his public ministry preached to thousands of people at a time, IN PUBLIC! He didn’t JUST build relationships with others and then reveal himself to them, he openly proclaimed who he was to the multitudes. I recently read in an evangelism booklet by Jon Speed that over 75% of Jesus ministry was public evangelism and not friendship evangelism. Jesus said to Paul (as bold as he was for Jesus sake, even he needed encouragement) in a vision one night “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent.” (Acts 18:9) and “If God is for us, who can be against us.” (Romans 8:31) , “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10). What have you to fear? The worst that man can do to you is torture and kill you (Hebrews 13:6), if you are tortured you are blessed and will inherit the kingdom of God, if you are killed you will be in the presence of your savior, so what are you scared of?! Matthew 5:14&16 “ You are the light of the world.” “..let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” AND Philippians 2:15 “...shine as lights in the world.” I’m telling you folks, when Christians start to get out there and preach (James 1:22 “be doers of the word, and not hearers only.”), It will inspire others who are not following the command of Christ to get out and preach to follow you and do it. If there is 1 person from each church getting out there then they are more likely to get discouraged than to be able to recruit others to the cause.
It is astonishing that I even have to talk like this, the more you look at the Scriptures the more you see that members of the first century church were sharing the gospel. Why has the church abandoned these specific commands of scripture? I believe it is the fact that the majority of the churches in this country have abandoned the Bible completely. There are probably more false teachers in our country than there are true Bible believing, Gospel preaching churches. I am not saying that to be dramatic, I honestly think that it’s true, if it was not true then where is the church? If there were more Bible believing churches there would be more churches out there making disciples and winning souls to Christ. There would be more churches out in the streets preaching Monday - Saturday, not just preaching from the pulpit on Sunday. There would be more churches at the abortion mills preaching the gospel and trying to save these mothers, fathers and babies. There would be more churches sharing the TRUTH of scripture that God created us Male and Female, designed by him to be together. To be fruitful and multiply and then raise our children up in the Word.
Some more examples, in Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If you are loving God with all your heart, mind and soul AND loving your neighbor why are you not warning them of Gods impending judgement? How much do you have to hate someone to see the train coming and say nothing to them? How much do you really love God if you aren’t obeying his commands? 1 Corinthians 10:24 “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” AND Galatians 5:14 “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”” If you are seeking the good of your neighbor why wouldn’t you share the only way for them to be saved from eternal punishment and how to inherit eternal life?! Be an ambassador for Christ as you are called to be in 2 Corinthians 5:20 (“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us..”). God wants to use his people to accomplish his purposes, why wouldn’t you want to be the vessel he uses to plant the seed that he will water, that will lead someone to eternal life in him. You know the joys of Christ yourself, why wouldn’t you want everyone to experience that? Lets look at this from another angle. Romans 10:13-14 “ For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” If I haven’t been clear in my presentation of this then Paul (who is much better than I anyway) has made it abundantly clear. How can the lost believe in Jesus Christ if they do not hear the gospel? And how can they hear the gospel if no one preaches it to them? That is as clear as it can get, I’ll follow that up with a command from Paul (I have given you specific examples and commands from Christ, here is one from the Apostle Paul) in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Paul says here to preach the word! Always be ready (1 Peter 3:15 - “..always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”) The end of the passage says “do the work of an evangelist”. He isn’t saying if you are an evangelist this is what you should do, he is imploring all believers to do the work of an evangelist! So why do we not? Are you scared of suffering as we talked about earlier? 1 Peter 4:12-14 & 16 addresses that perfectly “ Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and God rests upon you.” verse 16 “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” Rejoice in your suffering it is a blessing from God, he is may be using it to test you. After reading all of those long passages let’s consider a few things.
All are called to be evangelists if you are a believer of Jesus Christ.
You will be persecuted for his name’s sake, if you love him you will not be ashamed of his gospel and nothing man can do will stop you from delivering his message to others.
Rejoice in your suffering, it glorifies God.
Call out false teachers
Now point #4 that I just made I haven’t elaborated on yet so please allow me to. If we are ok with false teachers, as long as we are doing what’s right and we are preaching the truth we are still not following the Word. The passage from 2 Timothy says otherwise, if we love our neighbors we need to warn them of false teachers, encourage them in the truth so that they are not being lead to hell!
There are so many Christians who not only do not actively share the gospel with the world, but they know there are false teachers out there and they think “well I’m not being lead astray and I’m confident in my salvation so i’m not really worried about anything else”. I say to you Repent! That is a sinful unbiblical mindset and it is dangerous to have. If you are comfortable with others going towards hell while they are thinking they are safe you need to repent, and maybe you need to examine yourself. All of these points I have made I want to reiterate a few things. You need to share the gospel. I want you to try something for me, you can practice on your spouse or someone you know but I want you to talk to them like they only have 10 minutes to live. What would you say to them, remember they only have 10 minutes, you aren’t going to be able to cover everything from Genesis to Revelation in 10 minutes. So what do you say? If you are struggling to answer this question, if you are not currently sharing or openly proclaim the gospel I want you to ask yourself why is that? Why are you struggling to share with someone who only has 10 minutes to live?, why are you ashamed of the gospel?, why do you not expose false teaching when you see it or hear it? Why are you a complacent Christian? I want to encourage you now to look at 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves..” If you are struggling to answer the questions I have posed to you, if this blog has convicted you that you are not following the Biblical commands of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul and many other passages then you need to repent. You need to pray to God that he changes you, you need to get out there and get involved. This is for the individual Christian and this is a challenge to the churches in America today. Why are you not involved?
So many of us (churches) talk about how bad this world is and how bad this country has gotten but why do you think that has happened? It happens because we let it happen! We only worry about ourselves and we aren’t loving our neighbors as ourselves. This is going to keep getting worse and worse unless WE (the church) do something about it. Nothing is going to change without the power of the gospel, and the gospel goes forth when the church brings it forth. I’m calling you out, I’m calling you to change, it starts on the individual level but ultimately it is the responsibility of the church. The church is going to have the most success if we unite. One person can call out a false teacher and no one bats an eye, but if all of God's Bible believing churches call out that same false teacher, people begin to notice and maybe they actually start to question him. If the church spreads the gospel or goes to the abortion clinic to show these parents that we really care about them it has more of an impact then if there are 3-4 men out there just preaching the gospel, the mothers say “if you care why is there only 3 of you out here.” If they church came out as a whole and we had hundreds of people out there praying and caring for these parents it would be of greater effect on them, they would see us caring they would be more open to choosing life and turning to Christ. Think about what I am saying to you, what kind of testimony is it to unbelievers when they see complacent Christians, not following some of the very commands that Jesus Christ gave. Examine yourselves, make a change and as a church make a difference. From my point of view there are only two reasons why a Christian wouldn’t get out and evangelize. First, If you aren’t actually a Christian. That is why I said examine yourself, if you had trouble with the questions posed to you in this blog, and you are not living out the commands of Christ maybe you are not truly in the faith. Second, you are a disobedient Christian, and if that is the case you need to repent and then you need to get out there and evangelize. If your church isn’t doing anything you need to talk to the leadership, maybe you need to consider another church (check out www.beaconbaptist.com). The main reason I think the invisible church in the United States (all the believers not just local assemblies) isn’t making a difference is because the majority of churches don’t hold the authority of Scripture. If they are a church that claims to hold the authority of scripture, the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace and yet they do nothing that is something that you need to seriously discuss with the leadership of the church.
In conclusion, we as the universal church need to come together and follow the commands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Follow his commission and spread the gospel to your community. Chances are your church leadership knows of other churches similar to your own that could work together to spread the gospel. As a local church body make it a part of your everyday lives. Evangelism isn’t for people “with the gift of evangelism” it is for every Christian. Start by going out to a festival as a church body and handing out gospel tracts with a good presentation and your church information on it, maybe have a select few people that will open air preach on the corner while the rest of the body does tract work. Its very simple and basic yet it is probably the biggest neglect of the church today. We talk about being God honoring, so let’s put our practice where our mouth is and get out there and share the gospel. If you want to see the change you talk about in this country then the church needs to rise up. This is a call to action, enough talk, get to work. Pray for repentance, pray for faith, pray for boldness and do the Lord’s work, after all….what’s stopping you?