THE CHURCH AND ITS RESPONSIBILITY TODAY
First read the study on the 'The Mission' in the Church section or by clicking HERE , this will give you an understanding of the original idea of the Church and its being.
What we can't do
We can't change the world by trying to get Christians into power neither can we hope to save the world by doing good deeds. It is commendable to have a kind and generous heart, giving to the needy, collecting for those countries torn by war and famine, these are all good traits of a Christian life BUT will in no way bring souls to God and give the lost eternal life. We are told in Romans 1:16 quite clearly
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Follow this up with 3 verses in John 3, and finally with John 16:6
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
It is VERY clear what you have to do to gain eternal life, and since the death of Christ many thousands of preachers, evangelists and missionaries have been spreading the GOSPEL, the good news. But how does this relate to today and the problems we face in our lives, to our life style which is vastly different from that of our grand parents.
The Gospel's relevance today.
The fact of the matter is, there is no difference in the Gospel today, thanfrom the day Jesus spread it. The Gospel has stayed the same and it is this which has caused a problem with the 'modern Church'. It sees the Gospel and the Word as old and behind the times. Written in an age far removed from today and as such NOT relevant. What they fail to realise is that it is not the Gospel that is out of touch but the modern Church.
It has forgotten that the Gospel is as relevant today as it was when Jesus brought it. The Gospel is simple and works on the root of all our problems. It does not deal with the symptoms or the life we lead but deals with the cause. It is because of this that it will never be old fashioned, for how ever much we move forward and socially evolve the reason behind all our troubles always remains the same, SIN. Romans 6:23;
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What is out of date is the image the Church portrays and this is nothing to do with God or the Gospel but man. We have placed on the Church certain labels and badges which differentiates between groups of Christians, who interpret scriptures differently, the Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists etc etc. Man has a wonderful aptitude for complicating the obvious and adding his own thoughts no matter how irrelevant they are.
It is the Church leaders who have forgotten why they are there and what they are there to do. Like the world they seek success and measure it by the size of their congregation and how much they are liked, which does not equate to a good, prospering Church. I have heard people say, it must be a good Church because they are always full. It is also a fallacy to suppose God would stop a church from being full if it wasn't preaching the truth.
We all have a free will and can recognise the truth if we want to, but a lot of people go to church to hear nice sermons and praise from the platform for good deeds, they don't go to be challenged and convicted. If you come away from a meeting without learning something or hearing a Word from God in some form then what was the point. Church is not a social event, the Gospel is not a crowd puller, it convicts and shows Sin for what it is, it makes us uncomfortable, BUT it saves. Romans 6:20-22;
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Apart from the Gospel
The Gospel has its place in the Church, without it the Body would not grow, but what after the Gospel what should the Church be doing in these last days?
Firstly it should instruct the Body, the people, using the Bible and God's revelation through a Pastor or leader. There are many things to learn, not all are vital, but all educates and instils in us the living Word of God. This is where the most important verse comes in 2 Timothy 2:15
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The Old testament is wonderful and rich with the blessings of God but it does not educate us today with the vital knowledge of God's grace and power. We are living the New Testament teaching of Grace and forgiveness. We need to know why and how to live in this almost free period, where liberties can be taken to the extreme and rules seen in the Old Testament seem to be breakable. If we are not careful we can stray from the truth without realising it, and many have. With freedom comes responsibility of self rule and control but the flesh is not good at self rule and that is why we have so many lost and struggling Christians today.
We have to break down the teaching for the Church into sections. Nothing complicated, no modern teaching techniques or strategies, just simple common sense. These are PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE, or to put it in Christian teaching terms;
It is good to learn of the history of this planet and Sin. To know our enemy Satan, and how he came to be. It is good to know the stories from the Old Testament as they show us the different paths the Jews and the Church lead, whilst giving us an understanding and respect of the Jew and their place within God's plan. We should also look at the history of heaven and God and how man was created and why.
We are not an accident like the evolutionists want us to believe. We were created by God for a reason, this is the foundation which all Church leaders should work from. Christians should be able to answer the basic questions with confidence, when approached by a non believer, Why are we here? Why don't you believe in evolution? Where do you think we come from? Being able to answer these based on scriptural knowledge sets you up for introducing the Gospel.
To be an effective Christian we must know how to conduct ourselves. Christ would have us live like Him and through the Word, we have the instructions to do that. The Word is not directed at a particular age but spans all the ages of man. They are common sense instructions teaching us to be good and respect others, thus creating a peaceful world, (if we all would follow it!). It instructs us how to conduct ourselves when with others, on our own and in the presence of God. It's simplicity is in its understanding of human nature, and it's success is understanding that on our own we can not overcome that nature and so must believe in God and in His Love for us. With this we must understand the idea of living under Grace and not the Law and how it affects our road to Salvation.
It makes sense to learn about the place you are going to live in. If you were emigrating to another country you would have first looked up all the rules and laws concerning that country, also the life style and what to expect. Why then should eternity be different. God has placed the information in the Bible so we can prepare and put into our minds the things which we will need to make our eternity better. Understand that we will not carry anything of this life into eternity but we will carry the knowledge of God and Scripture. He shows us how we will live and with what body. Don't be upset if you don't see your Mother or Father waiting for you or your wife with open arms. These are the things we must prepare ourselves for. Why would God have given us the Word if He didn't want us to read it and use it. Knowledge of the Word is power against the enemy, and if you know what's coming you can be prepared.
When Jesus walked the earth His words were simple and straight forward. There was no pomp and ceremony, complexities which added to the occasion and distracted from the message. He didn't wear elaborate or ornate clothing to portray Himself as higher or better than anyone else. He was a man, and didn't pretend to be anything more. The church today should be stronger and bolder with the Gospel and the truth, it should protect Christianity with the vigour Jesus Christ would do if He were walking the earth today.
We are not to judge as it says in Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37;
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Stand your ground
God judges man not us, but there lies the truth. God judges mankind as only He can see the Soul, but we can judge the systems, the false religions, the engines which drive man away from God. It is not wrong to stand up for Christianity and God, if it means putting down another religion who's teachings is against God and the Word. Do not embrace other religions in the name of peace, for ultimately they will destroy you.
There is a move to unite Faiths together on a common ground, to bring about a 'united faith religion' where all can worship under the same roof to their own God. This is not scriptural, neither is it Christian to accept this under any guise. It is WRONG and Christ would not stand for it, neither should we. It is the plan of the enemy, Satan, to water down the Gospel as he knows it to be strong and powerful, it convicts and saves. But when it loses its power through liberalisation and a pandering to political correctness then Satan can pull Christianity down to the levels of the other religions, powerless and without hope.
Before I am accused of being a rabble rouser or rebel let me make it clear I am not advocating violence to anyone or thing. Prayer is the biggest weapon we have against the enemy. There is nothing wrong or irreverent about praying a Muslim church out of the area, or a spiritualist church to be shut, if it is attacking the Christian faith or your Church specifically. Evil influences and distractions from the true way come in various incarnations, and if we believe, God will deliver us from these attacks. We should not be in the habit of praying against people, or praying ill of any families or minorities. We should love others and our enemies as God has directed but pray against Satan and his attempts to blind them from the truth.
It is time the Church made a difference and brought up a people who were God fearing and strong. Strong in faith and belief. Britain in its height was a formidable Country because it was classed as a 'Christian' country, whose population sought God in deed and thought. Now it has become a multicultural country, with multi-faiths and is suffering because of it. Once you give way to Sin you are on a downward path to death, and the biggest enemy apart from Satan is 'COMPROMISE'. Give a little in your faith and walk with God and Sin will gladly take up the slack. Before you know it there is nothing more to give and Sin has all of your life.
People will say you are wrong, they will turn against you when you try to do the will of God, but don't be discouraged or down hearted when no one seems to be listening. John 1:5
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
It is the Christians job to plant the seed with the GOSPEL, so God can water that seed with understanding. 1 Corinthians 14:19
19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.