The church in America has been made soft and vulnerable by materialism and worldliness and ease. Prolonged prosperity and an abundance of wealth, at least as compared with the rest of the world, have given us a seductive love of comfort.
We have grown accustomed to life’s good things and are no longer willing to live a truly sacrificial life – the way of the cross. Like the rich young ruler who walked away from Jesus, we are finding it more and more difficult to follow Jesus Who calls us to make the supreme sacrifice.
Matthew 16:24-25: “Jesus said to His followers, “If anyone wants to be My follower, he must forget about himself. He must take up his cross and follow Me. If anyone wants to keep his life safe, he will lose it. If anyone gives up his life because of Me, he will save it.”
Materialism, worldliness, greed, and busyness are strangling the church! Now church is something we “go to” as long as it doesn’t interfere with sleeping in, deer stands, fishing boats, and the greedy desire to make more money. The Christian life was never intended to be a leisurely stroll through a rose garden! Heaven is there, not here!
The church has been put here to be the light of the world. Yet we insist on hiding our light while people in our community are hurting and living in darkness! We live with our guilt instead of coming to Jesus and being set free, we don’t forgive those who hurt us, we don’t make amends to those we have hurt, we don’t even think about doing something that might take up a lot of our time and resources.
Jesus wants us to be committed and disciplined and tough in our faith, because we are in a spiritual war for our very souls with a deadly foe who is tracking us every hour of the day, waging a war that many Christians seem to be losing! Sin is running rampant in the church – even things like alcoholism, sexual immorality, drug abuse, family disintegration, child molestation, pornography, delinquency, homosexuality, and gambling. The love of many, if not the majority, has grown cold!
Friends, we need to be in the best spiritual shape possible to cope with the fiery darts and arrows Satan throws at us – flabby, overindulged, pampered Christians just don’t have the stamina to fight this war and are in danger of losing their souls!
It is time for all of us to wake up and be more committed to Christ and the church than to business pursuits, jobs and leisure time! We need members who will get into the fight and use their talents and abilities to strengthen and grow the church! Our community needs us now! The salvation of our souls depends upon it!
2 Timothy 2:3-4: “Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.”