“God helps those that help themselves.” It’s right there in umm … well, I can’t recite the chapter and verse, but I KNOW it’s there! That’s why He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, you know, that rebellious couple in, umm … GENESIS! That’s it. Yup. I got that right! They just wouldn’t do anything right for themselves, so God had to destroy the two of ‘em. Bam! Just like that. Turned ‘em into salt, He did.”
It’s becoming more obvious every day that the church in America is in a decline. Recent statistics show that 81% of born again Christians believe that “God helps those that help themselves” is a bible verse. Only 18% of professing Christians read their Bible regularly. Any questions? On most any typical Sunday you could walk into many evangelical churches to find a lengthy and, dare I say, entertaining set of worship songs led by amazingly talented musicians and vocalists. You might see a video presentation or two, promoting a great upcoming church sponsored event, and then more worship songs, announcements, and promotions. Then, just before the pastor’s teaching from the Word of God, the children will be ushered out of the worship center to receive something “more suitable” to their age level and attention span. The Word of God apparently isn’t powerful enough to get through to them at their level. Then the pastor will take His few remaining minutes to share the Word, but probably not too directly, because that might offend someone, and that’s not good for church “growth.”. *Insert disclaimer here . . . This is not to say that every church is this way, but that more and more, this is the trend. Much of what takes place in a church today is based on geographic demographics and opinion polls.
But the responsibility doesn’t just lie with the local churches. It lies with each of us, as believers. It’s about obedience. We seem to each have our own areas where we think it’s okay if we “have it our way.” At some point we will have to reconcile “our way” with “His way,” found in “His Word.” Webster says that to “reconcile” means “to make or show to be compatible.” Really? Something to ponder . . .
So you think . . . You are disillusioned with church, so staying home alone, isolating yourself from others to be a “Lone Ranger” Christian is okay?
God’s Word says . . . “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
How do you reconcile His Word with staying away from His people?
So you think . . . That wonderful loving couple, each of whom has chosen not to follow Christ, but have given their lives and funds to feed and house the homeless, and care for Aids affected babies in their home, surely will meet you in Heaven?
God’s Word says . . . “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ ” (John 14:6)
How do you reconcile His Word with the couple’s rejection of Christ?
So you think . . . I don’t need to read the Bible every day. In my heart, I know what’s right.
God’s Word says . . . “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) “Sanctify them by your Word. Your Word is truth.” (John 17:17)
How do you reconcile His Word with your neglect of reading it?
The Word acts as water, helping us to clean up our life by showing us what needs to change so that we can be all that He would have us be. It is called sanctification, becoming more like Christ.
Listen believers, God did not provide His Holy Word to us so it could sit on a shelf collecting dust, or so it could be an icon that we carry back and forth to church on Sunday morning. The statistics mentioned above reflect the results of just that. We are in danger of raising a generation of professing Christians that are biblically ignorant . . . Christians that apparently don’t respect the Word of God enough to read it. I confess that I have a real hard time with this because I’m familiar with Christians in other countries who are desperate to get their hands on a bible. Sometimes, if one person obtains one they will rip out the pages and share them with others. But, you know what? They also have to hide them, sometimes under the carpet, mattress, wherever, just so that they’re not found, because it is illegal for them to have bibles, and if found, they will go to jail. But they are willing to risk that for the privilege of reading the Word of God. Yes, they are that serious about it. Isn’t it odd how we in America think we should be sending missionaries to other nations? Other nations where they are willing to die for their faith in Jesus? And do?
I believe a time is coming when we, as believers, will undergo real persecution in this nation. Most of us do not want to believe that, but we’re told, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” (2 Timothy 3:12) God’s Word trumps man’s opinion. The clouds are gathering as we speak. God help those who are not grounded in the Word of God. If you are not reading the Word on a daily basis, begin now. It will stand when all else is gone. May God bless those who read it, believe it, and obey it. May God be with those who are suffering and dying for it. And may God help the church in America to learn from them.
That’s the view from here . . .