It was said of C. H. Spurgeon by one of his enemies; “Here is a man who has not moved an inch forward in all his ministry. At the close of the nineteenth century he is teaching the theology of the first century and proclaiming doctrine current in Nazareth and Jerusalem as in the first century!” Spurgeon considered it his greatest compliment.
Many Churches of this century are preaching and teaching outside the scope of the word. Trying everything to draw a crowd except the simple, straightforward, everlasting word of God.
Words like wrong doing have replaced the word sin. Away from God’s blessings replace the destination of Hell. They seek the unchurched hoping to church them. Instead of seeking the lost, unsaved sinner to bring them to Christ, getting them saved. Church does NOT save, only faith in Jesus Christ saves the lost from the torment of Hell.
Oh, you can get them in “church”, but the appeal will not be there for the unsaved. They may come from time to time, but if “church” is anything like what it should be, the appeal will not be there for the unsaved.
So churches today have instituted a program of the best looking lobby, complete with signs that direct to daycare and restrooms. Greeters are more apt to show a visitor where they can get the freshest roasted coffee and a full size donut. (both purchased from nationally known brand names)
Instead of ushering them down the sanctuary isle to the best seating, the elderly closest to the pulpit to aid in their ability to hear the message, the greeters hand out contact cards. Cards emblazoned with instructions concerning free gifts for those who tithe, membership benefits, money raising efforts for new brooms to keep the parking lot swept clean. And of course if you wish to accept Jesus “fill out this card and someone will contact you this week about your decision”.
Altar calls have gone away. Many, who when in need, went to a Baptist church or Chaplain knowing that there was always an altar call at that denomination. Though we are not promoting one denomination over another or pointing at the failure of one denomination of another it should be noted that certain denominations had growth when they preached the Word, true growth, not fad or fancy. When the Gospel was watered down, the growth changed to ‘attendance numbers’ not statements of faith.
The need to have visitors fill out a survey for a free gift, voiding them the opportunity to ask questions, ask for prayer because that means your greeters would need to know how to actually tell someone about sin and salvation and the eternal promise available through Christ.
Do these churches even have a soul winning class? Do they preach soul winning? Are any of their members out in the community, door to door or on the street corner? Is the message reaching anyone?
“He that winneth souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30
Beyond the fact that the church has a popcorn movie night or the freshest donuts or nicest exterior? Has the word church or the cross been removed from the signs outside? Do you call your church something that really doesn’t convey your faith or your beliefs?
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed,” Mark 8:38
Big screen TV’s are a needed adavntage for an aging congregation, but were they paid for while short changing the food pantry or the purchase of gospel tracts? What is the cost for the lastest technology? There are lost souls at stake and God’s currency is souls.
Todays church is still chasing fads, gimmicks and trends while true men of God speak with words given them by the Holy Spirit, preaching that same message that formed the early church, Christ crucified, salvation through shed blood, truth.
The hippies of the 60’s had rock and roll, so some churches in an effort to appeal to the unwashed and unsaved adopted modern rock music. When the stoners and free love artists of that generation began hanging out in coffee shops and cafes there was a push to be like them to reach them.
Nothing is left of those endeavors except the new age happy church message. The mellow efforts led to many a lost opportunity to reach a lost generation. Biblical principals were violated, pushed aside to make way for “God is love and only love”. No law and grace, no sin and repentance, no faith and no understanding of what sin is and how it will destroy. Just a good joke and some gimmicks, no amen moments when the preacher tells of a lost sheep returning to the fold.
But yet the power of the Holy Spirit of God can and does bring in those who are lost, to where the unsaved can find the word being preached, with microphone and without. With fancy graphics and those where the hymnal is still used and well worn. Where every seat has a KJV bible in front of it and pencils to take notes on the Sunday bulletin.
Those places where me, myself and I is first and foremost also have the lost in attendance. Led there by the enemy and the lack of prayer.
Churches that are on fire for God and the things of God have deacons, ushers, Sunday school teachers, members and non-members who have worn out their knees and many a box of tissue praying for those they know and those they no nothing of who are lost. That they would find a shelter in the Rock. The Church built on the Rock, not on the sands of self.
This article extols the old time way of doing things, not the slick modern way. But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 His message does not change with the time or with technology.
It’s time so called churches got back to preaching the truth not some shiny gimmick the staff learned from some seminar. The easy method of the world and flesh will fail.
Those in God fearing, Bible believing, faithful Christ following Churches need to pray for the state of modern churches today that they find their way to preaching the Word, no matter what the world wants. Preach what God wants. That no one should perish. Keep following God’s plan.
He who is a stranger to prayer will also be a stranger to God’s power.