“This is a wake-up call for all of Christianity from the Father-heart of God”.
How do YOU experience these words? Do they sound hollow to you? Are you getting the ‘been there, done it, heard it before’ feeling? Perhaps you even feel offended by the title of this article.
Whatever you feel, whatever your emotion or perception, I trust that this article will entice you to stop and think it over. (Sela) This really is a wake-up call for Christians from the Father-heart of God. If ever there was a time that the enemy is succeeding in covering the eyes of Christians for God’s truth, it is now.
Many believe we are in the midst of the greatest revival that we have ever experienced. Others believe that Christianity is sinking to an all-time low, while others (Christians) simply do not care. Christian brothers and sisters who once were on fire for the work of God have found so many distractions along the way that they have simply ‘forgotten’ what it is like to really serve God. Members or leaders of church have hurt other Christians to the point that they have completely turned their back on the Kingdom of God. Still others have been disappointed by the very church organizations which they so loved.
What is going on in the church? What is going on in the body of Christ, the assembly of the brethren and sisters in Christ? How is it possible that within a couple of decades churches have completely lost their identity, speaking more about aids, humanitarian matters and finances than about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What is it that inspires Pastors, Priests, Reverends, and other church leaders to begin preaching a message that is in total contradiction to the Word of God?
Why is the enemy getting such outstanding results in confusing Christians with so-called ‘new gospels’? Some Pastors are spending more time reading books other than the Bible than they are reading the Bible itself. Those that are not preaching more from secular books are often preaching the messages of others that they download from the Internet.
Am I getting your attention yet, or shall we continue and talk about the spirit of infidelity that has infiltrated the church? Shall we talk about the lack of the fruit of the Spirit, such as church board meetings that reach the point where elders physically attack each other in the church, because of a difference of opinions?
Let us repeat: This IS a wake-up call fro Christians. This is not a call for Christians to return to their churches and traditions, neither is it a call for Christians to go through the motions of acting like Christians for the sake of family or Pastors like they did so many times before. This is a call for Christians to repent and return to God with all of their being.
The records show that for the past number of decades the churches that experienced the best. growth were in many cases the ones where little attention was given to the Word of God, but much time was spent in convincing the audience to sow their finances with the primary motive of receiving an abundance of finances.
This does not imply that this author is against Biblical prosperity; in fact, the truth cannot be further removed. However, Biblical prosperity forms an integral part of God’s Word, and should never be elevated to the most important part of the Gospel. You can listen to sermons of some well-known preachers where you really have to be alert to identify more than one or two quotations from the Bible.
Christianity, what is happening? Church, what is going on? Christians, when are we going to stand up and raise a banner for the true Gospel of Jesus Christ? Often Christians are easily moved to assist in protest actions against some new building site that can harm the ecology. However, do they stand up for the return to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Christianity, Wake Up, before it is too late. Most Bible scholars will agree that we are in the end times, irrespective of their personal convictions or denominational differences.
Acts 2:37 WEB Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
It is our sincere wish that this article will cause the same reaction from its readers. May the Holy Spirit convince every reader to pause for a moment and think about what is written here? Think about how the church, fellowship, preaching and brotherly love used to be some decades ago. For the younger folks, take time and speak to the older saints and find out what it was that distinguished true Christianity from the world some decades ago.
Now ask yourself: What has changed? Did God change? Did His Word change? Beloved, God CANNOT change, because God IS perfect in every way. Why would He change? Our circumstances changed, the world economy has changed, our schedules have changed. Sure, these things are not what they used to be, but God has never changed, and neither will He.
The most important reason for the deterioration of the church is the change of the attitude and perception of mankind towards God. Secular Humanism as a religion has for decades been working at defaming the deity of God. God has been progressively banned from schools, colleges, universities and in some cases, it seems even from churches.
Nature was deified to a higher level than God. The self, the human body, human rights, one’s right to decide on your own destiny has been elevated to a position of godliness. What are the results of this? Read the papers, watch the news on television, and look around you. What has this ‘freedom’ made of mankind?
Secular Humanism came and ‘freed’ humanity from religion, or so they claimed. Yet, now those ‘freed’ souls that one would expect to be happy and carefree, that is if the humanistic theories held water. Nevertheless, what is the condition of mankind today, compared to some decades ago? Crime has escalated dramatically in many countries. At the time of writing this author is sitting in a house secured by burglar bars, an armed response security system and guard dogs, situated behind high concrete fences in a ‘quiet’ part of a ‘quiet’ town in a western country.
Has the so-called ‘freedom’ of Secular Humanism brought any financial, spiritual, psychological or physical advantages to the ‘freed’ Christians? Remember, their target is Christianity. It is no secret that Secular Humanism has as its primary gaol the destruction of Christianity, and Christians have been swallowing their bait hook, line and sinker.
Christians, Wake Up. For how long are we going to allow the enemy to walk over us, slandering our God, while we passively accept it as the new standard of the world?
The Apostle Peter’s sermon in Acts chapter two made an enormous impact on the Jews. May God give that this short article has a similar reaction on the readers.
Acts 2:38-43 WEB Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (39) For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” (40) With many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” (41) Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls. (42) They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer. (43) Fear came on every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
If one were to summarize the difference between post-modern Christianity and its counterpart of a few decades ago, the main deficit would probably be found in the following:
A lack of the reverent fear for God that the saints of old had.
A lack of the love for God that the saints of old had.
A lack of the dedication that the saints of old had.
Today we see ‘Christians’ scorn God along with the secular world. God is rated low on the love list of many ‘Christians’ and everybody is so busy that they do not still have the time to also be dedicated to God.
Many ‘Christians’ it appears are more dedicated to the sports teams of their children than to God or the church.
Where are we heading if we do not return to God, and what can be done to prevent a global catastrophe? We will be dealing with some of the issues highlighted in this article in Part 2 of this series.
Dr Gerrit van Vuuren [Ph.D.] is Principal of the Shepherd Leadership Institute.
Dr Gerrit wrote a research doctoral thesis on the ‘leadership style of Jesus Christ’, and has a calling to teach the body of Christ to understand and apply Jesus’ leadership style, which he calls True Shepherd Leadership ©. For more information, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org