I turn my attention this week to my fellow pastors in the Magic Valley. I know that not every one of them read this weekly column so I’m depending on readers to pass this on to your pastors, or to a pastor you know.
If we are not careful, the modern pastor of the modern church will be lulled to sleep with dreams of being hoisted up on the shoulders of our communities as the greatest blessing to ever be in our beloved cities. It is a tragedy if we think we are relative because we give people only what they want, a little “chicken soup” for their soul. What is needed most today is an honest people to deliver an honest message from the only reliable way to know God, the Bible. Not so we can boast about how loved we are by our community, but because we know we have just given what is needed most, the Truth that sets men free.
There are sins in all our churches that can only be removed by a blessed work of the grace of God. Our churches and communities are filled with thousands of people of both sexes to whom we have no voice; and they will never be authentically reached but by a movement of the Spirit of God raining down upon our homes, churches, and cities.
This kind of pouring out comes as a result of honest, humble, and compassionate men of God who will stand in their pulpits on the coming Lord’s day and preach once again “thus saith the Lord”. Then, when the man of God is faithful to his duty and the congregation of God is convicted of and repent of their sins by the work of the Holy Spirit, might the power of God rain righteousness upon the region.
Unless and until the Holy Spirit does this, we will soon lose any listening ear and/or any platform to address the growing population.
In 1838, American theologian Albert Barnes observed that “one form of sin is interwoven with another; one leads on another; and all (sins) stand opposed with a solid front to the Gospel of Christ.” In other words, the world will only increase in an emboldened hostility against God. Unless the church awakens from her slumber soon, this current generation of professing Christians will render herself irrelevant. Not because she refuses to try out new things but because she ceases to be a holy people.
You see, fellow pastor, our strategy of becoming like the world is a flawed strategy. Our hope to make ungodly people comfortable with a holy God without the work of the Holy Spirit is hoping God will not be true to Himself. Who in our churches will live holy lives when their shepherds lead them to be like the world?
There is a united front of sin in this world, how do we expect to stand against it while at the same time the professing church remains largely divided against the holy God and His congregation.
In the meantime, all things move along with a hope for status quo, the church cannot hope that God is pleased to continue being presented to the watching world with an unholy apathetic representation. But then again, it is a flawed hope that we think this kind of change or desire for holy living can be accomplished simply by emotional enthusiasm that has to be re-energized within a few days.
As Albert Barnes noted in his day; if this status of the church continues on as is, unchanged, unalarmed by the unconverted masses and the growing love for self and sin, we have no reason to be surprised that sin will continue to triumph, and “that the world moves on undisturbed to death.”
Hey, help me out and pass this column on to your pastor. Encourage him to remain steadfast and immovable on the blessed hope we have in Jesus, the Christ, as described by the Bible alone. Pastor, contact me and let’s pray together that the “Heavens will rain down righteousness and that salvation will bear much fruit in our day.” (Isaiah 45:8)