Is Christianity on its last legs in the West and if so what needs to be done to turn it around. What needs to be done to see more people going to church rather than less. Is it because that it has compromised itself in order to fit in, in order for it to be relevant and in trying to be relevant has it become no longer relevant.
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example
“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming”.
Open your hearts and minds to the presence of God and to listen to his word and for this purpose he has given us a book that’s trustworthy in its moral content. That leads me to say is the morality of man compatible with the morality of God. Is the problem for the church today that it has given in to the morality of man and not stayed steadfast to the morality of God.
Lord God we thank you for your word and for the spiritual truths laid before us in your word.
In this message from Thessalonians we see the movement of the church in a good way, seems to me today that we are in a period where we see churches compromising turning from the truth, to the error of lies. There are churches around us which are more like entertainment venues where the teaching of the word takes a backstep. They call themselves churches but they’re not and what message does it send out to the unsaved. There is a confusion among the unsaved when they hear the multitude of voices saying that they are of God, so we are in a time where the are churches compromising on everything.
We have made it easier in many respects for the unsaved to come into a church without the proclamation of the word because we don’t want to make it uncomfortable for them. We then call them members of the church. There seems to be very few churches who stand out for the truth of scripture and say “thus saith the Lord”.
What are seeing is a watering down of God’s word, even that which we call Christian music sometimes speaks to the flesh and not the spirit. There is a tendency to go out and ask the unsaved what you want in a church, if they say Starbucks or secular concerts we go away and we put that into place again it’s about compromising and I don’t think we should be a church that compromises. We have to be serious about the things of God and we have to ask God to make the changes in people’s lives. It’s God’s business to bring about changes in people’s lives and it’s our business to say “thus saith the Lord”.. so we need to be less compromising and more uncompromising.
Have we taken the scripture and watered it down so that people do not feel challenged by it. The problem that I see is that there are many churches that look at the word of God as the word of men, you can ask for as many versions of the Bible as you want depending on what makes you feel comfortable. 50 to 60 years ago virtually everybody had a copy of the authorised King James Bible that was the word of God to the english-speaking people. These days you could find over 200 versions of the Bible and these versions range from disco lingo to ballroom lingo to gender neutral lingo. You can have it everyway you like it, like going into an ice cream parlour and having to choose from the 200 different varieties. So which Bible is the ineffable Word of God, is it this one or is it that one could it be the other one, can you see the confusion here. The Bible says that not one jot shall pass away until all is fulfilled in the Law. Jesus himself made this promise. We have to deliver the word of God as the word of God not the word of men. The moment you compromise with the word of God is the moment when you give in to the whims of men. I would say and I say with all humility that we should not compromise the word of God because if we compromise on the word of God it ceases to be the word of God.
I finish with the 2nd Chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Church in Thessalonia.
” You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was toward you believers. As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
And may God bless you this day.