Today we have the honor from hearing from a man I went to Seminary with. He is a pastor and has a heart toward God that is absolutely amazing. I hope you enjoy his writings today. – Rev. Joe Kramer
The Dying Church
NO Fire, No Power, No Holiness, No Ears
By: Rev. Josh Ryan
The modern day church is a false magic act. The reason is that it is not what is truly being portrayed. What seem like healthy is actually dead man’s bones, in the replica of what looks like success. So often in the realms of the flesh we the church portray true success not in the eyes of God but in the eyes of man, pertaining to the reality that we believe the object of numbers is the object of success. Jesus did not say go and gather a bunch of people and create a country club, fan base, then go and build a mega church and pat yourself on the back and say well done, while at the same time allowing all the rich to sit in the front so that one can go and comfort them in order to gather there healthy big checks.
Buildings and the expressive gloating of one’s ministry is not what Jesus had in mind when He sent out His disciples to go and build the church. Jesus after all His ministry one earth only had six hundred converts who were not afraid to follow Him. This brings me to my main point; Jesus was not so much into numbers as much as he was to devoted followers who were willing to follow him even unto death. Eleven of the twelve disciples of Jesus where killed and martyred for the cause of preaching and spreading the gospel, a command Christ gave to His church. So often the church is in decline because we have crowds who are only happy with a message that they want to hear. When will there be ministers who will preach with Holy Fire and Holy conviction? Some preachers make ear tickle sermons that last a week, others speak the words of God that last generations to come. Jonathan Edwards is one who spoke the words of God; His sermons are still famous even to this day. Why? Because he spoke with conviction, he spoke with power; he spoke with the Holy Ghost for the purpose of God. How much longer will ministers fill the churches with programs and no power from God?
When will the Power of God actually build His Church? The church will falter and fade if man does not rely on the power of God. Trials and tribulations will come and many will see hard times, when this happens who will still be standing? Only those that are marked and moved by the power and Glory of God Himself! These will be the ones who will stand and speak with thunder and with great power.
Too often holiness has been replaced with the notion that legalism should be no more. Yet we use this excuse to accept sin and receive the blood grace of Jesus in vein. This action is one who is not blinking or hurting at the thought of Jesus, who died on the cross to give us power over sin. This misconception of Holiness is a modern day God hatred, which mocks God. How long will we be immature to the point we never grow anymore? So often Christians, because of this misconception of grace, go and fall for years never growing and being mature in God. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is in us to give us power over sin. Jesus saved us from the eternal consequences of sin, and He ascended from the grave so that He could descend the Holy Spirit to give us power over sin. The church is falling apart because of the false understanding of Holiness and the false understanding of the great power of the Holy Spirit.
Too many churches are only subject to the voices of man and because of this they have become deaf to the voice and heart of God. If the church and it ministers will not stop and listen to God first, they will be permanently deaf. So much energy and personal goals are based on pleasing the people instead of pleasing God, our Lord and Master. The Church is falling apart because they are deaf to the voice and heart of God. When the church opens their ears, not to the pleasant voice of man but to the still small Holy voice of God, then and only then will God transform the church.
In conclusion, the church is falling apart in America, because it lacks the fire, power, respected holiness, and hearing the voice God. We must as a church submit to Jesus and seek not the approval of man but the approval of our Lord.
I would add (Rev. Kramer) that this gives us quite a bit to think about. Will you examine your own heart and see where you fall into these categories? Then repent before a Holy God and let Him work in your life. The Choice is yours.