Friday, May 3, 2019

Convenient Christianity

The Church in America is in crisis.  Christianity is declining, particularly in the Western world.  As a people, Christians are losing influence in politics and society, in our families, and even in our own churches.  Why is this happening now, when God knows the world needs Jesus more than ever?

In the second book of Timothy, chapter three, the apostle Paul writes:
But mark this:  There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God -- having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them" (verses 1-5).
While this passage of scripture, perhaps more than any other, speaks of the current state of the Church and Christianity in general, I believe a big reason churches are hurting and diminishing in effectiveness and influence is that many believers have forsaken their first love (Revelation 2:4) and no longer find church "convenient."  Weekend sports and recreational activities have become the norm for many Christian families. Financial obligations and a love for material things have diminished our ability to be faithful givers.  And I'll be the first to admit, I will skip choir practice on occasion if I can find a convenient excuse not to go, even though I know my participation matters.

Was going to the cross for our sins convenient for Christ? Was it fair that He should die in our place for the sins that we have committed?  No, but "for the joy set before Him Jesus endured the cross, scorning its shame" (Hebrews 12:2) in order that we might enjoy a personal relationship with Him here and now, and eternal life when our days on Earth have ended.

Thank God that He doesn't listen to and answer our prayers only when it is convenient for Him!  Thank God that He doesn't heal the sick only when it is convenient for Him!
Thank God that He loves us, even when we fail to love Him in return!

How can we become the solution in our churches instead of the problem?  By making worship and giving priorities, and by stepping outside of our comfort zones and sacrificing a little personal time to serve.  Get off the bench and back into the ballgame!  Team Jesus needs every single one of us, especially you!

Copyright © 2019 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

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