Good Morning everyone!
Have any of you ever hosted a intimate dinner or small gathering for a few friends?
Maybe they commented on how delicious something was and even asked for the recipe, but as you're trying to respond, they're not paying one bit of attention, because they are distracted. Perhaps checking their watch, replying to text messages or emails...
Now, how many of you were more than a little irritated because they were checked out, almost the entire time?
Now let's for a moment, bare with me here, let's imagine that
Almighty God, is the Host and we are His guests, behaving exactly as your guests did, that irritated you so badly!
Do we think God is pleased, just because you have bothered to show up for church today? Like you've done some great work in His name, glorified Him in some way...
I sincerely doubt it!
I have never seen such blatant disrespect in the house of the Lord as some of you, right now, are making yourselves comfortable, as if you were sitting on the sofa at home after a hard days work!
And you distract others with all fidgeting and moving around.
When you're fumbling through your purses, searching for the snacks, food, candy you brought for your children and as you sit there, chewing your gum, talking among yourselves while your Preacher is reaching out, to save some of your souls!
I have never seen a time when children are so disobedient to their parents and disrespectful to their elders then this day right now!
When children dictate to you what they are going to do and you allow it!
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
We show up for church, an hour or so per week, too busy to volunteer, or sacrifice a precious moment of our time for the work of God... Even though friends and even family are going to Hell!
We smugly sit here, thinking we have God all figured out, well, let me tell you something, we do not!
We don’t even know God!
But I can assure you of this, God knows us, He has each and every one of us figured out!
"If ye love me, keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
We should ALL be humbling ourselves before the Lord! Honoring Him in HIS house!
The Creator of heaven and earth, the sun, the moon and the stars
THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE AND ALL THAT IS IN IT
WANTS to have a personal relationship with YOU!
"Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
Yet, we are more concerned about our pleasures and not what pleases God.
What is this generation saying to their children?
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
And it doesn't stop with you, because it didn't start with you.
Many of the churches today, are just as guilty!
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
2 Timothy 3:1-5
On April 18, 2017 an article in Christianity Today says, “Despite a new wave of contemporary church buzzwords like relational, relevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible.”
The article is also cited as saying "Sermons that teach about Scripture” are the No. 1 reason Americans go to church, according to a new Gallup poll.
It should come as no surprise that God’s people want God’s Word!
Preaching on Scripture and its relevance ranked above factors like kids programs (68% of Protestants), community outreach (61%), and social activities (49%)
But over the several decades, the church in the Western world, has been largely dominated with the business principals of pragmatism!
Pragmatism insists that the end justifies the means.
This practice is referred to as church growth movement.
Pragmatism demands that we establish goals, then determine the best means to achieve those goals, and assume that success proves that the goal and the means are both good.
With the church growth movement, a primary goal was established of having as many people as possible profess faith in Jesus Christ.
In order to do this, it would somehow need to make church attractive to unbelievers. This demanded changing the services to make them seeker-friendly, changing the music to make it more contemporary, and even changing the gospel to make it less offensive.
Of course, it also demanded changing the direction of preaching to make it more palatable and that meant preaching more themes and overall basic principles rather than preaching from the Bible and the Word of God itself!
Sadly, pragmatism has become so ingrained into the very fabric of today's churches, it will be extremely difficult to remove it seductiveness. It will need to be pulled out by the roots!
And the pastors will need to be retrained not to look for what appears to work, but what Scripture demands!
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
The bottom line:
It is important to keep scripture in mind when we are looking for a method or a means to promote church growth. A Christianity that is not based on the Scriptures is a false Christianity!
Brian Monzon Ministries