Posted By: Tim Mannin
some more thoughts from our conversations about the Church in our teaching series called She...
She has been deceived.
The church as been lied to. She’s been robbed of life.
John 10:10 says,“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
You and I have an enemy in this life that is out to destroy our lives. He is
out to deceive us and steal our life right out from under us. The enemy (a.k.a.
the devil, Satan, Lucifer, and the evil one) he hates you. As real as there is
a God in heaven who loves you without end, there is an enemy in hell that hates
everything about you and is purposed to destroy your life ONE SMALL DECEPTION
AT A TIME.
But Jesus has come to snatch life from the jaws of death.
In Revelation, Jesus gave a message to seven churches…called the seven golden lampstands. To one of those churches he gave this message. “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Jesus tells the church of Laodicea…your lukewarm attitude towards me…towards the gospel…makes me sick.
LUKEWARM IS EPIDEMIC.
We lack passion.
We lack a life altering conviction for the gospel!
I know this because it’s a battle for me to really be broken…I mean, I care for people who don’t know Christ. Sure, I care - but am I broken for them…do I pray passionately, do I make real effort to change anything? Or is my activity basically all on a treadmill…I work up a sweat but don’t actually get anywhere.
Let me ask you…
- Do you have any stories about seeing the Kingdom advanced through your life?
- Do you have any stories about God changing you and using you?
- Do you have any stories about the gospel happening in your life?
For most of us our stories about God are few and far between, and often it's more about what we observed rather than actually did.
Stories of the gospel are what your life needs and it’s what the thief has robbed the Church of…he’s robbed your life of. How has he deceived us? He’s made the Church in America consumer based, entertainment addicted, gospel deficient, and lukewarm in its approach to the loving Jesus.
- The enemy has given us entertaining church services…why? because we are pacified by them.
- He’s provided religious goods and services through our churches…why? to distract us from the purpose of the church to give life, instead of focusing on on what we receive while attending and consuming.
- He’s provided measures for temporal security…why? to highjack our desperate need to place our trust and faith in him.
The Church has been deceived.
We have been robbed.
But there’s good news.
Jesus says in verse 20 to the Laodicean church,“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
We often picture Jesus as the one inviting us into a life with him…He is looking to be invited into our life. There are times that we must open the door and let him in. Life to the full is only found in the complete surrender and Lordship of Christ and I promise you it’s going to cost you. It will cost you the freedom to sit back and watch. It’s going to cost you the comfort of being the recipients of religious goods and services.
It’s time for the Church to abandon entertainment driven agendas and to start creating communities of Christ followers who actually love Jesus more than their church (little c). We have churches that are supposed to be brimming with life but it’s been stolen and replaced by lukewarm lives.
As people we make up the Church (big C). Our lives
and our Church have been deceived. We have settled for a lesser version of
living. And here is the sobering reality about life...
YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE TO LIVE AND NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IT BUT YOU.
We must do something. But what?
- Decide that you aren’t going to be deceived any longer.
- HE STANDS AND KNOCKS… invite Jesus in more than you ever have… invite him into your every day, going to work, living in your neighborhood…every day life…and allow Him to be in control.
- Don’t treat the Church as a “place” you go and receive…instead see the Church as a part of your every day life.
- Join with others in your local church (little C) to be a beacon light and a bringer of life to the world around you.
- Have stories to tell about gospel movement through your life. Do this by committing to the gospel like never before.
She is tired of the lie that she's being fed.
She's ready for a new day.