Lets face it; the church of today is dying a slow death. Many of us grew up in homes in which we were expected to go to church every Sunday, and attend Sunday school as well.
Years ago faith was a part of life much more so than today. I’m not saying people no longer go to church or that there are no Believers anymore. Still, things were different when I was younger. Many things that were not acceptable than are acceptable now. Just look at what is on Television these days and what passes as a movie! How about music? Speech heard in public places?
The downfall of our culture can be directly traced back to what we choose to do with our time. “Hey you can’t say that”, really? Think about it for a minute. Sixty years ago kids would not have dreamed of talking back to their parents the way they do now. Elvis shaking his hips on live TV was considered scandalous. The language that you hear used even on public TV would not have been tolerated back then, nor would the sexual stuff and the poor humor used today such as on the show Two and a Half Men.
Why are things today so different? Church has much to do with this; the lack of it in people’s lives that is. Growing up it seemed that so many more folks went to church, whole neighborhoods went to church, and not the same one but people did attend a church. Now days it is just the opposite, whole neighborhoods do not go to church at all.
So how does church tie in with the current state of decline do you think? If you attend a Bible based church (I will come back to this later) then there are many activities and ways of living in the world that Believers are to have nothing to do with…because God said so. Do not mistake me here; I am in no way saying that Believers are perfect or even better than unbelievers. That is not the point here.
As a follower of Christ, we are not supposed to engage in many things:
- Sex outside of marriage
That list could be much larger. Again, I am not trying to say that Believers are so much better than others. We sin and fall down just like anyone else. What I am trying to say is this; with the moral guidance of Jesus firmly in place in a person’s life…that person is much less apt to do these things.
It is so much easier to live as the world does when a person is not attending a church and receiving teaching from the Word of God. If you do not attend church, you do not have to be reminded about the things you are doing wrong. It is so much easier to ignore your Early Warning System when you do not know Jesus. Early Warning System: your conscience. Our conscience; that part of us that whispers in our mind and says, “hey, that is wrong, do not do that”. God put that conscience there, but when the Word of God is not feeding us, our conscience can become dulled. It is then that our moral compass can easily begin to point the wrong way…Satan’s way.
I mentioned Bible believing churches before. Bible believing churches are becoming less prevalent today. People are looking for “tickle my ears” teaching instead of sound theology. A Biblically sound church is one that teaches the entire Word of God, not some of it, not the parts they like or agree with…all of the Word. That also means they do not teach things that are out of context such as prosperity gospel teaching (yes God wants to prosper you, but that does not mean all of us will have lots of money and all the things we want) which leads people down a dangerous path. Some churches are ordaining Homosexual pastors…this is clearly wrong; God’s Word says Homosexuality is wrong…period. Some churches teach that Jesus is not God…Jesus is and has to be God because the Bible says so.
Many are leaving sound teaching behind to find what they want to hear; this was foretold in the Bible that this would happen. If you want to live a sinful lifestyle, then you seek out a church that says that your behavior is ok. Some of these churches are not really churches at all but cults. Remember Jim Jones…hundreds of people killed themselves because he told them to, and some of these people were highly educated professionals.
There are many people who simply went to church (and still do) as “Sunday Christians”, they are in church every week or most of them. Church is the socially “in” thing to do…well church is becoming not so “in” anymore so some just do not bother to come anymore. These people are not involved in the church, they do not help out in any way. Church is a duty, another thing to mark off on the “to do list”. Or they attend because this like the social hour, you just have to sit through that boring sermon. These folks are not in church for Jesus, they are there solely for themselves and are not realizing the true benefits of attending church.
If more people attended a Bible based church, and truly believed in what the Word says…this country, the whole world would turn for the better. There is no doubt in my mind on this, none.
Just this one command of the Lord would make a huge difference if implemented by more people:
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.