Have We Evicted God From Our Churches?
We wonder why the hand of God has not been moving in our churches today. Although there are many problems, the major one is sin. We have in our churches today racism, gossip, slander, backbiting, unforgiveness, envy, fighting for control, lack of faith, and lack of faithfulness-just to name a few. We have become so bold as to tell God, “No, I will not witness; no, I will not study your word; no, I will not tithe; no, I will not serve You; no, I will not pray unless I stand personally in need; and no, I will not live a life of holiness. The sin of our rebellion and arrogance has caused a stench of wicked pollution that has driven the hand of God’s blessings away. It is true that the world has slipped further and further away from the standards of God. However, I believe it is a direct result of the church slipping further and further away from the standards of God.
One of the greatest blessings of attending seminary was getting to go to chapel and hear some extraordinary preachers. However, after one particular chapel service, I left with a heavy heart. Everything started off just fine until the preacher stood up to preach. Right away, I recognized the sermon that he was preaching. It was an Adrian Rogers sermon that Dr. Rogers had preached a few weeks prior. I would listen to Adrian Rogers every morning in my long commute to the seminary, and this particular sermon really stuck with me. I didn’t have a problem with the chapel speaker preaching an Adrian Rogers sermon; I considered preaching it myself. However, when it came time for the illustration that Dr. Rogers had given of a situation between himself and his wife, the chapel speaker gave the exact same illustration as though it happened to him. He lied to us! That didn’t happen to him; it happened to the original deliverer of the sermon, Adrian Rogers.
Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.” Not only does God hate a lying tongue-even if it’s through the mouth of a preacher-He also hates one who spreads strife among brothers.
A few years ago I was listening to a worship song on the internet that was beautifully anointed. I was in the presence of the Lord while listening to it, and I started reading all the comments below. Everyone was thanking the individual that posted such a beautiful song and giving God praise because He is worthy of worship. However, my spirit was quickly quenched when I came upon a comment from someone of a non-denominational persuasion. He pointed out how the song was recorded at a Baptist Church’s worship service. He then proceeded to tell us how we should all become non-denominationalists because all that denominations do is put up walls of division. However, he himself was the only one putting up walls of division.
I have nothing against non-denominationalism, nor do I have anything against any other denomination as long as they are Biblically based and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sure, we disagree on some issues; but if we can agree on the fundamentals of the faith, we are brothers and there is no need to stir up strife amongst one another. I had not even noticed where the song had been recorded. Nor did I care. It was a song that I loved, and the singer was doing an amazing job. All of the comments prior to this divisive comment had been good and pure comments glorifying God. However, after this simple comment stirred the fuel of strife, the conversation changed from being glorious to argumentative-an argument that gave no glory to God! By the way, this video was not on a Christian site; it was on a secular site for anyone to see. And, we wonder why lost people so often don’t want to have anything to do with the church.
Christians have and will disagree on any given topic, just as families do. I am a Baptist and have discovered if you get ten Baptist pastors in a room, you may get ten different ideas about any given doctrinal issue. Disagreement and debate can make us stronger if we do it in a Christ-like way. In the past I had the great privilege of pastoring a church that was experiencing significant growth. The church grew to the point where a new educational building was needed. Everyone in the church was in total agreement with building the new building with the exception of one deacon and his family. He wasn’t belligerent about it but was very vocal in expressing his views.
When the time came for the church’s final vote in approving the new building, it was very clear things were not going to go his way. He came to me just prior to the vote and told me “Pastor, you know how I feel about this building and, therefore, you know how I am going to vote.” I then said, “Yes, sir, I do.” He then said to me, “If the church as a whole chooses to approve this building, I will then fully support it both financially as well as physically.” After the church approved the building project, he did just what he said he would do. Never again did I hear from him a word of opposition. He willingly submitted himself to the will of the church, choosing not to stir up strife among them. This man of God has since gone on to be with the Lord, and the great respect I had for him prior to this event only increased afterwards. How desperately our churches need more like him!
Day 34 Prayer Guide
- Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
- Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
- Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
- Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
- Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
- Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
- Pray that all of God’s Children would recognize and respond to God’s holiness.
- Pray that God would convict us of all that He deems wicked, and that we would repent.
- Pray that the church would repent of its wicked and stagnant heart in its refusal to live in obedience to God’s purpose and call.
- Ask God to forgive and restore the church to an upright position.
- Ask God to remove anyone or anything that would refuse to submit to His holy standards.
- Pray that our standard would be nothing short of holiness.
- Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
- Pray that our churches would be devoted to, and peruse the things that honor God.
- Pray that the people of God would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
- Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
- Pray that the people of God will be broken hearted over the lost.
- Pray that the church will be a gospel centered church with a heart to evangelize the world while starting in their own back yard.
- Pray that the power of God would fall on the church moving them to prayer and sowing the gospel seed.
- Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
- Do not be judgmental in this, but pray that if there is any within the church who do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus that God would convict their heart and save them.
- Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
- Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.