Church It Is Time For A Change

I was saved in 1968 in a small AOG church just outside of Nottingham UK.  I came to the Lord at the tail-end of a revival.  We moved to Australia as a family in 1969, I came with my parents and siblings.  Now I look back I am astonished at what God has done with my life.  But that is not the point of this missive.

Back in those days we went to church twice on Sunday.  Tuesday was Bible Study, Thursday was a prayer meeting and as I was a youth we had youth service on Saturday night.  Later I was to join Bible College on Monday and Friday night.  My world was centred around the church and its activities.  In those days Australia was considered to be a Christian nation.  Then, it was not unusual to attend multiple church services each week.

For generations people went to church on Sundays for various reasons.  Many they went because they were Christians.  For some others, it was the socially acceptable thing to do.  For some church was a place of solace and a source of strength in distressful times.  Other people found church a place to meet others, make new friends or contacts, and perhaps even find a life partner.  Some were “born into the church” or it was their life “duty”.  There were so many reasons for church attendance, and as a percentage of society so many more people attend at least one church service.

My point here is that the reasons men and women attended church did not matter so much.  The fact is that they came under the influence of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, both of which can powerfully affect the individual, added to this was the positive effect of fellowship and the nurturing effect of relationship with men and women who were Christians.

I do not mean that people were perfect, or that criminal acts were non-existent.  Such a suggestion is ludicrous, but there was a positive tempering of attitudes, a strengthening of moral values in many lives, a strengthening of and support for individuals.   Many a soul was redirected from a life of dispare, desperation or  crime simply by hearing the word.  The testimony of hundreds of thousands stand as a sure evidence to that fact.

For very many reasons the church has far less impact today.  Too often church has been reduced to one service on a Sunday, often in competition with sport or entertainment, the workplace and family commitments.  Life is much more demanding today than it was then.  There are so many competing priorities to distract us from the church and the proper worship of a living God.

While it is true that there are a few individuals, churches, and Christian organisations trying to influence our world, the politics of today, the workplace, and entertainment, they are of a diminishing influence in a noisy world that seeks to drowns out the word of God and Christian values.

The influence of secularism in the world of politics, education, community values and social norms all compete strongly with the values of Christianity.  Other religions seek to find ways to influence our culture with the firm conviction that they have an equal right with the church to influence our nation and should have a voice.  Sport and entertainment have become the religion of the day for many.

In view of the onslaught on society, the church seems to withdraw, to remain a part of what is becoming a mythical “silent majority”.  A refuge in the storm – so to speak and the strength an influence of the Church is further diminished, and society embraces other solutions to the problems it faces.

As a nation we attempt to embrace the influence of the United Nations and to look good on the world stage, rather than influence that very inept and dysfunctional organisation. 

Politicians attempt to legislate human behaviour, you simply cannot effectively do so.  We may be able to legislate for the effects of those who will perform evil, but we cannot legislate to stop evil or corruption or hate.

So what is my point?  Simply this…

Not until the Christians in the church stand up and realise that it is our moral and spiritual responsibility to make the Kingdom of God our priority will a change for the better occur.

We need to take back what has been stolen.  We need to stand up for our faith.  Indeed it is past time to make church, the body of Christ into which we have been established at the local level our priority, and THEN, our God will intervene in the lives of the church and its people.

Not because “a church or preacher declares and decrees” something to be so… (and unbelievably daft idea) but because we the Church stand up, individually and collectively, to BE THE CHURCH, only then will we see a change.

But how do you stand if you do not know what you believe?  How do you hold firm if you do not know what the Bible says?   How can you know what it says if you do not read it?  How do you understand if you do not study?

Once we had the influence of the church, but now it is diminished and so is the teaching of the word of God.  Once we heard the word and were affected, whether rich or small, educated or ignorant, wise or foolish we heard and were impacted for good,

Jesus understood the principle of the power of the individual.  He reached out to the world a person at a time.  Speaking to the need of righteousness and holiness, of the Kingdom of God and the power of God in the individual.  He was not concerned with politics or social reform.  He was concerned with the individual because he knew that changing an individual can influence the world.  We need to return to those long-lost principles and be concerned with the growth of the Kingdom of God, social reform and political change will follow.  History has proven my case.  Consider for a moment the nations thar rose from impoverishment to grand success on the influence of the Word of God and the power of the gospel, and yet are now fallen and diminished as they move from Christian influence to secular principles.

We need to resurrect the church in the power of the Kingdom, open our doors more often, make worship, praise, teaching and fellowship the heartbeat of our faith and BELIEVE JESUS, but that will not happen until we choose to be committed to learning the word of God for ourselves.

So I invite you as an individual to take up studies with Vision Colleges or, you, my fellow pastor ask us how you can start a Bible College in your church.  

https://visionbiblecollege.edu.au email: principal@visionbiblecollege.edu.au

For all of that, To quote a Gaither song,  Let the Church be the church… 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=536e9OQ7s5s

And change will come…