Well, that title caught your attention, huh?
Since the Lord led me away from Middlefork, my wife and I have had the opportunity to visit many different churches in our area (even some outside our area) and we have made a heart-breaking discovery. Many of our churches are spiritually dead, having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof. This comes as no surprise to many I have spoken with who really love the Lord and have a deep desire to serve, worship, and walk with Him in Spirit and in truth. Many today are tired of the ceremonial religious services they attend but really do not know what to do about it, primarily because there is no where else to go that is any better.
Why is this happening to our churches? I could write a four-day long post on that subject, however, I believe I will focus on just one today. Depending upon which survey or poll you look at (and you can find plenty by just Googling), many believe that anywhere from 50% to 80% of church members are not born again. One of these polls comes from the Billy Graham Ministries. They judge this number by how many come to be saved at the crusades that thought they already were saved.
50% to 80%! Let me put that another way; out of a congregation of 100, anywhere from 20 to maybe 50 of them are saved. Do you know what that means? That means that out of 100 church members, anywhere from 50 to 80 of them are lost and going to Hell.
Many have been lulled into a false sense of security through the church membership process. You have seen it before. Someone comes to the front of the church, shakes the preacher’s hand and tells him they want to be saved and go to Heaven. The preacher leads them in a “sinner’s prayer”, they schedule a time to be baptized, and they become a member of said congregation.
Too many times, there is no brokenness over sin. Too many times, there is no understanding of what sin really is in the first place and how serious it is in the sight of our Holy God.
I confess that when I was a pastor, there was a time when I did that very thing. Oh, I would implore them to be sincere. I would beg them to repeat after me and mean it in their heart. It was clear on several occasions however, that they were not born-again, there was no change, there was no brokenness over sin,…they were not REALLY saved.
I eventually came to the understanding that if they were truly convicted of their sin, then just like I had been some 20 years ago, they too would know exactly what to say to the Lord without my “repeat after me” intervention. The Holy Ghost would take care of that.
Another thing the Lord made me to realize over time is that in order for a person to be broken over sin, that person needs to understand what sin really is and how serious it is to God. Psalms 19:7, The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The law converts the soul. The Apostle Paul said that had it not been for the law, he would not have known what sin was (Rom.7:7).
When we break just one commandment, the Bible says we may as well had broken them all because in breaking just one, we are guilty of all of them(James 2:10). The Bible is also very clear on what a person earns for breaking the law…eternity in the torments of Hell. The Lord Jesus talked far more about Hell than He did about Heaven because, unfortunately, more people are going to Hell.
Some might say, “Oh but God is so good. He will be forgiving and just look over my sin.” It is because He IS GOOD that He cannot just look over it. I once heard Ray Comfort put it this way, “Suppose a murdering rapist appeared before a judge and said, “Judge, I am really a good person at heart. I really don’t live like that anymore. I know you are a good Judge so can’t you just let me go?” The Judge replies, “No. Because I am a good Judge, I must see to it that justice is served.”
God’s commandments say THOU SHALT NOT LIE. Have you ever told a lie, even a little white lie? What do you call a person who lies? That’s right, a liar.
The harsh reality is that if you have told one lie, you are a liar and you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Rev. 21:8 that “…all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The fine to be paid for our freedom is astronomical. There is no way we can pay it, we cannot afford it. The only way to get out of the punishment we deserve is for someone to step in and pay the fine for us. God loves us so much that, though He cannot look over our sin, He made a way for us to be forgiven of our sin. He Himself came in the flesh and took our punishment for us. He paid the fine. He offers it as a gift.
My prayer is that someone reads this and repents and is eternally saved. My second prayer is that you who are saved will read this and have two uncontrollable desires come over you; 1. To fall on your face in your prayer closet and worship and praise the Lord Jesus for so great salvation and 2. You will want to run out and tell someone that Hell is real but the Lord Jesus has made a way out.
What does god have for you…just around the corner?