Revelation 3 church of Sardis

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by JohnC, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. You have name for accomplishing great things but the reality does not reflect this. You talk a great talk but you aren't finishing anything you start. You are dabbling but not working. You are living in the past and those days are gone along with those ministries...

    The end result is that nothing is being accomplished now.

    Jesus call is to turn from this error - Be vigilant and conscientious to bring your current work all the way to fruition. Accomplish things.

    Put away all the dabbling, inattention, false starts, living in the past, balking, excuses, etc.... All the 10,000,000 things that result in not finishing what you start. The road to hell is paved with good intentions....
     
    bobinfaith likes this.
  2. Jesus call is an individual call to act outside of the official organization - not a corporate call to the organization.

    Jesus is outside looking in.

    We should expect to see effective ministry here started, lead, and sustained by individuals without much official church involvement - not officially sponsored corporate ministry sustained through the formal "church organization" .....

    If anything - putting the ministry under official church administration brings dithering and ineffectiveness resulting in not accomplishing anything useful.
     
    bobinfaith likes this.
  3. Hello JohnC;

    Your thread is an ongoing eye opener and a never ending discipline in our faith walk. Sad, too many times loud trumpets are blown, "we're going to do this and accomplish that" and end up lacking results but overflowing with excuses.
    We should always pray for this struggle in the church and life.

    Proverbs 18:9, Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.

    As believers for the Kingdom we need to seek the diligent for Christ. Zeal breeds zeal, commitment breeds commitment.

    God bless you, JohnC.
     
    sandpiper likes this.
  4. Thanks for the feedback.

    I want to encourage you all in this....

    If this rings a bell for you.. You feel frustrated because you are trying to seek permission and opportunity to serve God through your church organization and it's just not working.

    See if God will open a door for you to serve Him "outside"... Is there a way you can intentionally serve God through your job and life.

    Open the door to participate in God answering prayers through you. Perhaps create a job. Perhaps train up a young man to work. Perhaps help a vendor get paid... Perhaps hire a single mom. Help people get medical care... Help people get paperwork done so they can untangle their lives.. Etc....

    Thanks
     
    bobinfaith likes this.
  5. Your description of the failure of the post modern church is a good one.

    Following WWII, churches experienced an influx of donations that matched the prosperity of the time. Since then, both donations and popularity of church membership has declined. Every poll you can reference echoes this trend. Most use 1950 as a benchmark year. In 2010, several polls revealed that regular church attendance had fallen between 40% and 60% since 1950 (depending upon which poll you consulted). Given the current trend, statisticians predict that by 2050 attendance will be only about 10% of 1950 levels. Because donations have fallen, most churches in America are now deeply excessively in debt. There are almost NO churches at all that are not in hock for millions each.

    Why has attendance fallen?

    There are several reasons. One reason is the tendency to use electronic and digital media to present the gospel instead of personal effort. The gospel is not preached in great stadiums any more. Lazy leaders take the money they're given and put it into digital media - where it languishes and dies. Nobody tracks clicks on church web sites and even if they do there is no way to effectively measure personal decisions. One reason is the tendency to dilute the gospel in favor of messages that sell religious membership; the prosperity gospel, personal improvement gospel, happy talk and the elaborate Vegas style dogs and pony show on Sunday morning. One reason is that Christianity has changed from a religion to a lucrative god business. Church congregations are literally referred to as regional franchises, like McDonalds' or Starbucks. Missionary groups do NOT participate in humanitarian projects, especially emergency ones, until and unless resources both monetary and medical are purchased and shipped - even when these resources are already available to them in their warehouses.

    The bottom line is that in 2017 churches have either corrupted themselves and the gospel so as to seek monetary advantages, or that they have been negligent in their spiritual duties. I am aware of too many sincere honest and devout churches who have been either incompetent or negligent with the resources God has given them. Almost all are in debt for obscene amounts of money. Very few are on a pay-as-you-go basis.

    But it isn't all about money........

    Christian education is the most neglected part of religious practice. Our young are almost never given an adequate religious and philosophical preparation for life after High School. When they graduate they are exposed to the harsh realities of making a living or the terrible soul-crunching attacks organized upon them in colleges and universities. As a result, they abandon the single most efficacious philosophy on the planet and the only chance they may have for making peace with God. Adults don't fare much better. Most adult Bible studies are written at the Middle School level and only reiterate accepted norms and doctrines. None challenge the adult student to study and none provide tools for effective personal examination of scripture, religious and political issues. NONE. Consequently congregations are exposed to repetitious slogans masquerading as doctrine and loud humanistic music which subverts Godly spiritual worship and praise. It's all about how much God loves ME ME ME, rather than how much allegiance and trust I owe to God....there is almost none of the latter.

    Repentance?

    Forget about it. Sermons about repentance will never be heard in church these days. It cuts down on donations and risks people heading to the parking lot too early. But has there EVER been a time in recent history when all of us and most of us don't need a good exposure to repentance?

    and that's me, hollering from the choir loft...
     
    bobinfaith likes this.
  6. I think that you have posted a good analysis....

    But I want to focus on "What do I personally do?"

    I want to point out that OUR ENTIRE LIFE is a testimony... Our "Testimony" is not simply a couple sentences about Jesus blood - it also encompasses the way we live our lives. The ongoing "testimony" that God is transforming our lives...

    Doing a good job at work. Being a good parent. Working to reduce the hassle and frustration of our co-workers, customers, and suppliers. Being a good spouse... All these things are an ongoing testimony of God's work in your life that others witness... They are often intentional decisions that may be hard ones... You may have to grit your teeth hard and fall back on knowing God calls us to Service and Obedience - and this sercive and obedience can be hard in real life....

    For example - how shameful is it to see a friend's wife posting all sort of "Holy is me" scripture on Facebook when you have witnessed that she is a narcissistic slave driver ruining your friend's life at home?
     
    bobinfaith likes this.
  7. Choir Loft,

    I completely agree with you on the Christian Education part. My Church formerly did a great job of really challenging our youth teens and getting them to own their faith not just regurgitate scripture. These kids are my oldest daughters age and are her friends so I have been able to see first hand that many of them have kept their faith strong and are passing it on. I am not so sure the current youth is getting the same blessings.

    I agree with you, most adult Sunday school classes are not challenging at all. As you say, I could pass them on to the middle school youth and they would have no problem keeping up. When the opportunity arises I always try to bring things to a deeper understanding which sometimes pushes to less popular ideas concerning doctrine and especially tradition. I have been pleased when others are willing to discuss (even if they disagree) and dismayed by those who will automatically dismiss but refuse to inform me on why am wrong. I do applaud the strong faith of the latter parties but it is clear they have blindly accepted things by faith and either chose not to understand them or (more likely) were never properly instructed. Unfortunately it is this lackadaisical attitude that pervades most, established for many different reasons, and reduces in every generation those who will accept Christ because they can't understand the blind faith they see in others.

    In Christ,

    Heisonfirst
     
    bobinfaith likes this.
  8. JohnC,

    I love this post. I recently left my job. I left my job because I was so overtaken with my work that I didn't have time for my family or Kingdom work. I let everyone know I was going to make it so my job would also be kingdom work. The interesting thing that happened when I told my coworkers this, was the sheer number of people who started telling me how they wish they could do this and then started telling me about things at their Church. I worked in this job for 2 years and this was the first time I was even cursorily aware they were Believers. Two months after I started I was introduced by my office manager as someone who was very active in my Church. I had people regularly ask me about my faith or apologize when they thought they had offended me, since I am a Christian. When I first started I prayed with people, read them scriptures and 6 months into my tenure I had a young man open up to me about his drug addiction and look to me for help, I did what I could, prayed for him then and to this day (he is doing well, Praise God).

    I share this to say we can absolutely live our lives in a way that shares our faith. I am amazed how often people will stop and ask me if I am a Christian after a brief (non-religious) conversation. More often than not, I am not consciously aware of doing anything that would give away my faith. That being said, I often speak of the Church, the Bible, Christ, faith and family without even thinking about it.

    Please don't think I am boasting. I feel like a failure everyday for not doing enough.

    All the things you mention above, good people who are not Christians do those things everyday. It's important that others know you do these things in Christ's name and for his Kingdom or might just be a small favor from one person to another. The Bible tells us we will be known when we love one another as Christ loved us.

    2 years ago I was helping an acquaintance of mine who was about to lose her children to the state. Her oldest son had witnessed or heard of most of the things my wife and I were doing for her and,by proxy, for him and his siblings. She was by most definitions a lady of the night. Her son had clearly seen men and women come in and out of his mom's life and they all wanted something from her. He was clearly confused as he saw that I didn't want anything from her. He asked me why I was doing what I was doing, was his mom paying me. I told him it was just the right thing to do and I just wanted to help.

    I failed that young man, he was reaching out, he saw something different in me and when he sought understanding I failed to share Christ's love with him. To him, my works were simply that of a good man. Either that or he thinks I just wasn't willing to admit I wanted something from his mom. I hope someday he will remember me and equate that to Christ working in his life but I doubt it.

    To wrap this up, you don't have to do much of anything special to show Christ's love in your daily life if he is in your heart. Be mindful of why you are doing Kingdom work and be ready to share Christ's involvement in that work at any time. Do not be ashamed to pronounce his name in all that you do.

    In Christ,

    Heisonfirst
     
    bobinfaith likes this.

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