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Be Awake (12 of 13)
When we are caught up in a great worship service, we sometimes think the whole world is "Christian" and excited about what is going on inside the church. But the heartbreaking truth is: it just isn't so. In fact, when we look at the priorities God has given us, we discover that the job is being done pitifully and poorly.
Churches seem to be growing in numbers, at least in "casual memberships." It seems that in some ways many churches have had at least some kind of nominal success. But in really making disciples, it seems that we have not done what God wants us to do. Only one third of this world claims to even know Jesus Christ. One third of this world says yes to Jesus Christ, but two thirds say no. If we keep winning people to Christ at the same rate as we now do, in my lifetime alone only one percent of this world will be Christian! We need to mentally chew on that for a moment! It's tragic that my children and grandchildren will live most of their lives in a world that is 99 percent against Jesus Christ.
We have sorely and bitterly failed at our God-given task of winning the world. Some have claimed that the church is washed up and through. One man wrote a stinging poetic accusation against the church when he said, "Outwardly splendid as of old, inwardly sparkless, void, and cold. Her force and fire all spent and gone, like the dead moon, she still shines on."
He is writing that the church is nothing but a reflection of the past, something that others with more dedicated stamina did years before us, and we are merely the recipients of their greater and more worthy dedication.
We have beautiful churches, well-appointed buildings which are heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer, stained-glass windows, and comfortable, cushioned pews.
We have been able to have a "better'" life and more comfort, and yet it is surprising to me that, even though churches have larger budgets and prettier buildings, i ...
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