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|What's So Funny?
I was reading a book a friend gave me the other day. It was a Cartoon book for Church Newsletters with picture cartoons in it. As I was going through the book, I began to think of something which reminded me of the state the Churches are in here in America and I believe most all over the world. Everything has to be fun, funny and a good time or people complain that Church is boring and begin to look for a Church that offers more of what they want. I began to ask myself about what Church was supposed to be like and what Church was actually for.
Seems to me that the answer can be found easily in the Bible.
(Jesus Should be head of the Church)
In Colossians 1:18,19 we find the following passage: "And He is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. 19 For it please the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.
(A gathering place for believers to Worship the Lord)
In Hebrews 10:25 we find the passage: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
(A place to learn Doctrine, Fellowship & Prayer)
In Acts 2:42 we find the passage: "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
In today's Churches we can almost record what is happening and listen to it at home. We show up at Church, ask for prayer request (usually praying without emotion or conviction), sing a song or two, take Communion, an Offering, sing another song, listen to a message that might be Bible centered and might not, sing a couple more songs and leave.
Is this really what Jesus expected of us, the Church, or have we changed it so much over the last 2000+ years that He wouldn't recognize it as a Church anymore? My contention is Jesus would be appalled at what He would find and probably would clear the building out.
So what does this all have to do with the book I was reading? Simply put.....it all falls into place where the book is nothing short of an example of our outreach from the "new" Church we have created. Churches have to be "FUN". Members gather together and talk about their lives in regards to jobs, tv shows, things happening around the area, the weather, the crops, etc., etc., etc., but very little is discussed about how they were a disciple for Christ the past week. Not much said if any about how God worked in their lives last week. Not much said about God at all if we are honest with outselves. After all, what "FUN" is that?
So as I am going through the book, I began to see a pattern to the cartoons that were so true to life in our Church today. Let me give you an example. NO OFFENSE is meant towards the author of the book as I am sure he meant well with his efforts.
Funny, right? I doubt that God even gave it a giggle. What's so funny about a preacher who might be more worried about his "job" than preaching the Word of the Living Lord & Savior? What's so funny about Church members thinking they have to assure their Preacher the safety of his job so he won't be afraid to preach the Gospel? Nothing! Preachers have to preach the truth regardless of the consequences. Job or no job.....a preachers duty is to preach the Gospel without compromise. But, because we depend so much upon ourselves instead of God....we go about it all wrong.
Here's an example of how we tend to make things all about us:
Once again, I ask you: What's so funny about this cartoon? It to me is sickening that anyone is more concerned with "their" position in the Church than God's. We see this happening all over the world, especially here in America. Pride, Prestige, Power, Self is what it is all about instead of God and His Holiness.
So in conclusion, I would like for you...No, PLEAD with you to re-evaluate yourself in regards to who you serve. God? Yourself? It better be God and it better be on HIS terms. Quit looking for a "FUN" place to go to Church and look for a place where GOD is Worshipped and is the HEAD of everything that goes on in that building. Regardless of the Consequences!
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"Take 15 minutes each day to listen to God talking to you; take
15 minutes each day to talk to God; take 15 minutes each day to talk to others about God." - Billy Sunday
Before he read a letter, looked at a paper or even read a telegram, he went first to the Bible, that the first impression of the day might be what he got directly from God. Maybe that would be a good thing for us to do also?
Billy Sunday Sayings / Quotes
Charles Spurgeon, known widely as the "Prince of Preachers" has given the world many good and lasting sermons, quotes and information to help in your walk with the Lord, especially concerning helping to win souls for Christ. Though you may not agree with everything Spurgeon said, he has left us with much to be thankful for. Click on the picture to enter..... Spurgeon.org
Then & Now
A preacher in those days, when he felt God called him to preach, didn't hunt up a college or seminary, he hunted up a good horse, took off across the country and began crying "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world"! Today they look for the best paying job with the best retirement package.