By Robert Jones
Have you noticed that the Church of today is largely ineffectual? How many people today are getting saved but it seems like a shallow salvation? Have you also noticed the lack of miracles being performed in today’s churches and congregations as I have noticed? Well I have noticed and I think I know why it’s this way.
As I view the situations in the world and within many of today’s churches and congregations, I see several huge problems. The first is that many (perhaps even most) of today’s Christians and even their churches are walking with one foot in the world, and one foot with Jesus in righteousness. To be in the world is to be concerned with the things of the world – money, position, power, status, viewed favorably by non-believers, etc. The book of James tells us of this:
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Quite clearly, those that try to appease the world and the commonly accepted views and actions of the world around them are acting as the enemies of God. The result of this is that their prayers will NOT be answered.
Secondly, I see too many of today’s Christians and congregations NOT speaking and acting with the boldness they need. This, in my humble opinion is part of the above problem in that today’s Christians don’t wish to upset others, so by default they have allowed the ways of man and the world to dictate how they speak and act. In other words, they have become limp-wristed appeasers: something that our Lord and Savior NEVER was. Read the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and you will never read of Jesus compromising His beliefs to satisfy the desires of those around him. For that matter, neither did any of the Old Testament prophets except Balaam who was punished for it.
Thirdly, I see that the churches and Christians of today, by NOT walking strictly in righteousness and with boldness in the Word of God, are not operating with the full authority they have been given by our Lord Jesus Christ. We get a glimpse of this in Matthew:
Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Also, I have been witnessing a move to use perverted, watered down, and emasculated Scripture which is robbing the people and congregations of the true knowledge and power of the Word of God. Lets look first at Isaiah 28:10
Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Da, da, da, da, blah, blah, blah, blah.
That’s a good little girl, that’s a good little boy.
10 For it is:Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that[a]; a little here, a
little there. ”
Obviously there are HUGE differences. And then there is the New World Translation (used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses) which has stripped virtually all references to Hell and everlasting torment and damnation. Now, there are a couple of versions of the Scriptures that have brought about much positive change in the Church and led many revivals and workings of the gifts of the Holy Spirit worldwide: The King James Version (both original 1611 and 1769 Authorized versions), the Geneva Bible of 1560. The Geneva Bible fueled the Calvinist, Presbyterian, and Puritan movements, and was the Scriptural basis for the spiritual foundations of the British Colonies that would later become the U.S. in the sense that both the Plymouth and Jamestown colonies used the Geneva Bible at their foundation. The King James Version supplanted the Geneva Bible in the late 1600’s and has been the primary Bible used for much of the world’s revivals since then, as well as being the Bible primarily used and quoted by the founding fathers of the U.S.. My personal reading has indicated that much of the King James seems to have been taken from the Geneva translation. To the best of my knowledge no other Bibles have had as much impact on the world and the Christian Church as these two.
Lastly, I have been hearing too much lately of people-pleasing, or ear tickling, doctrine and preaching. Personally, when I read the 4 Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, I am constantly being convicted of my own shortcomings. As a result, I believe that any sermon or teaching of the Word of God should be uncomfortable for the vast majority of believers. This is because we as a people and as the body of Christ have allowed sin to enter our lives either through commission or omission. So, if you are hearing mostly sermons and teachings that make you feel good, then you are likely NOT getting the true Word of God
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
So how do we go about changing this set of situations? First, I feel we, as Christians, should return to the time proven rendition of the Word of God – the King James Bible (1611 edition preferred, but the 1769 Authorized Version will also work, as will the 1599 Geneva Bible). Next, we should seriously take 2 Timothy 3:16 to heart and use the WHOLE Bible for our doctrine and instruction, and not just our favorite parts. But I believe that it’s most important for us as Christians to recapture our uncompromising beliefs, the fire of our conviction, and the boldness of Christ. We need to firmly reject ALL sin and reject all attempts to get us to accept sinful actions just to ‘get along’ (including the innocent sounding passive-aggressive arguments like “I’m not trying to change your mind” (but what is unsaid is: “but I won’t like you if you don’t change”)). This is what it means to have our testimony – to be so sure and certain in our faith in Christ, and in our knowledge of the Word of God that we can resist the devil and his temptations that he flees. In Revelation we read about those that have this level of faith and boldness in Jesus:
Rev 12:10 … for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
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