Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Way Church Used To Be

I remember when people came to Church, not expecting a high-powered concert, but a hard-core sermon from the Word of God. The service was dominated by a full hour of strong, fearless Bible preaching. Worldly, carnal people were convicted of their sinful ways and went to an altar to make tearful consecrations to quit their sins and do the will of God.

Christians didn't smoke, drink, dance, cuss, dip, carouse, go to ball games or theaters. They did not wear revealing clothes. They carried Bibles, read them, marked them and made notes in them. They prayed, went to prayer meetings, Bible studies, and Church fellowships. They visited the sick, the shut-ins, the jails, and the nursing homes.

Nowadays, tears and repentance are non-existent in most Churches. In their place is Harlem-dancing and rock-star worship. They scream and chant wildly about their sports teams, they rave about the latest block-buster movies, they know every hit song by every wicked entertainer on the scene. They wear as few clothes as the law will allow, they drink alcoholic beverages, use four-letter profanities with impunity, and commit sexual sins that would have given former generations a heart attack. And they still call themselves Christians.

"Ichabod" - meaning "the glory of the Lord is departed," is written over the door. Sin is welcomed and never condemned. The promises of God are offered recklessly without covenant like free ice cream and candy. The grace of God is trampled under foot. The longsuffering of God has been pushed to the breaking point, and judgment is right around the corner.

Unless Christianity quickly falls on its face in brutal confession of its sins, and in most humble repentance and turning from its wicked ways, the wrath of God will soon be poured out with nothing withheld.

God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up," James 4:8-10.

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