The local church. This is the one topic that affects millions of followers of Jesus around the world. They once were members of a local church but not anymore. They love Jesus but are disillusioned, disappointed and have become needless dropouts from God's way of building His church.
Jesus said, "I will build My church..." He is using us to build an amazing body of believers who showcase what it means to be redeemed and conformed to the image of Jesus.
The local church is a functioning body not just a single member. There is an amazing depth to the enduring quality of the church that lies beneath the surface. It has endured everything thrown at it from without and within. It is God's idea!
The will of God could not be clearer as you read through the New Testament. The first of millions of local churches started at Jerusalem and can now be seen all over the world.
It is a staple for believers who live in developed and especially undeveloped nations. It is God's way of making the invisible kingdom visible to the community it serves.
I've ministered in over 50 nations of the world and in all kinds of settings. The one common denominator is the local church. It is everywhere and those who are involved, through thick and thin, are the ones who are growing in their faith and maturity in Jesus.
In all the 'revivals' I've experienced, it is a sad reality that the same disillusioned, disappointed dropouts can be found pressing in to God. They worship, enjoy the Word and get prayed for when it is offered. But when they leave they have no local church - they are the spiritual homeless among us. Often they become critics of the local church.
OBSERVATION: Of all the people I've had the most difficult time with as a pastor, it was those who dropped out of the local church. The old saying applies to them - hurting people hurt people.
In the blogging world, these same Christians need an audience for their pain and positions. They lash out at everyone and everything that they don't agree with. They take the position of being God's heresy hunters. It fills their emotional tank to lash out at others. When there is a scandal, they go on a blogging frenzy. They believe they are the only ones living the truth and in their loneliness, take great joy in being persecuted because they alone stand for truth. How sad? The internet has given them, unfortunately, a bully pulpit.
Well we've come to the last of some thoughts on 'lessons I'm learning from revivals'. There is alot more to learn and I know the days and years ahead will prove as interesting as the last 30 have been.
Loving Jesus means loving His church!