238. THE DEPLORABLY PATHETIC SPIRITUAL STATE OF MOST CHURCHES TODAY

(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 6)

In Luke 18:8, Jesus asked the question: “…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

To my mind, him being all-knowing, he was not asking because he did not know the answer. Rather, it seems that he was giving his disciples insight into the spiritually deplorable, disgraceful state of affairs that would exist when he returned upon the earth.

It seems that he was pointing out that when he returned, faith, genuine faith in Him, would have become so scarce to find, that it would have been close to the point of extinction.

Why would Jesus say that? And why would genuine faith seemingly be scarce to find?

This is a question that I have pondered on but each day, as I consider these times that I live in and observe what is happening all around, the answer becomes clearer and clearer.

It is because as time progresses, those who name the name of Christ and actually live faithful lives in integrity to the Lord are rapidly decreasing. More and more people occupying the Church pews are walking by sight and not faith and living in disobedience to the Lord’s commands.

For example, Jesus gave his followers a simple mandate, the mandate above all other mandates, which was to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Sharing the gospel is the responsibility of every Christian and so is using the gift that God has given, to edify the saints.

Yet, people are increasingly focusing on the advancement of themselves, at the expense of the advancement of the gospel and the blessing of other believers.

Today, many Church assemblies are in a mess and the spiritual state of their members, in tatters.

Why is this? It is because when it comes to Jesus, his work and what his Word says:

  • Some are ASHAMED to identify with him and to publish his truths;
  • Some are AFRAID of what people will say, how they will be regarded, what they may lose or how they may suffer;
  • Some are downright SLOTHFUL, finding it hard to lift a finger to work for Christ or getting tired quickly at the slightest challenge that presents itself;
  • Some have LOST THEIR FIRE, passion, zeal and enthusiasm for spiritual things and are therefore lukewarm, indifferent, neutral and apathetic, having no real appetite, hunger or thirst for the Word of God and the things that pertain to his Kingdom agenda;
  • Some have gotten CAUGHT UP WITH THEIR OWN AFFAIRS, issues and concerns and so slave behind and preoccupy themselves with this, leaving God on the back-burner or giving him the remnants of their time and attention;
  • While others are ABOUT THE POPULARITY CRAZE and so don’t want to ruffle any feathers because they want to fit in, to be accepted by the majority, to say the socially accepted thing and to be a part of whatever is considered popular or the ‘in-thing’ in the world.

There are also those who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof because they have never been genuinely saved and are therefore unregenerate, although they regularly attend Church and may be involved in ‘ministry’ activities. They are there to stir up trouble in the Church and among God’s people and eventually, they depart from the faith, fall away, align themselves with the world and its practices, whether surreptitiously or openly and without shame, repentance or apology.

Is it any wonder, in light of the mess that exists in so many Churches today and the fast deteriorating spiritual condition that is evident, that Jesus asked the question, “…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

There are many people today who claim the title of ‘Christian’ and attend Christian services, events and activities but they don’t really demonstrate, through their actions, that they truly have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They say they have faith with their lips but their everyday lives and how they expect others to live, speak of a different reality.

One of the saddest things of all is that the Church today is generally in horrible condition but many of the members don’t see anything wrong with how things are and so simply continue on with routine and the status quo. They are asleep. They are slumbering. They are deluded. They are spiritually intoxicated. They therefore continue as if all is well in the world and that Jesus is pleased with them, when he is not.

Yet, apathy and apostasy are making greater and greater inroads in Churches, every day. Many of the people who are genuinely saved are not watchful and so the enemy has free rein to infiltrate. They have not exercised their senses to discern what is good from what is evil and as a result, the enemy sets up camp right in their midst, without them even being aware of it.

When the few that are alert, warn of the dangers they see and try to awaken them to the ugly realities that they are facing (according to truth), they are shut-down, ignored, belittled, ridiculed, considered to be too fussy, too analytical, too serious, delusional, a nit-picker and even crazy.

Yes. The Church is in a pathetically deplorable state spiritually today. One Preacher said of it, while commenting on the prevalence of apathy and apostasy in Churches today, that it is a “worldly, wretched, wayward and wilful Church”, exhibiting the same traits that the Laodicean Church did.

Indeed, the Church is in such a pathetically deplorable state spiritually, that it is only by the grace of almighty God, that when Jesus returns, he will find a remnant of people that have remained faithful to him (even if few), a people that, like Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego, have refused to bow down to the pressures and complacency and madness of these times, which call in loud unison for compromise and a forsaking of God’s truth.

Praise God for the remnant.

(Written on 03rd May, 2022)

ADDENDUM

I recently came across some quotes from a man (Vance Havner) who, though now deceased, God used greatly, to reach lost souls with the Word and to edify the saints. Most of his quotes appeal to me because they echo much of how I feel about what I see today in the Church and have long been lamenting over. Although he lived many years ago, he perceived a complacency which had come over many of God’s people, them being content to do everything else but God’s work, of reaching lost souls for Christ.

In light of these, he Preached much on the subject and here are some of his brutally honest quotes about the Church’s declining condition:

  • “Too many are willing to sit at God’s table, but not work in his field.”
  • “The cause of Christ has been hurt more by Sunday-morning benchwarmers who pretend to love Christ, who call Him Lord but do not His commands, than by all the publicans and sinners. They say they are evangelical but not evangelistic. They glory in being… disciples of the Lowest Common Denominator. They traffic in unfelt truth and refuse to get excited over religion. Their ideal service is “a mild-mannered man standing before a group of mild-mannered people, exhorting everybody to be more mild-mannered”… How many nice, comfortable, lovely people rest smilingly in church pews, their conscience drugged, their wills paralyzed, in self-satisfied stupor, utterly unconscious of their danger while the Lord of the Lampstands warns them, “I am about to spit you out of My mouth.”
  • “Too many Christians are stuffing themselves with gospel blessings while millions have never had a taste.”
  • “I know that some are always studying the meaning of the fourth toe of the right foot of some beast in prophecy and have never used either foot to go and bring men to Christ. I do not know who the 666 is in Revelation but I know the world is sick, sick, sick and the best way to speed the Lord’s return is to win more souls for Him.”
  • “The gospel is not something we go to Church to hear; It is something we go from Church to tell.”
  • “We are not going to move this world by CRITICISM of it nor CONFORMITY to it, but by the COMBUSTION within it of lives ignited by the Spirit of God.”
  • “Taking it easy is often the prelude to backsliding. Comfort precedes collapse.”
  • “The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.”
  • “We are suffering today from a species of Christianity as dry as dust, as cold as ice, as pale as a corpse, and as dead as King Tut.”
  • “It is better to wake up five hundred Christians than to convert five hundred sinners, for if five hundred Christians really wake up, they will win more than five hundred sinners.”
  • “A Christian is not a depository of the truth; he’s a dispenser of the truth.”
  • “…We need to get going for God. Faith in itself has no value unless it connects you with God. The Bible is constantly trying to wake us up: “Stir up the gift of God” (2 Tim. 1:6); “Break up your fallow ground” (Hos. 10:12); “Gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Peter 1:13). We need to take ourselves by the nape of the neck and make ourselves do what we know we ought to do, whether we feel like it or not.”

(Addendum written on 30th January, 2023)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be edifying, interesting, informative or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 45 – ‘Sharing The Gospel Message’
  • Note 111 – ‘What I Have Learned About Obeying God’s Call In Ministry’
  • Note 187 – ‘Stirring Up The Gift – Getting God’s Work Done’
  • Note 193 – ‘Woe, If We Preach Not The Gospel’
  • Note 238 – ‘The Deplorably Pathetic Spiritual State Of Most Churches Today’

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