Is Today’s Church Missing the Mark?

Posted: March 23, 2013 in Personal Evangelism

Reading the blogs and hearing discussions in religious circles it seems that there is a zeroed in focus, a movement to build a good name for the church and religious denominations. As Christians we should be above reproach, abstain from every form of evil (NASB) First Thessalonians 5:22. We are not to give anyone a reason to criticize us or the church, or our denomination speaking from a moral stand point. 

I fear that some religious leaders and churches are more concerned about building a good name in their city or community than they are about lifting up the name of Jesus Christ. During the last few days of Jesus life on earth, He told His disciples that “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Mark 13:13. 

Jesus warned His disciples that they would face hatred and rejection from religious and civil leaders and even their own families because they followed HIm. For a Jew to convert became very dangerous and Jesus knew it would lead to hatred and ostracism. 

The apostle Paul wrote to encourage the believers in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 6:3-7 ” 3giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, 
4but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 
5in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 
6in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 
7in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 
8by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 
9as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 
10as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

This is the apostle Paul’s second of three hardship list, 4:8-12; 11:23-29 are the other two. Through Scripture we are warned beginning with Jesus that all who follow Him would face persecution, hatred, rejection and even death. Christianity even though it is the one true faith of peace will always face persecution when the church is proclaiming the Name of Jesus. When the church (the people) are more concerned about how they are accepted by other religious groups and civil authorities it will become complacent, weak and water down the gospel. 

The book of Acts give clear documentation of Jesus’ hand chosen disciples facing torture, whippings, beatings, imprisonment, trials, and denial of daily bread, because they lived out Jesus’ command to go and make disciples. Jesus disciples were all killed for their faith in Jesus Christ, excluding Judas and John.  

Making disciples sometimes means you are accepted and other times you are persecuted and rejected. History shows that when the Church was intentionally spreading the gospel it suffered at the hands of religious and political leaders. 

Jesus own words about reproducing the church are “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24. No one likes to face and suffer death. Even Jesus struggled with His assignment of dying for the sins of all mankind. He had to pray for strength. But in the end He was empowered and the thought of fulfilling His Father’s will to save lost sinners drove Him to fulfillment. 

A good name, Jesus Christ is the only good name we will ever know. All others will disappear with time and in eternity. Unless we lift up the Name of Jesus lost people will not be saved from their sins. Oh you can have a good name for your church, your pastor, and even your denomination, but Jesus name is the only name by which men can be saved. Acts 4:12. 

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