THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE CHURCH??
I was reading through my emails last Tuesday when I came across this bit of sad news.
“The Getwell church of Christ in Memphis Tennessee has closed their doors. . . . . ” https://forthright.net/news/getwell-closes/ “The congregation began in 1950. Reports on the reason for the closure cited declining attendance in an area of changing demographics.”
Once a strong congregation that had many and numerous works to build the church not only in Tennessee, but throughout the brotherhood, has closed. Why did this church close their doors? Further, why have other churches closed as well?
Many “churches” of all denominations are closing.
The pandemic showed our weaknesses when we became afraid of spreading covid 13 beginning in 2020-2021. Fear caused us to stay at home. Elders made decisions that closed the doors of the church for 2-3 weeks, then months. . . . ostensibly to protect the church from a deadly virus that could kill many. Satan used this fear (“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7) to destroy the church, and to destroy the faith of many Christians. We didn’t trust in God as much as we did the news and the medical field.
This pandemic showed our faith in the system and in medicine, but what happened to our faith in God?
It is interesting to me that during this same time frame, the clamor of many who are blatantly sinning against God and mankind by their “in your face” sin exploded, and battles were fought over issues in which the Bible clearly address in passages such as Romans 1. We are deluged and sickened by the blatant and open sin by many who dare God to punish them. Our hearts weep because they have gone down this road – a road that leads too eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord. Our hearts should break, we should weep at the direction our country is going.
Many in the secular world hope that the church does fail. The church has been the stalwart defender of the Bible and the way of God, as it should be. Our allegiance is to God first, hence, we should stand FIRMLY on the truth we find in Scriptures, and do all we can to help others to see the truth and repent of their sin. And we need to, in love, make clear to all mankind that GOD WILL JUDGE THE WORLD ONE DAY BY THAT MAN WHO HE HAS ORDAINED!!!
Acts 17:26-31, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
School and universities rejoice in the thoughts that Christianity and other religions are in their “death throes” now. They think they have proven there is no God, hence, enjoy life here and now, because this is it. Sadly, if this is it, it isn’t much.
Finally, let me remind you that . . . .
Just because a church closes does not mean that Satan has won! Jesus won the war against Satan at the cross, and we can and must be faithful in a world that hates us. The growth of the first century church happened because Christians were hated, yet they continued to follow their Master no matter the cost. Brothers and sisters – FOLLOW JESUS NO MATTER THE COST!
May I also suggest that the church has become lazy about evangelism. Our actions of years gone by suggested that the church believed that if one did not obey the gospel, they would be forever lost in eternity. Do we believe that now? As many of the older members die off; what will happen if we stop teaching the gospel to the world? SOULS WILL BE ETERNALLY LOST.
I close with these thoughts . . . we know that the church will not fail – because it is God’s church. He set it up. His Son paid the price for the church, and the church will exist as long as Christians, those saved by the blood of Christ, remain committed to the God the established his church– her mission as well as her worship of God.
Also consider the churches who received letters in Revelation 2-3. What happened to them? They needed to be rebuked and challenged to be faithful to the end. So must we be!
The Lord’s church will never die if we are faithful in teaching the gospel and doing what we can to share the hope of mankind – Jesus Christ.
Think on these things. Tommy