Praying Church or Playing Church?

The western church is seen by the world as anything BUT Christian. We are making no one jealous for what we claim we've found in Christ. Independent and proud of it, our only chance is of winning this "holy war" is to declare our DEPENDENCE upon God. See, our problem is not our weak leaders or our demoralization. It's not Hollywood or Harry Potter.

The problem is the church's foolish fearlessness of God.

A nation is never better than its church, the church no better than its people. Only God-transformed believers can change the moral fiber of any nation. If we will commit to prayer and the ministry of the Word, out of this focus would come a harvest of last-day prophets. Prophets...not professional preachers. Agonizers in prayer, not organizers in team meetings. Count on it!

If we could save our nations with Christian music, TV, books, tapes, conferences and beautiful buildings, we would have done so by now. Instead, what we call "Christianity" has become the number one cause of atheism. We've made man in our own image...a sickly church, with a form of godliness with no power to speak of. For this we must repent.

Babies are born in travail (Isa. 66:8). Revival is birthed by spiritual people, not by slick-talking, high dollar pulpiteers. As Leonard Ravenhill put it, "The professional preacher gets popular and pampered. A true revivalist gets persecuted, ostracized, and lonely." Our "life-changing sermons" aren't changing lives because we're impotent in our pleading before God. Whereas a preacher develops a sermon; a prophet brings a message from Heaven's throne.

So, the burden for revival is not on the pew, but on the preacher. New Testament ministers have one vital aspect to their job description: to fulfill Acts 6 by giving themselves continually to the ministry of the Word and to prayer. That's it. Too often they seem more concerned with personal savings than personal salvations. The worldly are keen to it and the church goers are tired of it.

REASONS

The reason for this sickly western church? 1) Some people work without worship, 2) others worship without work, 3) few people maintain the discipline of prayer. The prayer meeting is obsolete in most congregations. We cannot preach "you must be born again" until we "travail in birth" that people BE born again. Then we must not only conceive these babes, but raise them. We cannot merely lead them in "the sinner's Prayer" or take them down "the Roman Road" and deceive ourselves into believing anyone has actually been saved. No, any manipulative soul can do that.

Over 30 times in the New Testament we see some variation of the phrase "Follow Me." Are we willing to warn the new converts, as Jesus did, that the world will hate them? That their enemies would be the members of their own households? Are we willing to deny ourselves to DISCIPLE them? That is the Great Commission after all.

REPENTANCE

We need a major overhaul; we must repent. The Greek word is "metanoia," to change one's mind. We must change our mind about this thing we call church. As we look to our brothers in the east, we see that six of every eleven conversions today are from Asia or India. The underground church in China grows at a rate of 20,000 daily amidst persecution. Though 80% of the world is literally dying to serve Jesus, the western church is blessed and free. It seems that same freedom has become our greatest enemy as freedom includes the freedom to do nothing.

Our greatest threat? God Himself! Much has been given us and much will be required. The best way to grind our billions of wheels to a screeching halt could be by way of some disaster. Must it come to that? Ninevah lasted a mere 150 years after Jonah before she forgot God and was destroyed by her enemies. Have we had our run?

REVIVAL

It comes through prayer, not by waving our wooden swords, marching around our sanctuaries with banners, and singing to goose-bump-raising decibels so high we confuse them for "the anointing." Our churches are the laughing stock of Hell and we don't even realize it. Our services and conferences have the same effect on principalities and powers as the hole made by a finger in a bowl of pudding. When the dust settles, the finger is removed, everything becomes as it was.

REVOLUTION

Rotten as we are, we are as we are for such a time as this. Our youth included. God needs us and every emotional scar, every bitter bone and nasty habit we possess. He can use these things. We must surrender them to Him. He sees our potential to be more than pew potatoes raising tater tots. Jesus was a revolutionary. Though some of us may actually die, like the kids in the American schools and churches who were shot just because they were Christians, we must be the radicals who dare to turn on the light in a culture that is getting gloriously darker.

Fear not! The Lord is with you! The people who know their God will be strong and do great things! All we need to be is willing and obedient.

READ 'EM & REAP!!

Matthew 5:6 Psalm 33:12 2 Chronicles 7:14 Psalm 9:17 Proverbs 14:34 It's your choice. Your decision. We can be like thermometers or thermostats, blending with the social climate or changing the rules. You may not be a church-goer. Well, then BE the church and shine the light of Christ where you DO go. From now on, everything changes. Let's serve the King! Let's give 'em Heaven!

Need pastoral counseling and prayer? Write or IM me at [email protected]

Every blessing!

Michael
A servant of God
t.e.a.m. ministries
A Message of Discipleship & Encouragement to the Body of Christ
P.O. Box 633
Stephenville, Texas 76401
http://www.planetaryministry.org
BLOG: journals.aol.com/team1min/YourTownforJesus /

Pastor Michael broadcasts an e-Mail message of Discipleship and Encouragement to Christians across the planet each week, reaching millions from many various Chrsitian denominations. This e-Mail ministry has been impacting the lives of multitudes of people since 1999.

Pastor Michael has been broadcasting his messages of discipleship and encouragement to the Body of Christ since 1999 and is now reaching millions across the planet. Positive eMail replies abound from subscribers whose lives have been touched by these God-inspired messages.

In The News:

Americans' Views on Religion in Society, Politics | Pew Research Center  Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project
Whistleblowing Religion  CounterPunch

The Lost and Found

When we think in terms of what it means for... Read More

The Basics of the Christian Walk

Now that I am saved, what do I do next?... Read More

Serving

Some people may ask how do we serve God and... Read More

Jesus Was a Hippie

Actually he was more appropriately called a Cynic, but that... Read More

In Divers Places

Isaiah 65:17-65:25In Divers Places. A Look at prophecy and today's... Read More

Bang, Bang,Your Dead

Zechariah 14:1-14:12Bang, Bang,Your Dead.Preaching the Gospel is an exciting adventure... Read More

New Orleans is only the Beginning as Prophecy Unfolds

We are all very well aware of the tragedies occurring... Read More

Living Proof: We are Living in the Days of Noah

A familiar phrase used in Bible prophecy is the term... Read More

How to Handle Negative Feelings When Wronged by Someone Else

How does a Christian really handle negative feelings and emotions... Read More

Rebuilding Society and The Tax Protest Movement

Rebuilding society and the tax protest movement: A Biblical Opinion... Read More

What If? -- Musings on the Tsunami

Thumbing through Isaiah recently I was startled to find this:... Read More

The 1000 Year Millennium Kingdom

After the last bowl judgment is thrown by God the... Read More

Gays and Lesbians Attempt to Distance Themselves From Catholic Priests

There is a new term being thrown around "phenophilia", no... Read More

Heroes & Villains in the Quest for Spirituality: 100 Significant Characters of the Hebrew Bible

There are hundreds of named men and women in the... Read More

Deliverance

Deliverance is to be rescued or salvation. Thanks be to... Read More

Gods People Are Destroyed For Lack of Knowledge

These next two verses are extreme - and I mean... Read More

The Gospel Of Convenience

The subject of this document is so unpleasing to the... Read More

Balancing the Apple Cart

About forty women squatted in small clusters on the floor... Read More

Do We Really Need God?

The human being is endowed with ability. We have the... Read More

Planetary Alignment

Planetary Alignment is said to have magical powers. Some believe... Read More

Growing in the Knowledge of God

This first verse completely sets the stage for you to... Read More

Death of an American,The Death of Decency

John 16:2-3:16The Death of an American, The Death of Decency.... Read More

Be Careful How You Live -- Ephesians 5:15-20

There is a sharp contrast in Ephesians between the "light"... Read More

Why More Priests Need To Train As Fighters (And Why We Dont See Many Boxers In Church)

"Therefore I do not run like a man... Read More

All Knowledge and Wisdom Comes Direct From God

These next set of verses are the heart and soul... Read More