The churches of America appear to be drawing in upon themselves. While few churches grow, most simply appear to be trying to hold onto the ground they already have. Consider what Gods word has told us, the harvest is great, yet the Workers are so few. The Bible not only calls for disciplining nations, but advises those who answer this call to be prepared, they shall surely be brought before the rulers and authorities, before powers and principalities... of this dark world... and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The Bible tells us that no army enters this war unprepared, for the greater will have victory over the weaker, may this be a sign of the Church in America. What accomplishment is there of churches who take pride announcing of new converts who enter the front door, as at the same time their old converts leave through the back. Beware of tables of numbers that prove religious growth, growth much like the seasons blowing this way and that, ending as they begin.
One sign I believe a warning, it is when emphasis of primarily programs in self-help or teachings directed toward individual awareness of church doctrine and denomination. This is a sign that a church has turned from what was to make it grow, and into what will stratify itself in work which God said He would do. How can this be considering what the Bible tells about Admonishing, Teaching, Caring, Comforting, Submitting, Praying, Accepting, Fellowship, and all other church work? The answer is simply that the church or its numbers will not grow until church members grow. This would be a mystery had not the Lord made plain that the Church would grow, and in numbers, as the workers did their part within (and) without the Church.
The mistake churches make concerning growth is concentrating on greeters and friendly manners, but not in what indeed makes these members truly greeters and friendly. What really makes a church grow and thrive is simply numbers, but again no one comes to the Lord unless the Father draws them to him. It then becomes clear that to grow in numbers we must do the Lords work as He has planned, and that this work is not within the church but (listen), outside the Church.
I truly believe that evangelism does not begin within the church, but is the Lord working outside in communities through witnesses from the established church. The church building itself would better be considered as the school for witnesses, not forgetting all the other services and appointments of the Lord. Yet it is not until those searching are drawn into this church building, that all its spiritual gifts come to bear. The appointed Evangelist has never been restricted in these matters.
This does not mean that all will become Evangelists, yet all may become witnesses and laborers. On my own I might insert, were it not for the witnesses and laborers, Evangelist might find barren ground in which to work. The Bible tells us our greatest strength is not in one individual or gift, but together as one united Church. Remember, the Lion does not set out after an army, but looks for the weak, the defenseless, or those unprepared. Remember if you hear of even one person suffering, even across vast lands and oceans, this is one whom God loves.
At last we come to the point within the Church that the Lord provides, it is promise fulfilled, without limit, where all things are possible, and where all power and authority exists. This does not mean that we will all be of great prominence, but that together we will be the needed light and salt in this world. The work inside the church is to build ourselves up in the Lord, listen carefully, that we may prepare each other.
Be forewarned that Satan understands every member of the Church has work that can and will destroy his work. Be forewarned that the body of the church must be strong in unity, each within the work their faith has provided. Be also forewarned that the sovereignty of God must take precedence over (all powers and authorities), for God has power and authority over all, and there is evil in this world. There are false teachers and prophets, there are false shepherd's waiting to lead astray those they may.
Now most churches have very impressive buildings plus lands or holdings, and this may in part be why the World fears and hates us. Yet even a simple person should guess that this is only a small reason. It is sad that the reasons of hate most often heard denouncing are not from the good works we do, but misdeeds and deeds undone or in error. Another truth is that the worker most sought is not the one who needs be shown or explained every step, but the one who sees a job that needs be done, and has the faith to do it. How often should it be said, we are not looking inward to the needs of the Church, these are served as we serve others. Have faith and believe that we will have what is needed at the time it is needed, as each does their part.
When we are ready, God sends us out into the world, and this will be how we grow as will the Church in this world. The warning to observe concerns discernment whether the advancing enemy is greater an army than we, whether we have become properly mature, this is the unity and maturity concerning power and authority invincible before any enemy. While Christ was on earth He taught about needs and deeds, by words and actions, and that it may all begin with a glass of water.
Who ever wants to be great among you must become your servant, and who ever wants to be first must be slave to all. Who looking out into the world of today can see a need, is there a church in unity or must only a single administrative member deal with the world alone. Man is body, spirit, and soul; Christ cares for the needs of the entire person and church. Justly so as God has predestined, with whatever gift God has provided we will fulfill His purpose.
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