Jun 14, 2008

Is This It?

Many nights lately I have woken up in the middle of a fitful sleep with a burden and a lot of questions.

We see changes in the weather that are unprecedented with destruction and grief. Just this morning there was a huge earthquaking shaking Japan; last week a torndao slammed a direct hit on a boy scout camp in Iowa, to say nothing of the rampant water, rain and destruction as homes are swept away in the seemingly unending storms. I cannot recall in my short life when there has been so many wild storms that appear out of nowhere and leave many homeless, tired, and broken in their wake.

In the past few weeks, the courts have approve of gay marriage, shut down the trials of some of those responsible for the devestation on 9/11, and one judge was removed from a case because it was found the evidence in the case he was administering was on his own personal website and it dealt with child pornography. Crazy people shooting up schools, a bottling plant was the last place two women spent time yesterday and last week two little girls out for a walk were gunned down by an unknown assailant.

We have a well known celebrity who has decided she is 'her own personal god' and she has a force life around her drawing the masses into her delusions. She is backing the first african american president our country has seen whose theme has become change is coming, and he has so many skeletons in his closet it seems a new one falls out every day. There is a lack of concern and respect for each other that is unseen in our lives.

My soul is stirred and broken over the mess we have gotten ourselves into, and it appears there is no hope for America, our world, or even our very souls. Someone mentioned the other day that there is a suicide every 15 seconds somewhere; souls going to a devil's hell without the answers they needed.

At times, I wonder where are the preachers, prophets, and those who have been given the keys to winning the battles of life. I stop and look in the mirror because how can I cast stones when I sit idly by as the crushing blows of sin takes its toll and another soul is destined for hell.

Gone are the days when men and women would labor in the altar for souls long after the last amen and people were walking out the doors of our sanctuaries. We talk about soul winning, we raise funds for missions, but in the end we sit on the pew through a few songs, jot down a note or two, maybe clap or even raise our hands and shout with the preacher and walk out into the world dying around us oblivious to the loss and pain others are feeling.

Our songs have become about the beat and the repeated phrases written by many who have yet to know God, and we wonder in our own minds if the 'truth' we have preached for so many years is really that important because the church down the block is filled to capacity and they are building a cathedral to dishonesty and delusions rather than stop people in their tracks with what the Bible really says.

We have become a social place to gather together on Sunday Morning and feel passified in our self righteousness and portions of praise all the while saints, youth, and children on the pews who really need to get the message are going to hell on the pews. Our ministers don't preach the heart-wrenching soul shaking messages that they used to. They preach a sermon they found online or in a book and feel like they have done their duty. It is about grace and mercy and how God can forgive, and he does, but is that enough to make us ready for heaven? I miss the cross and the shame and reproach my master bore for my own personal sins.

I know the messages have to burn with inside us; they do in me, but they don't seem to make it from our hearts to our mouths and we wait on someone else to be stirred with desire for the lost so we don't feel guilty about our dwindling attendance. It isn't really our fault people have little love for the message anymore is it?

Do we even remember? The power packed sermons where saints and sinners alike ran from their pews to the altar shaking under the anointed word of God; the lady in the corner wailing in intercession; those slain in the spirit strewn across the floor of the church, lost in his spirit. And when we left and went home we were tired from the burdens we left at the altar but our spirits were refreshed from the power we felt, and we went to bed knowing we had been with almighty God.

Man, I miss those days. I know many say they have great services, and some I am sure do feel the power of God like they used to. However, there are many churches where if Jesus was to walk into the service he would wonder why we spend so much time on fundraising and decor, and why we are dressed to impress everyone we meet, but our eyes have not seen tears of empathy and worship of the one who really we should worry about impressing.

I know several ministers who have just quit. They don't preach, they don't always even show up to church, and some have backslid forgetting the very messages they used to scream from the pulpit. Can God be happy about what we have become? Should we? We get so caught up in personality and the appearances of holiness, but our hearts our empty and we just stumble through life unaware that the spirit has left.

We do need change. He is coming, and He is coming soon.

The Bible says in the last days men's lives will quake for fear. Our mental hospitals are full of depressed Christians popping pills because the power of God is not enough anymore.

The Bible says there will be signs in the heavens and in the earth. How much more disaster, famine, earth shaking situations can we go through?

The Bible talks about wars and rumors of wars. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, .... need I say more?

Men have become lovers of self more than lovers of God. We worship things more than the creator. We invest our time, our energy, our money in the next big program, when He is crying out, "Why am I not enough?"

Yes, He is coming. It doesn't matter if our church has one person, or 5 million. He is coming again. The mission is not about how many we have, although we need to take everyone we can. Our duty is to just really do the best we can to reach the lost. One soul won is better than 10,000 you haven't spoken to, one soul going down in his name shakes the very heavens.

He is coming back soon. Are we ready? Or are we going to keep wandering through life and someday find out we never made it either? He that winneth souls is wise. Look to the skys and ask yourself "Is this it, and what do I have to show for it?"

Lord Jesus forgive us and help us to bless you with our compassion and passion.