In the previous post it was suggested that there are two major reasons why many Evangelical churches are failing: Confusion of Doctrines and Compromising One’s Convictions. One serves to combine conflicting beliefs and the other kowtows to the world’s ideas of what it thinks truth and reality are all about. So, what is the remedy?
As with all things spiritual, especially spiritual problems, they require a biblical solution. And confusion and compromise when it comes to what goes on in the church is a spiritual problem in need of God’s prescription.
Several points of reference could be given as the antidote to the ills that plague the church, but there is probably no better one than the prayer given by Daniel the prophet found in his book, Chapter 9. Please note what he says, as he pleads with God over the decimation of Jerusalem and the captivity of God’s people, the Jews.
Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans–
2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
3 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
4 And I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and rebelled, even turning aside from Thy commandments and ordinances.
6 “Moreover, we have not listened to Thy servants the prophets, who spoke in Thy name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land.
7 “Righteousness belongs to Thee, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day– to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which Thou hast driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against Thee.
8 “Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee.
9 “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him;
10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets.
11 “Indeed all Israel has transgressed Thy law and turned aside, not obeying Thy voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.
12 “Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem.
13 “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Thy truth.
14 “Therefore, the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.
15 “And now, O Lord our God, who hast brought Thy people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and hast made a name for Thyself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked.
16 “O Lord, in accordance with all Thy righteous acts, let now Thine anger and Thy wrath turn away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people have become a reproach to all those around us.
17 “So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Thy servant and to his supplications, and for Thy sake, O Lord, let Thy face shine on Thy desolate sanctuary.
18 “O my God, incline Thine ear and hear! Open Thine eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Thy name; for we are not presenting our supplications before Thee on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Thy great compassion.
19 “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name.”
The prescription ought to be fairly easy to see.
1. Recognition of the church’s own wrong-doing. Mixing and matching doctrines to appease the lost is the perfect formula for failure. Letting the church leader know about it would be the prudent thing to do.
2. Confession of the church’s own wrong-doing. If God is in control, then act like it. Set a straight course by excising error and stay on it. Refuse to be carried about by every wind of doctrine just because it feels right.
3. Repentance of the church’s own wrong-doing. Do not be so proud as to refuse to admit sin and error. Pride goes before a fall. At first changing one’s mind will hurt, but it will pale in comparison to hurt received because a haughty spirit took it over a proverbial cliff.
4. Petition the Lord God about the church’s own wrong-doing. Ask for grace, but with that grace, ask for forgiveness. God is ready to hear; are we ready to mumble anything other than pious platitudes that got the churches into trouble in the first place?
5. Wait for the Lord’s response concerning the church’s own wrong-doing. Infections in the physical body are sometimes the most painful to overcome. But, with the right doctor in charge, the healing process can be expedited, if the patient will only trust him.
My prayer is that Christian churches all across America and throughout the world would follow Daniel’s example.
As the secular world seems intent on sacrificing the next generation of young people on the altars of one diabolical “god” after another, must we do the same in our own houses of worship, especially when we have God’s remedy right in our hands?
If the answer is yes, the shame on anyone who would dare suggest a solution. If the answer is no, then let’s get busy and right the Evangelical ship that is sorely off-course and about to dash itself upon the rocks of total apostasy.