The world is full of talkers. They are a dime a dozen and most of them have a permanent seat in the peanut gallery.
At least that is the way I see it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to listen to good sermons as much as anyone else, but listening to them is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives a sense of motion but never really gets you anywhere.
The Apostle Paul understood rocking chairs and he is the one who coined the phrase “Faith without works is dead.”
Rocking chair dead. Ear tickling dead. Wasted energy. Full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.
Nothing. Now there is an empty word. Nothing is an ambivalent term. Sometimes nothing can be good…like when the dentist is looking for a cavity…or an MRI is looking for a growth. Nothing can often be a encouraging word.
But most times it isn’t. When referring to bank accounts, progression on a job site, scoring touchdowns, working to bring a child back from the clutches of drug addiction, or the results of a pregnancy test for a desperately barren couple nothing is discouraging.
But nothing from faith is never a good result. The Bible tells us that faith is “substance.” Substance is defined as “something real.” “Evidence” actually, of things hoped for. Evidence has within it the confirmation of truth.
No faith, no evidence. No evidence, no proof. No proof, no truth. No truth…nothing but wishful thinking. Faith has evidence, proof, and substance. Faith is much more easily shown than shared.
What do you have faith in? Is your faith merely in faith?
Faith, in today’s Christianity, is simply a soft version of tell without much show. That crazy radical Christian Paul exhorted us to stop telling others about our faith but rather, start SHOWING us what faith looks like.
I guess it would be safe to say ‘if you can’t show it, you ain’t got it.” Faith is to be demonstrated, not yakked about. If you don’t show me your faith there is no evidence that you have any.
Dead faith. That is what Paul calls it. Non living…non replicating…good for nothing…and good to no one. That is where many Christians hang their hats.
Paul warned us of that. He told us that if we claimed to have faith yet we failed to present tangible evidence of it that we were “deceiving ourselves.” He compared it to looking in a mirror, walking away, and forgetting that we had a missing front tooth. We can pretend that we have all of our teeth, but the proof is in your smile. Self deception is the most tragic of all lies.
Does your faith have any substance to it? Does your belief in the power of Jesus have any evidence that your belief is active? Can you dig in your life’s archives and produce any evidence that your faith ever actually produced anything?
The American church has very little faith. You would be hard pressed to find any evidence of the wonder-working power of Jesus inside the four walls of most sheep pens. Most of America’s pews are filled with bedridden believers…wounded saints begging to be healed.
Somewhere along the road to eternity the Christian Church lost its way. You have to look far and wide to find a “church” that lives out Christ’s promise to build a following over which “the gates of hell will not prevail.” Where is that church? Where is that body of believers who are attacking the gates of hell?
Instead, today’s church is in full retreat. The fascination with a soon coming “rapture” has taken the focus of the church away from storming the gates of hell to escaping FROM the gates of hell. Escape, not victory is the focus of the modern day American church. No my friends, non-confrontation is the modus operandi of most of the pulpits.
America is rapidly descending into a moral wasteland. The once-vibrant American pulpit served as the restrainer against the forces of darkness in America’s communities. As goes the church so goes the family. As goes the family, so goes the city. As goes he city, so goes the state. As goes the state, so goes the nation. No wonder our nation is on life support.
God placed His people here as stewards of the land. He told us to “be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth.” Although He was certainly speaking of the natural bounty of the land it would be foolish for us to assume that we were not supposed to give spiritual husbandry to the people as well.
Darkness is descending all across this nation. Spiritual darkness can be hard to recognize. It masquerades as love, acceptance, and tolerance. That crabby-Christian Paul told us that we are to “have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness.” He told us to “expose” the darkness. Sin is darkness. Loving darkness is not a demonstration of love. Darkness covers evil. Exposing darkness is love. Tolerating or hiding evil is sin.
The American Church is waving the white flag in the war for America. Tolerance and acceptance has replaced fire and brimstone. God hates sin. Why don’t Christians?
Abortion. Same-sex marriage. Child trafficking. Educational indoctrination. Government corruption. God’s people could end them all within a year if they had the faith to do it. Silence is consent and the silence is deafening.
Wake up. Stand up. Speak up. Surrender and capitulation to sin is an affront to Christ. Light and darkness are incompatible bed fellows. Sin is an enemy of Christ. It is time for the Church to stop sleeping with the enemy.