Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

When the World is in the Church


1 TIMOTHY 3:15 – If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  WHEN THE WORLD IS IN THE CHURCH.  If we were to sit down for a conversation and I asked, “What do you think are the three prevailing attitudes in our culture today?”, how would you answer?  There are many things we might exchange between us.  My inputs would be complaining, procrastination, and discontent.


What if the same question was directed to the three prevailing attitudes in the church today?  You might find this surprising, but I would answer with the same three as in the world – complaining, procrastination, and discontent.


Horatius Bonar, a 19th century pastor greatly used by God in Scotland once said, “I went into the world to find the church but instead I went to the church and found the world.”  The world has a greater influence on the church than we may realize or want to admit.  Allow me to share the realities supporting my last statement in the form of two questions.


How much cultural influence for Christ is the church having?  Little. Very little.  How much church growth is occurring in our local churches by genuine conversion resulting in the new converts becoming faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus?  I will let each of us judge in our churches by what we are witnessing.  A huge reason why the church is marginalized, irrelevant in the culture, and we are seeing little, if any, fruit of genuine conversion is because the world and its prevalent attitudes of complaining, procrastination, and discontent are alive and well in the church. When present, all three produce spiritual deadness, a grieving and quenching of the Holy Spirit to the point we attend church week in and week out and never encounter the holy God or witness the transforming power of the Gospel.  But let’s identify how each one of these sinful, worldly attitudes are active in the church.


First, the sinful, worldly attitude of complaining.  I don’t think this is hard to see among us.  Ever complain about something or someone in our churches?  The music, the programs, the preaching . . . you may add to your own list.  Such complaining is serious sin before the God who loves His church even with all its failings.


Next, the sinful, worldly attitude of procrastination is alive and well among God’s people in His church.  Again, this isn’t difficult to determine and see.  Many of God’s people make “future commitments” to be more faithful on the Lord’s Day, be more active in service, and more sacrificial in giving of their resources and themselves.  As a pastor, sadly, I have heard time and time God’s people tell me, “Yes, I will be more involved after I get through this season in life.”  That is a deception from the devil fueling the sin of procrastination.  The only time to serve in the Lord’s church is now. Today.  The world says, “Put things off to another time.”  God says, “Today.  Now.  You don’t know if tomorrow will come.”

Finally, the sinful, worldly attitude of discontent.  We find this occurring too often among God’s people in the form of “church hopping” or not planting ourselves in one place to build spiritual relationships in a family context.  Most church growth today occurs from people leaving other churches due to discontent.  There are very, very few reasons to leave a church and personal dislikes, hurts, and discontent are not God-honoring reasons.


When the world enters the church.  Let’s do our part in our churches to keep it out by not complaining about anything or anyone, not procrastinating involvement, and being content right where God has planted us.


PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for the too many times I complain in life revealing my discontent in life.”


QUOTE: “Contentment is a rare height of spiritual maturity as a Christian requiring much self-control.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim