Tomorrow’s Church? …Heaven Forbid!

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Chapel Service

Stockton 99 Speedway

May 4, 2013

“Tomorrow’s Church?

…Heaven Forbid”

 

Bob Butcher

 

 

Last week I received this following depiction of the future church in an e-mail from our MRO home office.  While it may be far fetched and tongue-in-cheek, it still sent chills up my spine because as society today degenerates the possibilities loom possible in a horrible future.  Let me explain…

 

CHURCH SERVICES of THE FUTURE

 

PASTOR: “Praise the Lord!”

CONGREGATION: “Hallelujah!”

PASTOR: “Can we please turn on our tablet, PC, iPad, smart phone, and Kindle Bibles to 1 Cor 13:13.

And please switch on your Bluetooth to download the sermon.”

 

P-a-u-s-e……

 

“Now, Let us pray committing this week into God’s hands.

Open your Apps, BBM, Twitter and Facebook, and chat with God”

 

S-i-l-e-n-c-e

 

“As we take our Sunday tithes and offerings, please have your credit and debit cards ready.”

“You can log on to the church wi-fi using the password ‘Lord909887. ‘ “

The ushers will circulate mobile card swipe machines among the worshipers:

  • Those who prefer to make electronic fund transfers are directed to computers and laptops at the rear of the church.
  • Those who prefer to use iPads can open them.
  • Those who prefer telephone banking, take out your cellphones to transfer your contributions to the church account.

The holy atmosphere of the Church becomes truly electrified as ALL the smart phones, iPads, PCs and laptops beep and flicker!

Then, Final Blessing and Closing Announcements…

  • This week’s ministry cell meetings will be held on the various Facebook group pages where the usual group chatting takes place. Please log in and don’t miss out.
  • Thursday’s Bible study will be held live on Skype at 1900hrs GMT. Please don’t miss out.
  • You can follow your Pastor on Twitter this weekend for counseling and prayers.
  • God bless you and have nice day.

 

I don’t know how you feel about a scenario like this but as for myself it both terrifies me and at the same time makes me cry painfully with the reality of what this would mean for a church.

In my travels as a pastor & missionary, I have been in churches that were dead already or lukewarm & just waiting to die.  Those churches grieved me; yet they could not see where they stood themselves. They did not recognize their own plight just as the churches of Sardis & Laodicea which the Lord spoke of in Revelation 3. 

Let’s look at Sardis first in Revelation 3: 1-6:

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:

The One holding the Seven Spirits of God in one hand, a firm grip on the Seven Stars with the other, speaks:

I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent.  But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

You still have a few followers of Jesus in Sardis who haven’t defiled themselves following the world’s ways. They will walk with Me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.  The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white.  I will never blot out the name of that person from the Book of Life,  but I’ll lead them up and present them by name to my Father and his Angels. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”   (GBB)

Next look at the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3: 14-22:

 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!   So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire , so you can become rich; and white garments to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be zealous and repent.  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The CHURCH is what God is all about & ALWAYS has been.  Despite its human faults and its huge mistakes because of us humans that are involved; God STILL & ALWAYS WILL work through it because He wants YOU & ME & those around us.  WE ARE HIS CHURCH.  We are the people He wants to spend eternity with.

 Check out what God says about His church & us:

  • 1 Corinthians 3:9: For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field) God’s building.   (NIV)
  • Ephesians 2:10:  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.   (NIV)
  • Ephesians 2:19-22  You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith called church is now your home country. You’re no longer exiles, strangers, or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what He is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now He’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.

 Those are only a few of the hundreds of scriptures that God refers to how important you & His Church are to Him.  I smile when I read these along with so many others.  Try Revelation 3:9 for another: Watch as I make those who pass themselves off as true Christian believers, but are really members of satan’s club come and bow down before you, my Church and the ones I love and acknowledge that it was YOU that I have loved as I strip away their claims and pompous facade.   (GBB)

 

That is why this idea of a future church, whether one local body, denomination or universal, gave me such chills. God does not mess around and He is very protective of His Church.  He calls us to fellowship with one, and use our gifts and talents for its good & His Kingdom.

 

Hebrews 10:23-25:  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us stimulate one another in order to stir up love and good works,  and not forsake the assembling of ourselves as the Church together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

As I said earlier, His Church, which is you and me, is His method of fellowship, worship (which He deserves), along with how He desires to win the world full of people to Himself so someday we can eternally enjoy His treasures, mansions, and heavenly city all together with Him.

 

2014-02-28T08:58:30+00:00