But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world- 1st Corinthians 11:31-32
I love the church.
When churches work the way God intended the church to work it’s a beautiful thing. The people love Jesus, truth, the lost and each other. This combination is powerful. It brings peace to chaos, justice to lawlessness, it changes hearts and transforms cultures.
When churches don’t work they devolve into grace dispensing spiritual social clubs where no one is ever challenged, sin is never called out and nothing of any spiritual significance gets accomplished. Many Churches in the West fall into the social club category. This has left many Christians without spiritual moorings and struggling to execute their primary mission (Matthew 28:18-20). The tragedy of this has been compounded by the fact that our world has been thrust into crisis. People who rarely worry about much of anything are worried about their health, the health of their families, the economy, and what the future is going to look like.
The world needs the church to be the church. Following our five things every Christian can do to build the church in this time of crisis. If we all do these things the whole body will be empowered to make a difference right now.
Worry less about being liked-
Most Christians (including myself sometimes) are scared spitless of being disliked. This fear prevents us from sharing our faith, loving well and calling out sin (Ephesians 4:15). Early Christians did not expect to be loved by anyone but Jesus. They understood that the Christian life was a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20). This knowledge empowered them to embrace the hardness of Christianity with joy (Romans 14:17). In the process those brave men and women literally changed the world (John 16:33, Hebrews 11:32-37, Revelation 3:7-12). We must boldly and courageously follow their lead.
Grow a spine and pick a side-
Politics never saved anyone from anything and to my knowledge Jesus was not a member of any particular political party. That being said, how we think politically reveals a lot about our hearts. Politics all over the world have devolved to a place where Christians must acknowledge that some political opinions are just wrong from a biblical perspective. It is absolutely imperative Christian people get off the fence, pick a side and begin fighting for biblical truth, marriage and the unborn as well as against the gender confusion being pushed on school children all over the western world.
Love like Jesus loved-
Biblical love is not about pumping people up or making them feel good about themselves. Authentic biblical love will fight to the death for the greater good of another person (1st Corinthians 13). This means speaking the truth and calling the people we care about to a higher standard of functioning. Fighting for the greater good of others is messy and sometimes even thankless. We should love anyway.
Be truthful about things that matter-
For generations Christians have taught that what one believes about God is not relevant and becoming a Christian is the easiest thing in the world to do. These are terrible lies. According to Scripture Jesus is the only way to the Father and the road to heaven is narrow (Matthew 7:13-14, John 14:6). To get right with God we must willingly and openly confess our messiness, sinfulness and be totally real with God and ourselves about exactly how screwed-up we are. Once we’ve done that we must repent of our sins, die to self and freely embrace God’s will for our lives (Luke 13:3, John 12:24, Acts 3:19, Romans 6:22). Always speak these truths boldly and lovingly.
Stop worrying about how things look and worry about how things are-
We live in an image obsessed culture. Everyone who breathes worries at least a little about what people think of them and how their activities are being perceived by others. God does not care about our image. God cares about us and how things really are with us. God cares about our hearts and what we do when we’re alone. He cares about why we do what we do (Matthew 5:8). If we want to please God (all Christians do) then we must worry less about what people think and more about living lives that truly please God (Psalm 7:10). When we do that we have the spiritual power we need to do what we are called to do (Matthew 10:8, Matthew 28:19, Mark 6:12, John 13:24-35)
Every Christian has access to the wisdom of God and the mind of Christ (1st Corinthians 2:16, Ephesians 2:18, Ephesians 3:12). It is up to individual Christians to access that wisdom so the church can be the church even in the scariest of times.