Sister Old Time Prayer Meeting died recently at the First Neglected Church on Wordly Avenue. Born many years ago in the midst of great revivals, she was a strong healthy child, fed largely on testimony and scriptural holiness, soon growing into world-wide prominence, and was one of the most influential members of the famous Church family. She was a great influence for good, gathering the multitude of mankind to her bosom to hear the story of HIM who wore the seamless garment; a story of never failing interest to all.
For the past several years Sister Prayer Meeting has been failing in health, gradually wasting away until rendered helpless by stiffness of knees, coldness of heart, inactivity, and weakness of purpose and will power. At the last she was but a shadow of her former self. Her last whispered words were inquiries concerning the strange absence of her loved ones, now absent from her presence, busy in the marts of trade and places of worldly amusements. Her older brother, Mr. Sunday School, has been in very bad health for years,and cousin Mr. Soul Winning is very seldom seen in public anymore.
Experts, including Dr. Works, Dr. Re-Form, and Dr. Ecumenical , disagreed as to the cause of her illness, administering large doses or organization, socials, contests, drives and religious education, praise and worship and a little bit of “purpose driven” thrown in but to no avail. Dr H. Calvinist was also contacted and rendered his opinion and said it was predestined that she die this way. A post mortem showed a deficiency of spiritual food coupled with lack of fasting, faith and change of heart. Shameless desertion and non-support were contributing causes. Only a few were present at her death, sobbing over memories of her past beauty and power. Carefully selected pallbearers were urged to tenderly bear her remains away but failed appear.
There were no flowers. Her favorite hymns, “Amazing Grace”, and “Rock of Ages” were not sung. Miss Ima Modern rendered “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere”, but none had any idea where this fancied isle might be and nobody could tell any one how to get there. The body rests in the beautiful cemetery of Bygone Glories, awaiting the summons from above which shall bring her, with her blood-washed garments, into the presence of the GOD of Glory, spotless, blameless and full of glory. In honor of her going, the church doors will be closed on Wednesday evenings, save on the third Wednesday of each month, when the Ladies Pink Lemonade Society serves refresments to the members of the Men’s Wii team.
The above story would be hilarious were it not so true. The American landscape is dotted with closed and rotting churches. They once thrived and were places where the Gospel was preached, but that all changed for some reason. Maybe we have become too blessed and with all our “things” we really don’t need God anymore. After all who wants to go and gather with people at the church house when there is so much “stuff” to enjoy.
The average Christian cannot give a legitimate excuse for why they are not in church when its doors are open. Sure people get sick and people have to work but what it really comes down to is the heart. Today’s Christian does not love the Lord he loves self! He loves his own pleasure and feeds his own flesh. The crucified life is nice but not for us. death to self and love for the brethren are not what we want to hear. After all isn’t it about us!! Are we not suppose to be the center of attention, and what is it that makes me happy. Getting dressed and going to church to mid week prayer meeting!?? where is that in the Bible?? I guess you can find it right there where the Church was praying for Peter to get out of jail in Acts 12:5.
America is sick and the blame rests not on the politicians, nope not them. A politician is a weak and cowardly thing (for the most part) they will do what the people want. Christians have long since forsaken Biblical principals and so the country is going the way of other great nations. America is a (use to be nation) We once had great churches and great morals and now we have become a land where we are biblically illiterate. The fact the Mormon is close to getting in the White House is proof of that. We put our faith in men and what they can do for us. We want hope and change and many a Born again Christian voted for the current President. How can anyone who knows the Bible and what God says vote for such a man! The answer… we are led my emotions and feelings and not the Word of God. Simply because we do not know the Word of God. Because we are never in church to hear the Word of God.
Church is too boring! We sing those old songs! The preacher is not teaching what I want to hear! I dont want to drag the kids out into the cold! I dont have a ride! I will lose my parking spot! I dont have money for gas! Prayer request time is annoying! This is just a small sample of some of the great excuses that the preacher will hear. Funny thing is though none of them will hold water when (and if) you see Jesus face to face.
I have driven across a good section of our once great country and through the years I see closed churches, church houses converted to everything from schools to dress shops and restaurants. (When was the last time you saw a closed Mosque) It always breaks my heart to see a boarded up church. One time we saw a closed church and my son said “why doesnt somebody go in there and just start preaching!” He was 5 years old when he uttered that. I quickly yelled amen….. with a lump in my throat. Why doesnt somebody go in there? The answer… not enough death to self. Whats my starting pay? What are my benefits? I may have to go without some things. Yes there are problems in the pews but we also have to look at the pulpit. Death to self preacher, death to self.
If the building is not closed or converted to some other entity it just as bad to one that has headed south. By that I mean one that has quit preaching and has become a mere entertainment center for the itchy ear believer. It would be better it it were selling lattes than leading men to hell with a social gospel. I know of one church bragged about its art display. WHO CARES!! People need to hear of Christ and his salvation! Not admiring the water colors and the contrast in the shading. Heaven help us.
If people dont go to church to hear the Gospel message when it is done right the preacher needs not change. The command was “In season out of season” and out of season seems to be the time we are in.
Now one reading this my think that this preacher is discouraged. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a joy to serve the King of kings. I love my calling and am thankful to my Saviour who has called me into his fields to labor, but it is the coldness and deadness of the saints of God that disturbs me.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14