This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
1 Timothy 3.15b (NLT)
The Church of Jesus Christ was established in 30 A.D., meaning that this spiritual organism is nearing 2000 years in existence. Jesus declared that He would build His church, and said that “all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Over the last two millennia that has been proven – though the organized church on earth has often wandered from its biblical moorings, and been misled by false teachers, the power of the Spirit has guarded the church, and in spite of us, it has thrived.
One thing church history shows is that the greatest threats to the vitality of the body of Christ are not external (like persecution, which actually strengthens the church!), but internal. Like the ebb and flow of ocean waves, the church fluctuates between power and impact, and weakness and irrelevance. It grows strong in times of trial, but gets ‘fat and lazy’ in times of ease. We’re in the latter phase in America right now, and it shows.
Churches, Bible colleges and seminaries, and Christian organizations have seemingly overnight lost their way. They have exchanged God’s unchanging Word for the always-changing wisdom of man, and instead of being the conscience of a nation, they have become an echo-chamber of worldly philosophies. Ideas that are inimical to biblical teaching are being embraced as though they are a ‘new revelation’ from God. But the truth of God doesn’t change (Isa. 40.8).
It’s always been tempting for the church to pursue the admiration and acceptance of the world, but as we reflect on the last fifty years, during which the number of megachurches has exploded, yet the influence of the church on society has diminished, it’s clear we need to refocus our efforts on what really matters. What does America, and the world, need from the church of Jesus Christ today? Here are ten ways the church can return to its God-given mission today:
- Proclaim God’s unchanging truth in an age of relativism.
- Declare what true love is (of God, and in life)
- Develop men who are “tough” spiritual leaders
- Encourage Christians to be authentic in a world of fakes
- Get into the ‘steak’ of the Word (study it!)
- Make disciple-making disciples (2 Tim. 2.2)
- Submit to God, not to men (and man’s philosophies)
- Rediscover the joy and fulfillment of serving the Lord
- Protect and promote biblical parenting and families
- Preach that Jesus died for everyone and will save those who believe in Him
Pray for NBBC, that we will be a ‘pillar of truth’ in a world that desperately needs to hear it!