WHAT ARE WE DOING?
I pondered this question when I prepared a message on Luke Chapter 15 and the 3 parables about being LOST: The lost sheep, lost coin, and the lost son.
3 things that are valuable that when lost should be found, and when they are found, it is celebrated because they were found and not lost anymore.
Jesus tells these 3 stories because the so-called "religious leaders" were not concerned with people who did not know God, but only concerned about themselves (looking good, social standing, keeping rigid rituals and laws, and judging everyone who wasn't like them).
But, it had me thinking about what are we doing as individual christians and corporate churches across the world to really reach lost people? Churches are filled every week with people who simply want to attend church and feel good or be entertained and not bothered. Why do they go to church? For social purposes? Because they know they are supposed to? What are they hoping to accomplish?
My next question then is why do alot of churches even exist? They're not growing, but dying, they are only concerned with pleasing the ones they already have, or they simply do alot of religious singing, talking, and motions but aren't producing much and they certainly aren't changing the world for God. Sort of like going to a restaurant and talking about eating, looking at the menu, and standing around, but never actually ordering and being filled.
WHAT ARE WE DOING? We are missing the point of being a church and a christian if we are not showing the love, compassion, mercy, and grace of God. That's the foundation of Christianity. If our purpose in going to church is not to grow and mature our own faith so we can know how to relate, reach, and help people who are lost like we once were, then what are we doing? Without people being saved, the church doesn't serve much purpose.
We care about what songs we are singing, what programs we are doing, what traditions we need to keep doing, our own personal theology and we could care less about the people who are lost in this world. As individuals we go to school, work, and out in public all the time, looking to get a paycheck, an education, be entertained, and satisfy our need for social interaction and relationships and we talk about the weather, sports, hobbies, tv, and never ever take advantage of the need to tell others why God has change our lives. Sad thing is, if we were really as committed as we said we were, people would naturally be attracted and curious about our faith, because we'd stand out in a good way.
I know I've got some changes to make in my life. I know our churches and others are in the same boat. We are failing God and our faith by not sharing it, living it, and showing it. We need to get out there and find that lost sheep. We need to turn this world upside down and find that lost coin, and we need to run to that lost son and welcome him home.
Take time this week to read Luke 15 and ask yourself, what am I doing?
"But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."