2019-06-10 An Honest Evaluation, Please.

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one
who hears the word and understands it. He indeed
bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold,
in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Matthew 13:23

Let’s recap. These are commandments that I can see to use as markers for a church:

• Wait and Watch for Jesus to Return.
• Equip and Build.
• Be Holy as God is Holy.
• Make Disciples/Reconciliation.
• Study Scripture.
• Tithe.
• Sabbath Rest.
• Break Bondages.
• Prayer.
• Lord’s Supper.
• Love One Another.

What is your honest evaluation of these points? How is your church doing? I’m sure everyone would say they are doing all these things; however, it is one thing to say something and quite another to do it. Have you ever felt God directing you towards a need in the church yet could not get anyone to get fired up about it? Maybe you even launched a “ministry” for the church? How did that go? Did it ever get traction? Did it ever flourish like you thought it should?

From my experience, lots of people have had lots of really, really good ideas. Most probably were indeed God-inspired. Yet, very, very few ever amounted to anything significant. How many have been started yet aren’t around anymore? How many never got off the ground?

It’s my contention, folks, is the reason for this is our churches are too big and too full of people who don’t care. The few that are gung-ho about this stuff eventually burn out and simply become one of the crowd. Why should the apathetic believer, or worse yet, the unbeliever, discourage the enthusiastic and dominate what the church does? Over and over throughout the bible, we see that the true mark of a believer is that s/he bears good fruit. If there is no evidence of good fruit, why are we mixing together with ones who don’t bear any, or worse yet, bear bad fruit?

Let’s look at something quick.

Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, not can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

What about the good tree that doesn’t bear any fruit?

Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it….As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”

Say what you want, these two passages are related. Oh, and guess what was sandwiched between Mark 11:12-14 and 20-21? Jesus cleansed the temple.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Folks, the fact that you have Life Groups or other ministries in your church means nothing. The real test is whether you are bearing fruit.

I say it’s time to completely rethink the way we do church. There is a lot of merit in getting lean and mean, to feed real meat to those who are truly hungry. Why? So that they may boldly go into the lost and dying world. How many times do we need to be warned throughout the pages of scripture before we listen? I tell you what, the letters to the churches in Revelation frighten me. They should you, too.

Father, it’s time to make some radical changes. Stir up your church!

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

Photo by Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

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