I believe that another major issue in the local church today is a congregation full of spiritually shallow Christians, or Christians who have let complacency overcome them or those who call themselves Christians but have never had a true conversion experience. In any case, the church is full of spiritually weak or spiritually dead people. When you really get down to it these people are most likely the main problem in the church today and are the reason the church can’t advance. In fact they are the very ones that have contributed most to the church’s decline. So, let’s take a closer look at each of these categories and see if we can identify with any of them.
First, what do I mean by spiritually shallow? I’m talking about those who have been a part of a church body for many years but yet they do not have a command of God’s word. They have probably been regular as clockwork when it comes to church attendance and have been in Sunday School all of their life. But I would bet that they have never read the Bible from beginning to end like any other book . They have read many passages throughout the Bible and have heard many sermons and Sunday School lessons on different topics but have never read the whole thing in order to grasp what God’s plan has been from the very beginning. They most likely have never shared the gospel with another person in their entire life and have probably never shared their personal testimony with anyone. They can’t speak to any real doctrinal issues because they have not grown in the Lord and are not sure what they really believe. Therefore, they are easily swayed by any idea presented to them whether scriptural or not. They are easy targets for those with personal agendas. Does this sound like anyone you know? Or could it be you?
Secondly, there are those who have grown complacent over the last few years. They don’t study or pray the way they used to and are most likely out of fellowship with the Father. How does this happen? There are a number of causes for this of which sin is probably number one. They have unconfessed sin in their life and their hearts have grown cold and hard because of that. They have learned to ignore the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and continue to live in that sin thinking that everything is ok. Another possible reason is that they have allowed today’s liberal society and social thinking to replace the truths of God’s word. They have accepted the lies that Satan has spewed from his filthy mouth and convinced them that God doesn’t really mean what He says. Oh, they still attend church regularly but wouldn’t recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit if He was visible and was sitting on the pew right beside them. As a matter of fact they are not expecting anything extraordinary to happen and it would scare them to death if it did. They just want the preacher to get done so they can move on with their lives without changing anything. Again the question is does this sound like anyone you know? Or could it be you?
Lastly, I believe that the many of those sitting in our churches today have never come to a real understanding of their sinful condition and truly repented. They may have walked down a church aisle, filled out a card, been baptized, or a multitude of other things but they are still empty on the inside. They are attempting to earn their entrance into Heaven by doing instead of trusting. Trusting in the sacrifice that God provided in the death and resurrection of His son Jesus. Trusting in His righteousness instead of their own. The way to recognize this type of person is in the way they live outside the church. There is no evidence of biblical fruit in their lives and they certainly do not live according to God’s word. Another way to say it is they are lost. Does this sound like anyone you know? Could it be you?
In closing, we have looked at the negative side of this issue by describing these three type of people. But I know that they are others in our churches today that are the real deal. They’ve had a real life conversion experience and they live everyday like it. They are in fellowship with the Father and have a life of prayer and study that is so detrimental to their spiritual growth. They are hungry for God’s word whether they hear it from the pulpit or they experience it through their personal study. They know what it means to confess their sin on a regular basis to maintain that fellowship. Does this sound like anyone you know? I hope it is you.
Let’s pray that God will bring revival to His church and His people so that those who don’t know Him will see Him at work and come to a saving knowledge of His son Jesus. Amen and amen.