Posted by: reformbama | December 17, 2011

The People’s Church

Oh this describes the majority of churches, and the sad part is, they don’t realize it because it has become the norm. With the philosophy of “It has always been done that way”. However when you look at church history you will see that it has not always been so. It is not just STUFF.

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“We turn now to consider at a little more length the seventh Epistle, addressed to the church of the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:14-22). This Epistle portrays the last state of the professing church on earth, a state characterized by high pretentions and self-sufficiency, but so utterly nauseous to Christ that He declares “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, I will spue thee out of My mouth” (vs. 15, 16).

The word Laodicea means “the rule of the laity or people.” It is the people’s church, not Christ’s, for notice He is outside (vs. 20), standing and knocking for admission. Its condition is described as “lukewarm:” it is neither one thing nor the other, partly hot and partly cold. How accurately this describes the present day condition of the professing church! A condition of mixture — mixed up with the world, claiming to be heavenly and yet clinging to everything that is earthly; bearing the name of Christ and yet misrepresenting Him and putting Him to an open shame. Much religion but little life. Much activity but little vitality. Much doing but little accomplished. Much display but little power. Neither hot nor cold: neither out and out for God, nor out and out for the Devil. “Lukewarm,” as though hot and cold water had been poured into the same vessel. This is exactly what we have in the churches today — intense worldliness and wickedness veneered over with humanitarian and religious pretenses.

Another characteristic of Laodicea is the spirit of boasting — “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (vs. 17). Loud and lofty are the pretentions of the professing church, but how shallow they really are! There is much ostentatious parading of resources, but it is an empty profession. There is self-conceit, showy attainments, architectural display, intellectual acquirements, influential numbers, but Christ is excluded! In this church (see the Epistle), unlike all the previous ones, there is nothing whatever in it that Christ commends — sad commentary upon its true condition! But this is merely negative: there is much in it that He condemns — “and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (vs. 17). The church is utterly ignorant of its actual and deplorable state. Its leaders are crying “Peace and safety” when “sudden destruction” is upon them (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Unspeakably sad is this. Whilever there is recognition of our condition and our need, there is hope, for recognition and acknowledgement of weakness is the secret of strength (2 Corinthians 12:9). But self-complacency is fatal. For self-righteousness there is no remedy. Though self-sufficient and self-righteous the professing church will shortly be “spued out” by the One whose name it bears.”—A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

Taken from “The Redeemer’s Return” by A. W. Pink  (1886–1952)

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