Imagine, if you will, a company that had been in business for over forty years. They have excelled in customer service, had amazing workers—people who also had an amazing work ethic. They all worked together as a family to fulfill one goal. Their product was used by all.
Years have passed since the company made its first dollar. Chances are those in charge now, the children of the founders, have no clue where that first dollar would even be—let alone how or when they made it. They don’t remember where they came from and, at times, even defame the very name of the creator of the company. This business is not at all what it used to be, and seems to be fading away in the distance.
If you have followed my writings at all, you would know that I like to relate real life circumstances to Christianity. So here is where I want to go.
Jesus began his Church as a FAMILY! It became an institution in Rome, a political tool in Europe, and a business in America – @RickWarren.
At one time the church, the one Jesus died for, was just a small number of followers. But that small number was making huge waves. In fact, it was said of them, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6 KJV).
Do you think it was said because they met in a building?
Do you think it was said because they were “good people” that followed a set of rules made by “Great men of God,” or that they had a good moral leader that lived in peace?
A thousand times NO! These men and women were called Christians because of one thing—they were Christ Followers. They actually did what he did, spoke what he spoke and focused on what he focused on—the will of his Father.
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
-Heb. 11:33-40 KJV
These people were not concerned about their destiny, they were not looking for prosperity on earth. What they were looking for was a city not made by man. They were looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of their faith.
Fast forward 2,000 years and what do we have?
A church that makes a lion look like a kitten. We in America make Christianity look more like a social club. With a dress code, with behavioral guidelines, with elevating positions above the word. As a man who believes in healing, I have often heard it asked about us—Why don’t you guys go line up in hospitals? I can see the point. Why don’t we go out in numbers to turn the world upside down? Why don’t we raise the dead? Why don’t we go before Kings and Queens to proclaim the Gospel? Why don’t we go into the darkest environment and change it to light?
Because we are scared.
Scared to lose business—scared to show anyone what we truly believe in, It seems we have forgotten where we came from. Being a Christian is more than just a check mark on a “Salvation Card.”
But I have a warning for the children running the shop. The Master is coming!
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
–Matt. 25:14-30 ESV
Let us not be as business men. Let us walk worthy of our calling, let us be those who stand out from the world and proclaim Jesus is alive, and you will know it by our Love for our brethren. Let us show them there is a real hell to shun and a real heaven to gain. Let us repent of being lukewarm and buy from Jesus gold refined by fire, so that we may be rich, and white garments so that we may clothe ourselves that the shame of our nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint our eyes, so that we may see.