A Mile Wide And An Inch Deep…

…describes the large, weak and anemic churches in our day.  I was a U.S. Government employee for twenty years, and I never ceased to be amazed at their ineptitude.  What I saw was monumental graft, corruption and waste.  I saw people write up their own pay raises, become promoted after drunk driving and wrecking a government vehicle, and throw out loads of perfectly good furniture towards the end of the fiscal year, in order to justify purchasing more.  The oldest joke in the government is “…mess up and get promoted,” because it is true and it happens all of the time.  The larger the government becomes, the worse it functions.  A church with a lot of members and only a few true converts is a church of tares.  I have learned that bigger is not necessarily better.  Bigger often leads to dilution.  A large church can stay faithful, but they often falter after the initial faithful pastor retires.  A case in point is Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  The Lord took Dr. D. James Kennedy home, and he was one of the finest, faithful pastors of his generation.  His replacement cheated on his wife after she cheated on him, and his theology was so anemic that he lacked the fortitude to call sodomy/homosexuality sin.  Having been pastor of smaller churches in ministry (no more than 100 members), I have a profound respect for the under shepherds of larger churches who boldly preach against the sins of the day, the error of evolution, the truth of a literal six day creation, God’s wrath, hell, the need for repentance and holy living.  A large church can indeed be faithful, and God bless the pastors who discern the need to be just that.  I pray that when I stand before Immanuel on the Judgement Day, that I will have served in churches similar to Smyrna and Philadelphia.  Churches that were small, persecuted and faithful.  Amen and amen.  Blessings, Pastor Steve

Days of Praise

 

A Little Flock

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

The world tends to measure success by size, and this seems generally true in the Christian world as well. The most “successful” churches are considered to be those with the largest congregations, or the largest budgets, or the greatest number of converts baptized each year, or some other quantitative index. But this is not God’s criterion. At the judgment seat of Christ, “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13). Not how big it is, but of what sort it is! Quality, not quantity, is the criterion.

Christ’s encouraging words to the “little flock” were given toward the end of an extended warning against the desire to accumulate wealth. “Take heed, and beware of covetousness,” He had said (Luke 12:15), speaking to His small group of followers. He was their Shepherd and would provide the needs of His “little flock.”

Christ’s warnings against individual covetousness evidently apply also to group covetousness. A church, or any other Christian organization, needs continually to guard against the desire to be impressive in the eyes of the world. The cities of Christendom exhibit many ornate cathedrals and temples that are now mostly empty and spiritually dead.

The Lord Jesus promised an “open door” to the little church at Philadelphia, because it had “little strength” and had “kept [His] word” (Revelation 3:8), but threatened to “spue . . . out of [His] mouth” the tepid church at Laodicea, which was boasting that she was “rich, and increased with goods” (Revelation 3:16-17). Not every “little flock” has kept God’s Word, nor has every big flock become lukewarm, but Christ’s words serve as both warning and encouragement. The greater blessings of the coming kingdom have been promised to the faithful “little flock.” HMM

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