Where Is the Zeal?
Our Church Denomination at one time was considered the evangelistic workhorse of America. People were being saved by the droves and baptisms in some Churches were a weekly event. The Sunday School and Church Attendances swelled. New Churches were built and the new born-again believers were making a Christ honoring impact in their neighborhoods, communities, cities and nation.
Then came the seventies, eighties and nineties. Slowly it all began to unravel, as memberships began to shrink, members’ marriages failed, also they began to take on a passive attitude to the ways of the world. Entertaining worship became the new byword as confessions and baptism continued to fall.
While the seminaries of our denomination were busy turning out Pastors, it soon became apparent that these new Pastors no longer believed the Authorized, King James Version of the Bible. They have been taught that some later manuscript discoveries made the KJV Bible inaccurate. In addition, some of these new Pastors with the “New International Version” (NIV) in hand no longer believe that Hell is a real and literal, fiery place of everlasting punishment. As a result, they now teach that there is no urgent need for the salvation of souls, but that their sermons lead to their final sanctification, so soul winning efforts have faded to nothing more than weak invitations without fervent outreach for the lost.
A True Story: One of our local Churches recently planned to re-started a bus ministry and a back to back block party and vacation Bible school was used to develop contacts. During the block party and vacation Bible school the children were evangelized, using the clear teaching of the King James Version Bible, and some fifteen prayed to accept Christ. Some of these children understood the importance of salvation from Hell unto everlasting life with Christ.
One of the new converts, a ten year old girl, began to ride the bus to Church. She became concerned for the very salvation of the souls of her friends, and that they needed to be picked up and taken to Church. The bus drivers had to explain that they would not have enough time to wake up her friends in time to make Church. She explained that she could get them up real quick and they could get ready in just a few minutes. Not having enough time to stop for her friends, the bus drivers explained that she needed to talk to her friends during the week telling them to be ready on Sunday Morning. Shortly thereafter they arrived at Church in time for Sunday School. But, we could not help but notice that the enthusiasm of this ten year old slowly began to fade as she became more involved with others in the Church who apparently were not concerned enough to get their own friends out of the paths of a certain fiery Hell, the destination of eternal torment.
What a tragedy to see newly born Spirit filled converts fall by the wayside. Paul pointed this out when he warned those who were strong in the faith not to cause a weak one to fall. We do have freedom from the law, but Paul warned that not all things we say or do are either expedient or edifying to the Church and her members. It is a sin to cause a brother or sister to be tempted away from Christ to walk in the flesh. “But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” (1 Corinthians 8:12-13 KJV) We shall always have the tares in the church to cause problems, but Christians must always conduct themselves in holy ways before all, lest someone’s faith be injured.