Preacher’s Point: A Call to Repentance
One of the rules of journalism is not to use old clichés but sometimes I feel like I am barking up the wrong tree, or beating a dead horse. Here we are a new week and another column containing the words, “Another mass shooting.”
At the risk of sounding redundant, the two quotes that keep coming to mind, every time I hear a news bulletin begin with the words, “An active shooter….” are:
John Adams, second President of the United States, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles is clear; the healing of the land rests on the shoulders of God’s people. It is time for Christians to stop blaming anyone other than ourselves for the ills of the nation. If you are Christian and you are thinking, “I haven’t done anything wrong, I have nothing to repent of.” I will remind you of 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Many Christians are looking to politics for an answer to the nation’s problems. The arguments with liberals in the social media run rampant. From Trump to abortion to sending Hilary to jail, the wall, or lack of one, to who will be the next Supreme Court Justice, the second amendment, next year’s elections; need I go on? The fact is God places everyone with authority into authority, Romans 13:1, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
Many Christians look to unsaved counselors, instead of the Scriptures and godly leaders for advice to their problems. Sadly, this happens because of two fundamental reasons. 1) The church is incapable of helping. Like the man who had a child possessed of a devil and the Apostles lacked faith and wisdom and were helpless in fixing the problem (Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:17-29). 2) Often Christians do not see a separation between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man (1 Corinthians 1:25).
The church has many other problems as well. The following is not all-inclusive; the issues are too numerous to list.
Sin runs rampant in the church. Many churches look the other way when it comes to sexual sins of every sort. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, are often ignored, and homosexuality, is usually placed on a pedestal as a victorious lifestyle instead of the sin that it is (Romans 1:22-32).
The sins of the church are not limited to only the bedroom. The lack of Bible knowledge and understanding has grown into living our lives our way instead of living our lives for God.
Studying the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) has become with many Christians, at best, reading a one-page devotion with a verse attached, to at worst, the Bible sitting on shelves for months or even years.
A constant state of prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) no longer exists; it is now time to pray when you have no other solution to try.
The claim is that church attendance is on the rise but think again. Yes, Sunday morning services see more people, but many churches no longer offer Sunday evening and mid-week services. Because of fewer services, attendance as a whole has dropped.
With the lack of attendance (Hebrews 10:25), prayer, Bible study, and the laid-back attitude toward sins of all types, the church is Laodicean and makes God sick to His stomach (Revelation 3:14-22, v16). It is time to repent.
If my people which are called by my name – we are called Christians; could it be any clearer?
Shall humble themselves – whatever our sins are we need true contrition, from the heart, admitting our guilt.
And seek my face – we need to look to the Word of God for the answers and be willing to accept God’s way of looking at the world instead of our own.
And turn from their wicked ways – repent. Do a 180 from the sin in our lives.
Then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. When God heals the nation, instead of writing about “another mass shooting” mass shootings will be something only found in the glossary of a history book.
To reemphasize, “If my people which are called by my name…” It is not a political problem; it is a spiritual problem.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County Indiana. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872.