Churches are not buildings. The church meets in all types of buildings in all types of locations in cities everywhere. However, there are buildings that once had churches in them that loved Jesus, thrived, and were full of life. Now, they are empty. As I drive through my city and surrounding cities, I sometimes wonder what happened to the churches that once filled those buildings.
I want to believe that the churches that used to meet in these empty buildings used to be gospel – centered, gospel – driven, Jesus – focused churches.
At some point. It all went wrong.
An empty building is a sign that the people that made up that church lost their passion for Jesus. Lost people were no longer being saved. They traded in being the church for the routine of just doing church.
I wonder if that building could talk, what kind of stories would it tell. Would the walls be laden with so much history that they could show the time when laziness and apathy started to creep into the church?
Churches are made up of people. These people, Jesus affectionately calls sheep. We are sheep that point other sheep to our Shepherd.
We as the church should so want to be a part of people’s lives that we see the gospel invade their lives and transform their lives and see these people find a fire that they didn’t know they had. These people that were once lost and going to hell would become full of life and zeal and become passionate, devoted disciples of Jesus.
Churches die when they take their focus off of Jesus. They have to close their doors when they become closed to reaching out to the community and wanting to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
The church is no place for complacency.
To keep our churches healthy, we must get our nourishment from our Shepherd. Jesus is our provider, protector, and sustainer. He feeds us through his word. We must eat of it constantly, to grow, mature, and become disciples that make disciples.
Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. I do not believe that Jesus wants our churches to fail. However, Jesus also doesn’t want us to ever take our eyes off of Him.
We must be doers of the word and not just hearers of it. We must apply Scripture to our lives daily. We must obey Scripture. We need to understand that Scripture is our highest authority.
We must be unashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. We must learn that the gospel is not just for salvation but it is also very important for our sanctification.
We must be so unashamed of the gospel that we are not afraid to live it out in front of others, daily.
We must be revived so that our churches can thrive.