Apathy is the rule of the day in the American church. We are surrounded by evil yet cling to our traditions in hopes we can keep the world at bay. I don’t know when it all happened and I don’t think it is unique to America. Free and affluent countries around the globe have squandered the wealth and opportunity afforded them, and now a new generation is turning away from God in record numbers. We had so much and we did so little. I believe this will be what we are judged for when we see God. How could we who were so blessed have produced so little?
Thank God there are exceptions. Much good has been done over the last century or so. Children have been fed, slaves rescued, the oppressed set free. But we have made such a small dent in the problem. Worse still, we have managed to alienate much of our youth from the magnificent gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a great exodus from the church by young adults, yet there is also a remnant who is leading a fresh charge into the battle for the Kingdom of Christ. This is not a world without hope, but rather a world in which we could and should have done so much more.
Human trafficking and slavery is expanding throughout the earth. Children are abducted and abused every day. Teenagers lured by promises of a better life are instead plunged into the depths of human depravity by their captors. It is sickening. While all this occurs, we gather for worship each week in comfortable buildings with free refreshments and entertainment. We sing songs of joy and exchange superficial and meaningless pleasantries. We plan how millions will be spent on new buildings that are even more comfortable. We grumble and complain that there aren’t enough fun activities for us or our children. Rarely do we contemplate the evil lurking around us beyond a passing mention in a prayer.
How did we get here? Who taught us to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to those suffering outside of our walls? Jesus said that if we loved Him we would do the things He did. He taught that if we wanted to follow Him, we would have to forsake everything – our homes, our families, our comforts – to do so (Luke 9:23; Matthew 8:18-22; Luke 14:25-33). We now forsake little or nothing. Our lives look nothing like His. Yet still we have the audacity to call ourselves Christians. On what are we basing our faith? If we truly loved Jesus, we would obey His commands (John 14:15). We are being misled. We are being deceived. (Matthew 24:4-14)
It’s not too late, but we must turn from our apathy and sin. We must repent of all we have wasted and all we have ignored. We can’t stay here. We must move to a place of uncompromising devotion to Jesus and His mission. It is our duty to go to those who are hurting, helpless, and without hope. We are the rescuing hands and feet of Jesus. We must go there. We cannot turn away. The church at large is broken. Only the blood of Christ can heal it, and He will do so through the willing hearts of those who are truly committed to be His followers and disciples. To stay here is death. To go there is life as it was meant to be lived. Which will you choose?