By Joseph Diop
Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Diop
We live our New Testament Christian lives upon a foundation of repentance. One happy day foregone, with poignancy, promise, and purpose, we turned away from “this old world” back to the Creator God who loves us, suffered for us, bled and died for us, and then rose victoriously to claim us forever. And, what a sweet and blessed life it has been ever since, as we anticipate the glories of heaven.
Then, somewhere along the way, life happened. And, little by little, we have found ourselves sliding back to those ways we once decried. And, finding innumerable excuses and justifications for doing so, we have just blended back in to the background landscape of those whose ways are diametrically opposed to our Lord’s. Now, we find ourselves again with lives that are so misaligned with God’s word that our lifestyle is spiritually grotesque and unrecognizable. We can no longer tell the saints from the ain’ts. As that late, great evangelist R.W. Schambach put it, “The church has gotten worldly, and the world has gotten churchy.” We have literally been doing this for such a great while now that it has become cliché in so many ways. We been wrong so long, we don’t know what right looks like.
And, though we expect for our souls to be saved eternally, we’ve played it right up to the edge. Now, the Spirit of our God has given an anguished cry to His sainthood. In the pathos-filled words of the Old Testament prophet, he calls,
“14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and YE HAVE NOT OBEYED MY VOICE, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 3:14,13
And, again in the words of our Savior Jesus himself, he says,
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT!!!.
From the pulpit to the pew, from the parlor to the porch, from the parking lot to the very pavement of the sidewalk bounding our church buildings, we have loaded sin and uncleanness back into the house of God, by whom we once had been washed from our sin. And, all are guilty: preachers, congregants, officers, deacons, and worshippers, to some extent. And so, the general call goes out to all,
“20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 NKJV
And, our Lord’s final word is,
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:22