TEXT: MATTHEW 5:13
All around us we see corruption on the increase, spreading like a cancer through every segment of our society. This unchecked corruption is a stinging indictment against the Church. It reveals to us that we are having a decreasing influence upon our society. We are no longer the powerful influence upon our society that we were just a few short decades ago.
The following outline lists several evils within the Church that are causing her to lose her Salt Ministry to our Nation.
I. UNHOLY DEFILEMENT [MATTHEW 5:13; I Corinthians 5]
Sin and immorality run rampant within the Church. Within the Church you can find the same lawlessness and every evil that we see within our society, showing the influence the world is having upon us. One thing that Church leaders and their members must begin to understand is that, the world does not respect our likeness to them, but our difference from them. Our power is in our difference not in our likeness. We no longer expect and demand holiness from our membership. We tolerate from our members what many clubs and societies would dismiss their members for.
II. UNCHRISTLIKE DISPOSITIONS [John 13:34, 35; I John 4:7,8]]
The common characteristic in the children of God is love, and in a selfish, dog eat dog world, Jesus said that this would be the one distinguishing mark between the children of the world and the child of God. The world has no obligation to believe that anyone is a Christian who does not demonstrate the Love of Christ towards all men, and especially toward each other in the family of God. Yet within the local Church you find some of the meanest, merciless people upon the face of the earth, and that meanness is especially pointed towards the Lord’s Pastors. One of the signs of APOSTASY within the Lord’s people in the Old Testament was how they persecuted their prophets.[Matthew 5:11,12] This Unchristlikeness shames the Lord and destroys our influence.
III. UNBIBLICAL DOCTRINE [ I Timothy 4:1; 6:3-19]
Many congregations have never heard a sound doctrinal sermon. Our Pulpits spew out health, wealth, and prosperity, along with seeker friendly messages designed to make Jesus acceptable to unregenerate rebels, not realizing their job is to make the sinner acceptable to Christ, which can only be accomplished by the preaching of the Gospel, the Gospel that tells a man he is a condemned sinner and his only hope is to Repent and in Faith flee to Jesus, believing His shed blood at Calvary is the only thing that can atone for mans sins.
We preach a Christ who is not the Christ of the Bible, but a Christ of our corrupt imaginations that is just as corrupt as we are. [Romans 1:21,22] A corrupt Christ that approves homosexuality, abortion, and every other evil. Many old mainline denominations are now ordaining homosexuals to the ministry. We no longer preach the Gospel and uphold the Truth, and thus many churches are irrelevant to our society.
IV. UNENDING DIVISIONS [I Corinthians 1:10-17]
There seems to be no end to the divisions within our Churches. Church splits are more common and frequent than raindrops from heaven. The Southern Baptist Convention alone reports that nearly 200 Pastors a month are fired from their Church, leaving smitten shepherd’s, scattered flocks, disgraced and weakened Churches.
We are spending our time and energies fighting ourselves and not the real enemies of the Lord. To make matters even worse, many a Church ends up honoring those who are the very culprits in tearing up their Church and running off every Pastor they couldn’t buy and own.
V. UNNECESSARY DIVORCES [Matthew 5:31,32; I Corinthians 7:15,16]
Divorce within the Church is far too frequent and for the most part unnecessary and without Biblical grounds. Many of these marriages could have been saved and divorce unnecessary if one or both of the parties were not self-centered brats.
Divorce scatters children. Where once the whole family was in the same Church week after week, now they are at the other parent’s home on the weekend and if they do go to Sunday School and Church anymore it is just sporadically. This has gone on so long that we have two generations that were once in Church who are now not.
Divorce is also causing us to lose our Moral Authority to speak to our Nation on the subject of marriage and to defend traditional marriage between a man and a women against those who would legalize Gay Marriages. They laugh at us and question who we are to speak out on the subject of marriage when the marriage model we defend we can’t keep together.
There are times Divorce is justified, but it must be justified, and these times must become few and far between in the family of God if the Church is to have influence as Salt upon our society.
VI. UNPAID DEBTS [ Romans 13:8; I Timothy 6:3-19]
Many within they Church have been infected with the lust of the eye, and have borrowed and charged to have so many things that now we can no longer pay for them, nor take the time to go to Church, because we cannot afford to rest one day a week, we must work every day to pay for the stuff we no longer have the time to enjoy.
Too many never gave thought that the bubble might one day burst as it has. They never thought there would come a day when they could no longer pay their bills, but that day caught them unaware and their testimony for Christ drove away as the lien holder came and drove away in their car, and boat. They lost their big house and their testimony the same day.
VII. UNFULFILLED DUTIES [ Matthew 28:19,20; I Corinthians 16:2]
The Church’s influence has been weakened by the fact that so many of her members are not fulfilling their duties to Christ, their Church, and a lost world.
Members refuse to deny themselves their time, talents, and tithes for spreading the Gospel and expanding the Lord’s Kingdom. Many a Pastor has to say to the lost world what the Apostle Paul had to say to his beloved Church at Philippi. “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. [Philippians 2:19-21] What would the Church do without it’s Timothy’s? What an influence the Church could have if every Church member were Timothy’s!!
In the matter of tithing, I once heard Adrian Rogers say that if every church member in America was on welfare and tithed, the offerings would double. We don’t have a money problem, we have a giving problem. Money is not the solve all, but there is no taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth unless people with the money pay the way for the missionary to go. [ Romans 10:13-15]
You may have other points you could add to my list of those things which are destroying the Church’s Influence upon our society, but this list is enough to explain why we are so impotent and inconsequential. This list is enough to show us why are Nation is tottering on the verge of destruction. This list is enough to make the case that we are in desperate need of Revival. This list makes the case that we all are falling short of being the Christian we are meant to be. This list makes the case that the Lord cannot be pleased with us and His desire for our immediate repentance is undeniable.
~Jack Woodard, 1 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 4:5]