Comfort or the cross?

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Christianity
Tags: , ,

Has the American church traded in obedience for comfort?  I believe  we have. One needs to look no further than the average church budget. You will find that a majority of churches spend far more money on buildings and facilities maintenance than they do on evangelism and missions. I believe what has happened is that we are living like an old testament church in a new testament age. We are trying to build our churches (temples) bigger and more fabulous in order to draw more people. However, the new post-Pentecost church is not called to see how many people we can fit in a building. We are called to send out as many people as possible. Matthew 16:24 tells us that we are to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ. But what we see throughout the American church is self-indulgence and comfort. We must get back to a place where we embrace sacrifice and suffering for the sake of Jesus. The presence of God no longer dwells in a building. Every believer is a temple with Christ dwelling in us. The time is now for us to stop waiting for the lost to come to our building. With Christ in us we need to be going out and reaching the lost. Now is the time to go to Jerusalem and Judea and to Samaria and to the end of the Earth. To do so we must forget about our comfort and embrace the cross.

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Comments
  1. TOM SPANGLER says:

    Jason, first of all let me say I am very happy that you are back with your blog along with the new design and focus!

    Your comments as stated in ” Comfort or Cross” I totally agree with. Taking it one step further, when we speak of the church it is really, you, I and all other believers. Whether we have a large building, small building, air condition or no air, (thank You Lord for it today) if we are honest with ourselves these “material” things I believe is not keeping us from the Great Commission. The problem with us believers are many and it is directly related to the Heart. We don’t have a constant burden, a burning desire, a willing sacrifice, and a Christ like Love for the lost. Our spiritual ambition and commitment always comes up lacking. A building or lack of a building is not a cause for our laziness.

    My daughter, when she was 3 years old, one day made a very insightful statement to me when I was trying to get her to pick up her toys. She stated “daddy, people do what they want to do when they want to do it”. At the time I really did not give it much thought. However, now 56 years later, she is exactly right.

    This past winter I had the privilege of teaching an 8 week Sunday school course on Evangelism. Most if not all of the adults attending were believers and all over the age of 40 years old. During one class time, I took the opportunity of figuring up all the time that on average that each of us have spent in Sunday school, Bible study classes, Wed / Sunday night’s, Revivals, VBS, & ETC. What came out of this exercise is as believers from a “knowledge” standpoint we are not lacking. But, anytime the Pastor talks about going out and evangelizing the first thing that comes from our lips is a need for “training”. I also was surprised to learn that some of us believers think that only certain believers can be involved in evangelism because it is a “Talent” given from God. My response has been that the Great Commission is a command, and as a believer God has given us the “power”, the Holy Spirit. We all are equipped to reach out.

    The trick that Satan always tries to use on me (I am sure other believers also) is that just one or two people can not make a real big impact. Well that is something “praise God ” I have overcome. My God is faithful, and if I am faithful, His blessings will flow in both other believers coming along side of me and God will allow me the opportunity to be an instrument for Him to the lost.

    God Bless.
    Tom Spangler

  2. Jason Taber says:

    Tom, thanks for the reply. I think many believers are just lazy for many different reasons. Many have a heart issue, while others have good motives. It is hard work that many don’t want to do, even though it was a command. Even in Acts, those closest to Jesus were not immediately obedient to the call of Acts 1:8.

    Just to give you an update. I am the team leader for our Go team (evangelism, missions) now. Exciting things are happening at First Baptist. We are in the process of working with the IMB to adopt an unreached people group, with the goal being to go overseas and bring the Gospel to those people. This blog will include a recounting of the journey God takes us on. Prayers would be appreciated as we move along in the process.

    Until next time, Jason

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