30 Days in the Bible, Day 28: Revelation 3:14-22
There are over 300,000 churches in the United States, taking all the various denominations and independent churches into account. With about one church for every 1000 people, we should see a huge impact for Christ on our national culture. Yet it seems that the exact opposite is true, and that the church of Jesus Christ is having less and less of an impact on our society every year.
Some of this is due to the fact that there are churches that classify themselves as “Christian” that hold to very little of historic orthodox Christianity. They may ignore the Bible entirely, see Jesus as just a good man and teacher who wasn’t really God, and take their cues from the hot social issues of the day rather than the Word of God. We would hardly expect a church that has abandoned Christianity to have an impact for Christ.
Yet there are many churches that still hold to the Word of God and who exalt Jesus as Savior and Lord. There should be more than enough of these to make a difference for the kingdom. While we see some effective ministries going on and some voices raised on critical questions of our day, the church remains largely silent and ineffective.
When we compare this to what was happening in Laodicea at the time Revelation was written, we can see why this might be happening. There are churches that believe themselves to be defenders of the faith, which faithfully minister to their congregation, but engage in almost no ministry outside of their own doors. Whether through fear, intimidation, or pride, they think all they have to do is present Jesus to anyone who happens to wander in while meeting the needs of their congregation and they are successfully expanding the kingdom of God.
The church of 2017 needs to be hot or cold. We need to bring a healing word to our broken society or a word of refreshment to those who are run over by life. Our ministry can’t stop at the door of the church, but has to go out into the community, the region, and the world that surrounds us. The church should be opening the door for Jesus to come in, but then following Him out of that door and into a lost, hurting, and needy world.
This requires every member of our church to be willing to be “hot or cold” for Jesus. It is when we work together and take a stand for Jesus together that we will see the kingdom of God through our service. When our churches band together to seek to impact a larger area, a state, the nation, or the world, we’ll see the kind of impact that we ought to have as the followers of Jesus. With Jesus and His Word at the center of our ministry and our own willingness to engage our culture for Him, the kingdom will grow, and we will see the kind of results we expect to see as the Spirit works through us and brings people into a right relationship with our Lord.