There are things only you and your fellowmen in a certain group can understand. For soldiers, there is the army way. For sailors, there is the navy way. Ordinary citizens have little or no knowledge of such internal ways of doing things. Likewise, there is the way that God does things in the Kingdom of God, and unless you are in the His Kingdom, you will not understand the things in the Kingdom. You can be faithful in going to church every Sunday.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
How will you seek His Kingdom if you do not know what it looks like? What is God’s Kingdom or the Kingdom of Heaven then? The Kingdom of God can be translated as God’s way of doing things. It is how God would do things here on earth. And the first step to do things His way is to give up your own throne to Him.
But today, only a few of the Evangelical churchgoers have given up their throne. According to The Barna Group which is founded by George Barna, majority of people who attend church, week after week, are two-kingdom-minded. On a typical Sunday, four out of every 10 adults or 40%, attend a church service, which is a significant decline from the early 90s when close to half of all adults were found in churches on Sundays.
Furthermore, more than one third of Protestant attendees are not born again. In his other statistics, only 3% of people who attend church truly tithe. Jesus said in Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” In other words, the condition or the direction of your heart can be understood just simply by looking at your bank statement. The most astounding fact is that statistically, there is no difference between the way the world lives and the way churchgoers live. The fact that few people take the time to evaluate their spiritual journey or to develop benchmarks or indicators of their spiritual health implies a distorted view of the prominence and purity of the faith in the church’s life.
Barna stated that, “In America, most people experience accidental spiritual growth. There is generally no plan or process for maturing spiritually other than showing up at church and absorbing a few ideas. As a result, people have a definite understanding of what they are hoping to become as Christ followers.”
Barna attributed much of this to the numerous distractions common in most people’s lives. He expects to see a widening gap between the intensely committed and those who are casually involved in faith matters. The difference will become strikingly evident between those who make faith the core of their lives and those who simply attach a religious component to an already mature lifestyle. In the survey’s conclusion, addressing to the American Christians, it says, “They are not as devoted to their faith as they would like to believe. They have positive feelings about the importance of their faith but their faith is rarely the focal point of their life or a critical factor in their decision making. They are spiritually lukewarm and very limited effort is devoted to spiritual growth. Spirituality remains important to people but we are still in a shakeup period where people are trying to discover how to fit it into their increasingly fragmented, busy and changing lives. Some people are seeking to remove God from their life; they are just not sure when and how often they can pencil Him in to their schedule. When comparing the lifestyle choices of born again Christians to the national norms, there are more areas of similarity than distinction.”
In other words, there are more commonalities than differences between people who profess to be one-kingdom minded and people that have nothing to do with God. There is no difference because people in the church are living lives no different than the way people outside the church live. The former are not making decisions any different from those outside of the church. This can be seen in the way they live, on their opinions on specific moral issues, on viewing adult-only content on the internet and on reading magazines or watching videos with explicit sexual content. We can also look at the divorce rate. The divorce rate within the church is the same outside the church. In regard to marriage and divorce, Mr. Barna said, “When we compare Christians to non-Christians, we rarely find substantial differences and we have no reason to believe that cohabitation would veer from that pattern.”
The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth. They will tell you not to get married.
I Timothy 4:1-3
Dennis Cummins is a published Author and Senior Pastor of Experience Church.tv; With the mission to “aggressively save and disciple all that we can”, Pastor Dennis has led the church through changes and improvements to forge a new identity for Experience Church.tv® and to create an experience that is applicable to our culture. Because he feels that no generation should be left behind, he has overcome challenges that many churches face; such as, developing services that are appealing and effectively minister to a wide range of ages. Pastor Dennis uses unique and unconventional methods to illustrate the message and dynamically convey the word of God to the hearts of audiences world wide. He has forged alliances with other international pastors and inspired leaders in the corporate world through his God-given ability to speak into their lives. http://www.experiencechurch.tv
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