I am about to make a bold statement.
I could be wrong. But I don’t think I am. I am betting my life on this statement. On this truth.
The main reason the American Church has been largely ineffective in this nation is because it lacks the revelation and application of love, not holiness.
There has been an increasing trend coming from American pulpits to “consecrate ourselves” and such, and a message spewing forth that to gain God’s favor on our nation, we must beat our chest, act a certain way and beg for His mercy.
I’m not quite sure I agree. Consecration is a beautiful thing y’all, and when done for the right motives and when called on by the Lord, it can be a powerful tool of His gospel.
That being said. I do not need to beg God for anything. He is a good God, He loves to give good gifts to His children and He delights in showing mercy.
As I look upon the finished work of the cross, I hear the sweet whisper of my Savior speak to me “It is finished.”
See, I don’t think our churches need an increase of holiness. I think they need a revelation of love. Love is the source of all true transformation and change. Love will always lead to holiness, but holiness will not always lead to love. Look at the Pharisees Christ rebuked time and time again in the Gospels. Their exterior seemed holy, while their hearts were cold and rotting, loveless and lifeless.
Y’all, it is the kindness of God that has led me to true, transformative repentance. It is His goodness and the understanding of His love that has taken root in my heart and choked out disbelief and fear, unforgiveness and selfishness. It isn’t the pursuit of Holiness, it’s the pursuit of the One who is Holy and has chosen the lowest way to rescue me out of my own sin and the despair of hell. That is the revelation of Jesus! That is what changes and transforms… the heart first and later the behavior as Jesus declares (Matt 15:10-20). It is the understanding, the grasping and the settling of this truth in our hearts that causes to become the Overcoming Church.
That. That is why I believe that the American Church has been grossly inefficient. It doesn’t fully understand the “too-good-to-be-true” news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, it is being weighed down with yokes and demands our Jesus has not placed on us.
“They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.” (Matt 23:4)
Our Churches are filled with leaders who tie up heavy burdens on the flock instead of lifting them and giving the people easy burdens and light yokes.
Please hear this friends. I am not accusing anyone of anything. Broken men lead our Churches and I understand. I am not angry at anyone and I’m not pointing any fingers.
I only want to share the truth I felt in my heart tonight. The Church in America needs a revelation of love, not a demand for holiness. When love is encountered, holiness will follow. It’s just the natural order of our human hearts. His kindness always leads to repentance/transformation. It’s just what it is. And now that I know, I can spend my efforts in prayer and in ministry doing just that. Reminding God’s children of His sweet, unending, perfect love.