We must be about our Father’s business. His business is simple. He sent His Son to “seek and save the lost” and then commissioned and sent His sons and daughters (the Church) to seek and save the lost and to do as Jesus did in the way that Jesus did it – supernaturally (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8 and John 14:12).
However, as is obvious to anyone who has taken a close look at the Church recently we are, in general, not up and about “doing the Father’s business”. In fact, we are somewhat inner focused, self-centered and self-absorbed and thus not reaching many for the Lord. This is not a new ailment for the Body of Christ, the Church, but one we are, once again, waking up to. We have an unhealthy Body and sick believers who are not reproducing more sheep … afterall, healthy sheep begat sheep.
This is not a new issue. Addressing the 7 churches in Revelation (chapters 2 and 3), Jesus confronts apathetic churches who had shut Him out though they believed they were doing the right things. Despite all their beautiful words and singing, Jesus was on the outside knocking (Revelation 3:20). And, this we can know, if Jesus isn’t in the church, no lives will be transformed by His power.
Many are coming to believe that the problem is that the church has lost her first love. And, that loss is keeping us from reaching people. One of the clearest indications that Jesus is on the outside of a church is the people inside who aren’t reflecting His nature. Instead, they are actually fighting against it. We want things to be gentle, comfortable, easy. However, we often fail to recognize that Jesus was and is, by nature, a radical revolutionary.
The Bible states that the world, by nature, is contrary to God. The world loves being exclusive – making life great for the few while not caring about the many. It tends to turn inward to protect and defend its own interests. And, this world is into consumption – being served.
Because “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33) the same issues tend to creep into the lives of God’s people over time. It certainly did in Jesus’ day. So, when Jesus came on the scene, He was radical and a revolutionary.
He was bent on changing everything contrary to God’s character and desires. Unlike the world, God is about inclusiveness. loving the many rather than the few. He is driven to continue reaching out. He left Heaven and came to earth (Christmas celebrates this) to seek and save the lost. He is absolutely committed to serving others, and has called His people to do the same. He was a radical revolutionary.
A healthy body reproduces. Sheep are meant to begat sheep. But, today’s Church seldom reaches out and has not done so for some time. Oh, we speak about it a lot, discuss it in committees, pray about it, preach about it, dream about it … but we never simply do it! But it gets worse; most people seem to think we are doing Church the right way and are content. So, they are not even aware of the sickness that has invaded the Body of Christ and which is causing the Church to live without impact and influence thus making no significant difference to the culture and society in which it finds itself.
Here is the problem: Eliminating Jesus from the picture lets you comfortably embrace the status quo, as many of the 7 churches in Revelation had done, especially Laodicea. But, as in Revelation 3:20, so today Jesus is knocking on the door of His Church and the hearts of His people.
What happens when we let Him in to our hearts and our churches? The revolution reignites.The Church starts swimming against culture rather than just floating along with it. It begins fighting against exclusiveness, self-serving and defensive posturing. It does everything in its power to reach out to the many. As Brad Powell is fond of saying: “our churches must transform from museums of the past to present-day missions that place truth over tradition and people over place.”
Christmas is a good time to hear the knock of the Savior at the door of your heart and the door of the Church. It is a time to hear and recognize the knock of our revolutionary leader, once again embrace the revolution, and become a radical.