The seventh reason people are leaving the Church and renouncing the faith they once publicly professed is that the cares of this life have choked the spiritual life out of them and they simply no longer see a reason to believe.
In His famous “Parable of the Soil,” also known as the ‘Parable of the four hearts’ Jesus talked about the seed of God’s Word being choked to death because of the cares of this life. The daily grind of day-to-day life with all of its twists, turns, and problems can be a perpetual distraction to the spiritual person flooding their hearts with unbelief and doubt. So much so that it can easily choke the God-life out of them. The spiritual life; their relationship with God the Father and Jesus whom He sent (John 17:3) or what is referred to as ‘eternal life.’ So, where there was once ‘life’ and ‘light’ there is now only death and darkness.
The eighth reason people are leaving the Church and their faith in large numbers is because the Church (and thus the Christian faith) no longer addresses the issues people are facing in their daily life. Thus they are finding the Church irrelevant to how they are living and the issues that they are facing and living with in their daily life.
However, the Bible and the true faith as proclaimed in the early Church is always relevant. The message of the early Church was two-fold – the coming of the Kingdom and the resurrection from the dead of the King, Jesus the Christ. This message in its many forms is always relevant and powerful.
But, the Church in many nations has watered down the true Gospel and no longer preaches the need to repent to enter the Kingdom. And, they no longer exalt Jesus who said that if He was lifted up He would draw people to Himself. They now simply say a Sinner’s Prayer after making mental ascent to the Good News. They ‘believe’ in their heads but their hearts have not been transformed by a life-changing encounter with the resurrected Lord and Saviour. They have a mental understanding of the information but have not come to believe (which means to 100% trust) in Jesus as their Lord and Master. So, they truly are not born again and thus remain separated from God in their sin and see little relevance in the Church or the faith.
So, because the Church is preaching the gospel of salvation and not the Gospel of the Kingdom people are not truly saved or born again. They think they are because because they have wrongfully been told that they are. However, 2 Corinthians clearly states that ‘without repentance there is no salvation.’ So, they have not encountered the life-changing power of the Gospel and do not see God working in their lives. As a result, they become frustrated and think that the message of the Christian faith does not work and thus there is little to no purpose in attending a local church where the service is the same each and every week and the message has no impact upon what they are experiencing in live and face on a daily basis. The Church and the faith are irrelevant in their minds.
In the world today millions a year are leaving the institutional Church and many are actually leaving the faith. It is time to take a deep and honest look at what we believe and what we are preaching and declaring. It is time to take a close look at the true faith and embrace the changes needed to return to the faith once preached by the early Church.
Next up in the series of Personal Reflections … “The Bible Understanding of the true Church”