Note: from Paul:
I am heartened when I read that a young American schoolgirl has such a compassion and heart for the lost that she can write this challenging, 100% truthful and accurate letter. Ashley is a clear example that maturity in Christ is measured not in years but in obedience and depth.
Sitting in a Church doesn't make you a Christian, anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car. There are literally thousands of "Christian" Churches in the world. They all claim to be a part of the Church that Jesus built, but how close is the church today to the Church that Jesus taught us to be? What warnings does God give us as the bride of Christ, the church as a whole? Let's look in the Bible for the answers.
Revelation chapter three verses 15 and 16 speaks to the Church of Laodicea,
"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot, I could wish that you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."
What is the definition of a lukewarm Christian? I believe today that you do not have to look any further than the inside of your own church. Here is a good litmus test:
Does your church preach the gospel to the lost? To your own unsaved family members? Friends? Co-workers? Does your church feed the poor? Tend to the widows and the orphans? Do you tithe to God with a cheerful heart or give Him the bare minimum? Does your church seek the will of God? Worship God?
How do we, as Christians (and church body of Christ), respond to the world when the world embraces all sorts of evil and sinful practices? Do we unite to stand against sin or do we tolerate it? Do we remain silent when the bible clearly states what is sin and what actions go against the very nature of God?
I believe that the inactions of the church and Christians to the sins of the world as a whole constitute being lukewarm. If we were cold, we would not care because we were unsaved. If we were hot, we'd be on fire for Jesus trying to save as many souls as possible. If we are lukewarm, we tolerate everything just the way it is so as not to rock the boat and offend others.
I believe that we are so cautious not to offend others who are engaging in sinful lifestyles that we are gently rocking them into the depths of hell by our silence. We are doing this even to our own family members whom we claim to love. How can a sinner repent of a sin that they do not know? IS sin because we, as Christians, look away and do not try and teach others the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Does this not make us partly responsible in the eyes of God?
The Church is supposed to do the work of Jesus Christ as if he were here physically; The Church is to be "Christian" - "Christ Like" and "Christ Following."
Being able to state that you are a part of the body of Christ is a huge privilege. Why waste it with sitting inside the same four walls and doing nothing outside of Church? Why not go and talk to the homeless or help those in need, spreading the word of God. When we do so, we are taking up the Gospel from where Christ left off, instructing the apostles in His absence after Calvary. Although Christ may not be here physically, He is here spiritually and sees everything that we do and don't do.
Perhaps if we, as the Church and body of Christ, could conform ourselves to be more Christlike, reaching out beyond the comfort of our own lives and walls to the world who is lost, dying and going to hell every single day, perhaps, just perhaps in doing so we shall see the face of God.
For not one of us should ever forget that the only difference between Christians and unbelievers is the grace of God for we are all sinners, but for the grace of God, we all would be damned to hell. Let us take up our crosses and follow where Jesus left off. Amen.