The American Church at the end of the twentieth century is experiencing a crisis. For years we have preached a cheap gospel and peddled a soft Savior. We have taught salvation without self-denial and the crown without the cross. We have catered to the unsaved and compromised with the world. Now we are paying the price.
Our "instant salvation" message has dishonored God and deluded men. Our faulty seeds have produced a flaky harvest. What a pitiful crop we are reaping!
As American "believers" we:
spend hours watching television but minutes watching in prayer;
are hungry for the sports page but have little taste for the Word;
spend more money on pet food than on foreign missions;
love to feast but hate to fast;
welcome God's blessings but are very wary of His burdens.
Is this what Jesus died for? In this our "new life" in Him?
Stop for a moment and think:
Anyone who spends more time playing video games than seeking God in prayer has no right to call Jesus Lord.
Anyone who takes delight in today's perverted soap operas is serving another god.
Anyone who cannot die to sports for a season is worshipping idols.
"If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him...because friendship with the world is hatred toward God" (1 John 2:15; James 4:4). In reality, whose friends are we?
It's time for some serious soul searching. What kind of "born again" experience have we had if it calls for almost no personal sacrifice, produces virtually no separation from the world, and breeds practically no hatred of sin? How can we claim to be "born from above"? Where is the evidence of our "new nature"?
We call ourselves "citizens of heaven" - yet our hearts are caught up in earthly treasures. We sing, "We're the people of God" - but we are entertained by the worst of the devil's children. We claim to be "dead to the world" - yet we are more interested in temporal fashions than in eternal souls. Something is wrong with our "salvation" experience! Bad fruits mean bad roots.
Discipleship is not optional. Neither is it cheap. Peter said, Lord, "we have left evrything to follow You!" (Mark 10:28) What have we left to follow Him? "Ever material gift increases its value if it comes not from money you can dispense with, but from the sacrifice of something you would love to have" (Richard Wurmbrand). How much have we really given for HIm?