When is it going to be enough?
What more evils do we need to witness to lose sleep over the state of humanity?
More graves for the victims of Ebola?
More pictures of the beheaded children of Iraq?
More public demonstrations of racial discrimination?
More suicide from a lack of mental health care?
More nasty words being exchanged about the selfishness of the above?
More children being sold and daughters being raped and sons being worked for no pay?
More slavery to addiction?
More sexual promiscuity?
More families being stripped of any form of function?
When is it going to be enough?
I feel so burdened by not only the world’s bad news, but the poor response from the ones with Good News, too.
When are we going to wake up our dead hearts? When are we going to feel uncomfortable in our flesh-covered temples?
It’s time to stand up—to be men of valor and women of might. We’ve isolated ourselves from the real world for too long.
Who’s taking the lives of our children? Who’s tearing down the walls of our churches? Who’s threatening to rob our security today?
My dear, precious, apathetic church. No one is coming after us.
I fear the enemy would be hard-pressed to find us.
We look so much like everyone else.
Self-pitying. Self-serving. Self-gratifying.
Passive. Indifferent. Dispirited.
Is there anything that will drive us to action anymore?
We have holed ourselves up. Locked our doors. Protected our children.
We’ve altered our convictions to keep people in our buildings. We’re more afraid of who we’ll offend than who we’ll never save.
And while we’re in our safe, Christian circles, the world is blowing up around us.
And we go about our business, where it feels good and we can ignore the chaos.
Shall we be honest? We really don’t want Christ to return.
We have fancy homes, retirement funds, vacation packages.
We have safety nets, community groups, private school.
We don’t really want Christ to return, because we’re not quite sure Heaven will be as nice as this gig.
Who needs God’s protection when we’ve hedged ourselves in all alone?
Praise the Lord for the evil around us. Maybe we will finally WAKE UP.
Maybe our eyes will be opened to the dark places in our world. Maybe we’ll start to see the dark places in our neighborhoods. Maybe we’ll even discover the dark places in our tepid hearts.
Maybe we’ll stop feeling like we belong here. Maybe we’ll remember our citizenship is above.
Maybe—just maybe—we’ll have enough zeal to storm the gates of Hell.
Because Hell clearly isn’t only eternal. Turn on your TV or your computer screen.
Our fellow man is living in Hell every passing minute.
In mental illness.
In war zones.
Across the world.
In our backyard.
It’s time to storm those gates, my dear, precious, apathetic church. It’s time to rescue the souls of our fellow man.
It’s time to love Christ more than we love this earth. It’s time to take risks, to pray like mad, and to believe that we are part of the single-most powerful gathering that exists today.
We are the church, the body of Jesus.
We don’t have a spirit of fear, but one of POWER, and LOVE, and SELF-CONTROL.
Let’s quit using other people’s tragedy to push our own party lines, doctrines, or identity.
Let’s just be for people.
No matter their race, nationality, or social class, let’s exist for people.
pray for them,
laugh with them,
cry with them,
rejoice with them,
SHARE GOOD NEWS WITH THEM.
Until the whole world hears, Church.
Until the whole world hears.
May we ache for Christ until we provoke His return.
What is it going to take?
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout
the whole world as a testimony to all nations,
and then the end will come.