Posted: 12/12/2011 at 8:26am
FROM LIGHTHOUSE TO PLAYHOUSE
by Tim Laughlin
But know this that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! II Timothy 3:1-5
Once a powerful beacon of God's light piercing the darkness of the stormy night searching for lost souls drowning in a sea of humanity, but alas, now a playhouse for the Sunday morning social club. Fueled by the lust of the flesh and the things of the world they have become weak and powerless to fulfill the destiny that God has for them.
Totally unconcerned for the welfare of the poor around them or the lost, they continue to play and sing and dance as if there is no tomorrow. Chick flicks and games, yoga and aerobics for Jesus, the church has become a laughingstock to the world with their only signs and wonders being the time and temperature outside the building.
There is absolutely no discernible difference between the church of today and the world. No separation, no discipline, no prayer, no consecration and no persecution leaves a benign lump of worthless clay unfit for the Potter's wheel.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel of honor, sanctified and useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. II Timothy 2:20,21
SOLDIERS OF JESUS CHRIST
You therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ. And the things you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. II Timothy 2:1,2
When I enlisted in the Marine Corps and entered boot camp, we didn't play games, or sing songs about victory, we began training immediately to learn how to destroy our enemies. We were taught two things in our relatively short basic training: who the enemy was, and how to defeat him. The only time we sang was in the tear gas chamber, singing the Marine Corps Hymn with our gas masks off!
In six short months teen-aged boys, some never being away from home became lean mean fighting machines able to destroy their enemy with chilling accuracy and speed. Today in the church we are lucky to have a basic disciple ready for combat in thirty years. Jesus took twelve men, untrained and in three years made them into apostles of faith and power able to lead three thousand.
The mission of the church of Jesus Christ is to be an army of recruits trained and equipped for battle, able to preach the word of God, cast out demons and heal the sick. We are commissioned to win the lost and make disciples of all nations, but instead we have built playhouses for baby Christians to play in and never reach maturity, always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier. II Timothy 2:3,4
THE FOUNDATION OF THE TRUTH
These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church (ekklesia) of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. I Timothy 3:14,15
Paul was not talking about Sunday morning church etiquette of how you ought to act in the service, he was speaking of the assembly of believers called out of darkness making sure they were holding up the truth of the word of God which is the very foundation of Christianity.
The house of God is not a building as some would make you think, it is a group of people called out of darkness, washed in the blood of Jesus and anointed with the Holy Spirit. Church is not a place to go, it is an assembly of believers who are the very habitation of God. Did you think God lives in a dark empty building waiting on you to help Him out by showing up for an hour on Sunday, you would be surprised how many do?
Jesus planted the first New Testament church without walls, pews, choirs or nurseries and in order to join this assembly one had to sell all that he owned to support the new converts coming into the church. Imagine one hundred and twenty followers of Jesus opening their homes and their very lives to three thousand strangers from out of town who didn't speak their language.
The testimony of those first saints still speaks today in the midst of our politically correct, socially responsible, relevant, consumer driven, electronically motivated church goers. We must return to our roots where Jesus first planted the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts, a powerful lighthouse of power and love for one another and for the world for which He died.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin