There is a popular game show that awards points not for giving the right answer but for asking the right question. Imagine if you will this scenario. Contestant number one says, “ I would like to take Struggling Churches for 500.” The host then says, “ 1 Corinthians 16:22 says If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let Him be accursed.” Contestant number one is then awarded 500 points when he asks the question, “ Why are so many modern churches dead and dying?”
This is not really a game show question. It is reality. The word “accursed” means to be separated from God. All around there are empty church buildings whose doors are closed forever. Once they were a life changing source of hope. Now their light is darkened. Why? Because man-made traditions became more important than the commandments of God. Personal preference overruled the presence of the Holy Spirit and the love for their church overcame their love of Christ. So Jesus said, “ I hold this against you. You have left the love you had for Me in the beginning, so I have come and taken your light from this place.”
When the Apostle Paul said “If you don’t love Jesus, you will be accursed” he was not pronouncing judgement, he was simply stating a fact. He spoke these words as a warning to God’s people and to God’s church. In the same verse, Paul prays that the grace of the Lord Jesus would be with us. Jesus wants His church to live. In Revelation 2, He calls for the loveless church to remember where they were before they fell, to change their hearts and to love Him as they did at first.
Why are so many churches dead and dying? Well it seems that so many have forgotten the first and greatest commandment. That is to love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. Remember the church is made of individuals. So let each of you who are Christians determine to return to your first love. If your church is one that is struggling, I challenge you to earn God’s favor with your obedience and prove your love with your actions. If we are rooted and established in the love of God, we will be filled with the fullness of God.
Douglas & Deborah Huff
From Down Where The Pavement Ends