“What church do you go to?”
“I go to the Rocking Community Church, the main campus. The one in the city. They have a great worship team. With all the satellite churches, we now have over 2,000 members! Jesus is really blessing us.”
“Oh, really? I hear that’s a great place! My friend told me they had an iJesus series? Maybe I’ll check it out. I just found this cute outfit on sale. It’ll be great for church!”
“Yeah, Dan’s the pastor, and he’s so cool. He’s going to be doing a new series on Jesus and football. His messages are so relevant. You should check it out.”
The Church Status Symbol
Church in America has become a status symbol. Where you go to church matters more than what you learn at church. People go to church to be seen by other people. Church is a social club, an event, a place to find a date or a mate.
Church is not a place to find God. They have forgotten his name, wrote him out of the bulletin, left him off the web page. Sure, they use the name of Jesus, but they know a false Jesus, a Jesus that serves their own purpose. They don’t know the Jesus who hung out with the poor and the sinners, who cried out against status symbols. They don’t know the Jesus who was homeless and who would get blood on their nice carpets.
Look at almost any church’s web page. The front page lists the service times, the small groups, the upcoming “events” (parties?). There is often a donate button. Donate to make my church look pretty. Donate to show that you have money. Donate so the pastor can have a nice house, nice car, and “financial peace.” (Thanks, Dave Ramsey!)
What about donate to the poor? Well, that’s so old-fashioned. The poor cannot help your image, after all. Wait, isn’t that what Jesus preached, what Jesus lived? Well, that Jesus is just not trendy enough.
The Status of Jabez
But that Jabez guy? Well, he’s cool. The church loves him. Now he had status. He probably drove a BMW. He had money, and maybe if you study him, you can get some money too, and get more status. So says the young, hip preacher.
Woe to you who call yourselves Christians in these last days. You are busy looking to increase your status, your wealth, your next great party or social club. We are in the last days, and you are not ready for the feast of the Bridegroom. You are like those wicked in the days of Noah, partying until the flood comes. Heed the call of Jesus to return to piety, humility, helping the poor and the least of these. Heed the call of Jesus to return to His church.
Status in the Storm
Wake up and see the coming storm. The choice is before you: status, carelessness, and death. Or repentance, compassion, and life.
Matthew 24 (NIV)
36″No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.