Is God in the House of God?
People have grown so comfortable in their seats at church that we sit in the same one every week because the depressions in the foam padding fit our backside perfectly. That wasn’t always true. What were once made of hardwood and uncomfortable are now padded. And the more padding we have added the more comfortable we have become. The next logical step in this sequence is to bring our seating accommodations up to twenty-first century standards by adding reclining pews with neck rests and remotes so we can turn the preacher on and off, or up or down when we want to. Do you think this sounds extreme, too far-fetched? I don’t. After all, the church has come to the belief we can’t have our paying customers, I mean parishioners, too uncomfortable, or they might not come back. If what the present-day church is doing is all it takes to please God, we can accomplish as much at home with a television set and a La-Z-Boy recliner. Then we won’t have to get the kids up for church, get dressed in our Sunday best, or put on makeup. We can lie in bed, turn the television on, and worship God from the confines of our bedrooms. I love our sugar-daddy. Don’t you? The church wouldn’t have to pay a monthly mortgage payment, a preacher, or benefits, and we wouldn’t have to tithe, sing songs we don’t like, or any of the other mundane things we presently do. We could just surf the channels on God’s satelite until we find a preacher with a message we like, drink our coffee, and feel sorry for those poor people who don’t know God. And every now and then we could remind God how grateful He should be that we love Him so deeply. If what we practice in American churches is all there is to Christianity; “Why do we bother?” Even the heathen knows the American church is broken and we don’t know how to fix it. That’s why they don’t come when invited. And in all truth, why should they? We have nothing to offer them they can’t get out of a bottle or a bag. And the things they do that we call ‘playing with fire’, really isn’t any more dangerous to their eternal salvation than our doing nothing is to our eternal welfare. God doesn’t reside in their homes, and He doesn’t reside in our churches. So what’s the difference? There is none, except the sinner knows they are lost and are about as far away from God as they can get, and the American Christian haven’t figured it out yet. According to God’s Word, the modern-day church wasn’t issued a fire-proof suit when they joined a church like a lot of people think. God is our protecter if He is with us, and if He isn’t, we don’t have any more fire insurance than the sinner.
In the third chapter of the book of Revelation beginning in verse 14, Jesus talks about the Laodicean church. Most people believe the churches listed here represent church ages, if that is true, we are in the ‘luke-warm church age’ and in danger of being vomited out of the mouth of the Lord. He said to the church in verse 15, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, (or the church says) I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked – I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This sounds an awful lot like the modern-day churches in America. We are neither cold nor hot – but rather lukewarm. Jesus said, (this is what you think) “Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – (but this is what you are) and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked – I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire…” The things we do in church are religious enough and sound good to the religious minded, but there is not enough power in the church at the present time to blow out a candle, and when there is a lack of power it’s because God who is the source of power isn’t present; and when God isn’t present, the needs the people have aren’t met. Religion can’t meet the spiritual and physical needs of God’s people, only God can make us whole.
So back to my original question, “Is God in the house of God?” I believe He wants to be. And I believe He would show up if we invited Him. Now let’s look at a couple of stories where God showed up and what happened when He did. Solomon and all the people with him dedicated or invited God into His temple. And when He showed up, all the people fell down because they couldn’t stand up in His presence. And in the book of Acts, one day Peter went calling on the sick; God went with him and all the people were healed when Peter’s shadow passed over them. How’s that for excitement? When God shows up things begin to happen. Peter didn’t have to touch those sick folks, the bible simply says, he passed by, his shadow fell on them, and they were all healed. Now I ask the question, “Do we really want God to show up in our house of God?” It just might liven things up a bit. Then we would see a foot race between the sinner and the saint racing to the church house to be the first one inside to see what God was going to do next. There would be no more people showing up a half hour late for services. Everyone would show up early or they wouldn’t be able to get within three blocks of the church God was in. That sounds like church to me. DThrash