In Amos 6, Israel is rebuked for sleeping on their ivory beds, eating lambs from the flock, singing idle songs, and anointing themselves with the finest of oils. Why is this so wrong? Because they are not grieved over the spiritual ruin of Israel. They are experiencing a season of abundance which has led to them forgetting about God, rejecting His Word, and oppressing the poor. Israel is physically rich but spiritually they are bankrupt.
As I read this, I began to think about the church here in America. The church has so many blessings, and yet in many ways we are bankrupt. People are content with gathering together on Sundays to perform religious activities but then they go home and for the rest of their week they lay on their ivory couches watching countless hours of T.V. and doing whatever they want all the while abandoning the mission of God.
Surely God cannot be happy with this. And surely we cannot rejoice over this. Now admittedly, their are many good things the church is doing here in America. And we need to praise God for the freedom and the blessing we do experience. But to at least some degree, we ought to grieve.
– We ought to give that there are so many Christians that think discipleship is about a certain day of week rather than a lifestyle.
– We ought to grieve that there are so many Christians who know so little about the Word of God.
– We ought to grieve that there are so many Christians who do not share the gospel with others.
– We ought to grieve that there are so many Christians who would do not look to serve those around them.
– We ought to grieve that there are so many Christians who are what Jesus says in Revelation 3, lukewarm.
– We ought to grieve that there are so many Christians that get more fired up over building projects than the spread of the gospel in unreached areas.
– We ought to grieve that there are so many Christians who consider their involvement in the church as optional rather than a foundational part of being a follower of Jesus.
And I’m sure we could list countless more ways. My point is not to say that the church in America is worthless or that their is nothing positive at all. Their could be many blog posts written on the good things that are occurring within the churches of America. But this post is written in response to Amos 6, and that passage is about how God’s people forgot about God. And if we take an accurate look at the church, I think there are many ways we can see how christians have forgotten about God or at least compartmentalized God to certain part of their life.
So what do we do? I am sure their are many actions points that could made here. But let me just give 2.
First, let’s pray. Let’s pray for our hearts and the church as a whole. Let’s pray that the Spirit would convict us of sin, refine us, and build us in our faith. Let’s pray that we would become captivated with the joy of the gospel. Let’s pray for the church to know and live out its identity in Jesus.
Secondly, let’s read God’s Word and obey it. Here in America we have the privilege of having so many Bibles and being able to read them just about anytime we want. Let’s take advantage of this. Let’s read, memorize and seek to obey all Jesus calls us to do. The Bible is the food that our soul needs. The Spirit uses the Word to bring us to faith and grow us in our faith. And it will only be when we share the Word with others that they too will come to faith.