“Since Christianity has never survived on the basis of mild and uncommitted theism, it is certainly not likely to survive on that basis today.” D. Elton Trueblood, 1961, from “The Company of the Committed“
Trueblood, a Quaker, said that in the opening paragraphs of his book fifty years ago. A little more than a generation. We understand how much more true it is today that we have a world full of mild and uncommitted theists. But worse than a world full of mild and uncommitted theists, is the Christian church full of mild and uncommitted theists. Trueblood went on:
“In any case, when the Church is looking for a mission field it need not look beyond the nearest campus.”
When looking at the prophesies it’s always more interesting to look outward, to see the Muslims and the lost and the atheists and the other nations. But there are prophesies that are foretold about us, the Church.
Matthew 7:22-23 says, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
Many. If your church is filled with 300 people today, how many do you suppose would be granted entry into the Kingdom? Jesus said MANY will not be. So out of 300, how many is many? 10? 100? 150? 200?
Elton Trueblood again. “When the Church is looking for a mission field it need not look beyond the nearest campus” Why? Because many have halted between the service of God and the service of sin. As Elijah said-
Now is the time for decision. That gap between the two opinions is widening. People will not be able to straddle it any more, and that time is drawing close. You must decide, and if you think you have already decided, re-examine yourself. Soon there will be a showdown similar to the one that occurred between a God and the false prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel. Soon the false notion that we can serve two masters will be exposed, then removed.
This is a call to re-examine our response to the Holy Word. Paul urged us to “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves,” 2 Cor 13:5. The particular reason why Paul calls on them to examine themselves was, “that there was occasion to fear that many of them had been deceived. Such had been the irregularities and disorders in the church at Corinth; so ignorant had many of them shown themselves of the nature of the Christian religion, that it was important, in the highest degree, for them to institute a strict and impartial examination to ascertain whether they had not been altogether deceived. This examination, however, is never unimportant or useless for Christians; and an exhortation to do it is always in place.” (Barnes Notes). It is never more important than now. In any and all churches, I pray that the many will hear “well done good and faithful servant” and not “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
Serve sin or serve God, time to choose. How long will you waver between two opinions? How long will you push forward in church activity but never actually coming to know the builder of that church, Jesus? How long will you study prophecy as it applies to everyone else but not yourself? By the looks of things in the world, we won’t have long at all.