The church is not immune to this disease; indeed, professing Christians are often among the most affected. In North America, the true church is smaller than ever, while mega-churches run by emergent leaders like Rob Bell, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen are drawing in millions of seekers.
The Western church is standing on false promises and promoting a false gospel. Will you and I sit idly by while so many are being consumed by their appetites? There are so many who are truly hungering to be filled and healed. Our society is covering a fatal wound with the band-aid of health-and-wealth teaching. So many are proclaiming that we have all the power we need within ourselves, and that we must believe that God will give us everything our hearts desire - because we deserve it. Dear friends, we deserve nothing - nothing but judgment and an eternity in hell. Christ truly is the only Healer and Redeemer. The only true freedom comes in giving up everything and grasping onto the one saving truth that God loved us enough to ransom us with the blood of His Son. We are not beautiful. He is. We are not entitled to wealth or health - but God has granted us the greatest treasure: the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us not be "godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done." (Hebrews 12:16-17) So many have sold their eternal inheritance for things that will perish, and have likewise perished. May it not be so for us!
"Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 'Make level paths for your feet,' so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed."(Hebrews 12:12-13)
God has blessed us with a great abundance of material things, but we must throw off everything that seeks to entangle us. "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." (1 John 2:15-17)
I am so often convicted of complacency and apathy in my own life, both in my response to sin in my own life, and to those who are perishing. It is staggering to think that the Holocaust was caused just as much by the complacency of the Allied countries as by the brutality of the Nazis. Are we standing idly by in the face of a spiritual holocaust? Today, I look at our society, and I see little source to hope that the free world will stand in the event of any approaching calamity. Western civilization has thrown away the anchor of faith and biblical principles that was set down by our founders.
We have lost sight of the goal for which God has called us heavenward! As Christians, this should concern us. In the midst of programs and social gospels, have we forgotten Christ, our first love? What do we feel when we hear the faith stories of Christian martyrs like Stephen (Acts 6-7), Vivia Perpetua, or Richard Wurmbrant? We too should be laying our lives down on behalf of others, for the sake of Christ!
Christians in this culture have experienced the "frog in boiling water" phenomenon - we have become so influenced by this world that we have become lukewarm and detestable to God. This complacency and acceptance of worldly values should not be! I pray that it would not be so in my life. May we be willing to hold out the message of the cross with confidence, no matter what the cost, because it is the only cure to those who are being consumed by spiritual cancer.