I read a quote the other day by the Salvation Army founder William Booth and it really made me think. Although he first said it over a hundred years ago I couldn’t help thinking how accurate it has proved to be over the decades.
This is what he said about the spiritual state of the nation and where he thought it was all heading. Now bear in mind he voiced this well over a century ago in the late 1800s and he was talking about what he thought would happen in the coming century.
‘The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.’
What foresight! What insight! What revelation! The truth is he was bang on the money. When you analyse where many churches and people are today in 2015 sadly his words couldn’t have been more prophetic.
I can’t help wondering what William Booth would add where this next century is concerned. What type of dangers would he feel the church will face in the decades to come? I think he might have included such things as…
- … Distorted Christianity that doesn’t believe in the concept of a hell.
- … Performance based worship lacking any sense of God’s presence.
- … A passion for ‘the praise and worship experience’ without it being ‘in Spirit and in Truth’.
- … A social gospel proclaimed instead of salvation through Christ’s atoning work of the cross.
- … A sociable impotent church that denies the power of God.
- … Services and platform ministry without any anointing of the Holy Spirit.
- … Superficial belief with no real deep interior life with God.
- … Minimum requirement Christianity instead of consecrated lives poured out in service.
- … Acceptable cultural trends taking precedence over God’s Word in the church.
- … Authorities penalising the church, financially withholding gift aid reclamation and imposing various taxes if the church refuses to marry same sex couples.
- … The Church in the UK becoming more and more polarised and less unified over fundamental doctrinal issues and practice.
- … Believers becoming increasingly marginalised in society because of the upholding of scriptural belief.
And so the list could go on.
I wonder if the possibility of these types of things escalating and God forbid – becoming the norm – in the church concerns you? Well it most certainly should! One thing is for sure – it concerns heaven! And it’s not just something that might happen in the years to come. Sadly in many denominations and local churches it is already present and prevalent.
So, what are we to do? 1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV) exhorts us in this way…
‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord…’
So at least until next time, hopefully we have given you something to seriously ponder.