If the Church Would Only... (a word from Voddie Baucham)
The following is from a sermon preached by Dr. Voddie Baucham on October 27, 2013, at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, TX. The text was Revelation 17:7-14.
The rise of evil kings at the end of the age is not the fault of the church. Please, hear this. Every time something goes bad in the culture, you hear people who begin to hem and haw and say, "Only if the church would..." "Only if the church didn't..." "Only if the church had..." "Only if the church hadn't."
Folks, the rise of evil at the end of the age is not the fault of the church. The rise of evil kings and evil nations is not the fault of the church. There's another side to that: Being blessed in a nation that acknowledges God is not the fault of the church!
God is not sitting passively in heaven wondering what kind of country we're going to be. God does not look down from heaven and say, "Oo, I wonder what this Supreme Court decision is going to be. I wonder how this election is going to turn out. Oh, if the church would only..."
Enough already with the over-realized eschatology. The church is everything Christ says she is. She always has been, and she always will be.
The fact of the matter is that we live in a country where there is so much ease that anything can call itself the church, and most of what passes for the church is not. "Oh, if we could only get Christians mobilized!" Which Christians? And mobilized in what direction? As though we all are of the same mind -- We're not! There are many who are following false teachers.
Remember, in the last days people are not going to abide the truth, but instead they're going to turn aside to myths and accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires. Paul tells us that in 2 Timothy 4:3. How is that the fault of the church?
Be careful with Americanized arrogance. When we talk like that -- if Christians were only serious, if Christians were only prayerful, if Christians would only this, if Christians would only that -- here's what we do: we look at our experience as Americans, and we sort of generalize it as though it's the normal reality of the church and the way God has designed the world.
But please note that every time we say that, we are saying that every country in the world that doesn't have as much freedom as we do is in that state because the church there is not as faithful as we are.
"No, no, no, we're not saying that!" Yes, actually, we are.
If the only reason things are bad is because the church is not faithful, then that means in places where things are good, it's because the church is more faithful than in other places. Folks, if you've traveled this world, if you've been to third-world countries and worshiped with your brothers and sisters in Christ, you know that dog won't hunt.
Some of the most faithful believers in the history of the world have experienced the greatest persecution in the history of the world. Great faithfulness in the church usually doesn't equate to a nation that loves the church; it usually equates to a nation that persecutes the church.
So enough already with the idea that "If the church would only..."