In the book of Isaiah we see a prophet trying to correct a nation who has turned their backs on God. Isaiah is prophesying over them and says, “Jerusalem’s on its last legs. Judah is soon down for the count. Everything people say and do is at cross-purposes with GOD, a slap in my face. Brazen in their depravity, they flout their sins like degenerate Sodom. Doom to their eternal souls! They’ve made their bed; now they’ll sleep in it.” (Isaiah 3:8-9, The Message). This is oddly too familiar. Jerusalem could easily be replaced with America. It seems everything this nation does is going against God’s purpose. Each day some news article posts about something being done that removes this nation from where we once were, One Nation, Under God.
Oddly, if you look at who Isaiah is prophesying to, it was not the secular government. He calls out Jerusalem and Judah. Jerusalem being the home of the temple, the place where God’s people worshipped. In our terms, it was the church. Judah was one of the 12 sons of Jacob and a tribe of Israel. One of the most powerful tribes of Israel. The literal translation of the word Judah is Praise. Replace Jerusalem and Judah with what we now view them as and reread this text. “The church is on its last legs. Praise is soon down for the count.” This text takes on a whole new meaning.
There is a tide that is rising in the church today. People are doing “whatever it takes” to reach the lost. This is not talking about a change in worship, service style, preaching style or the use of modern equipment in the churches. Rather, people are changing God’s message in order to make people feel comfortable in their pew. The emphasis is put on community rather than commitment; on being real rather than relationship; on feeling good rather than finding favor with God. When the church puts the emphasis on the people rather than God it is headed down a dangerous path.
God is calling His people out. As society grays the line between right and wrong the church must make a stand, a strong stand, and let this world know that there is a right and a wrong. There is a black and a white. There is a God who loves us and He loves us so much that He wants us to stand out from the crowd so He can apply His name to us as His people. The church is not yet on it’s last leg so we need to stand strong. This is not a “hold the fort” mentality. It is a stand mentality. Stand for what is right. Stand for what is true. Stand tall. Stand boldly. Let the church be what God intended for it to be. A light in the darkness, hope to the hopeless, and peace to the restless.