Church Reforms In Ghana My Thoughts: Going Back To Our First Love

Why are you a Christian? That‘s a rhetorical question, don‘t tell me your answer. But do ponder it. The only need that should draw anyone to Jesus is the need for the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God and eternal life(call it abundant life if you so wish). All other reasons are secondary. We are all sinners, condemned under the law of God, until we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through faith in His finished work on Calvary. That is the gospel that needs to be spoken consistently and regularly: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Okay, here is one of the reasons I think the church has lost it. We have become silent on humanity’s sin problem, hushed the gospel and its core doctrines (sin, salvation, repentance, grace, righteousness, eternal life etc.) and buried it under a rubble of social gospel (miracles, prosperity, breakthroughs, etc.). 

A friend has observed that, sometimes, in our sermons, Christ and the need for salvation is mentioned as an afterthought. After all the breakthrough theories have been expounded, then we issue an altar call: “If you want to enjoy all these blessings, give your life to Christ”.

We are well positioned in the center of the days Paul spoke about in 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Nothing describes our days than this. If for twelve months: all year round; all you hear regularly are messages on miracles, prosperity, breakthroughs… and your spirit doesn’t protest and you’re a Christian, with caution and at the risk of sounding judgemental; let me tell you the truth. You lack discernment.

There’s an incident in the Gospel of John which will be a good case study for the thoughts I am trying to put across in this point. In John 2, where Jesus turned water into wine (his first miracle), further down in verses 23-25 we read that “Now when he [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.”

Such unusual display of indifference from Jesus: He “did not commit himself unto them.” This means He took their faith in Him with no seriousness. He saw through their motives; the shallowness of their faith. He knew their belief in Him was not genuine. Clearly, faith that comes to Christ because of miracles and not the need for reconciliation to God is shallow. When the going gets tough, there will be a fall out. However, “a broken and contrite spirit, he will not reject“.

Back To Our First Love, here is where I borrowed that phrase:“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.“ (Revelations 2:4-5).

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