Around 30 years later Jesus “whispered” in the ear and heart of the Apostle John to warn the local church about this and John’s recording of this prompting is found in Revelation 2:4-5, “4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Another warning from Jesus, recorded by John is Revelation 3:1-3, I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”
These warnings are not written to unbelievers. These warnings are written to the Bride of Jesus of Nazareth, a.k.a. The Church.
The Church was created by God to be the Bride of Jesus Christ. A bride is only a bride when she is married and unified with a groom. The purpose of a groom and bride being wedded is love. The love, that this couple develops, creates and leads to reproduction of life. It is arguable, that in nearly every instance, true love produces new life. If new life is not produced it is usually due to a problem of bad health or lack of love.
The Church is wed to Jesus. The purpose of this wedlock is love first and reproduction as a result of that love. If the bride of Christ is not reproducing new life through this union of love with Jesus, then someone in this wedded union is unhealthy or lacks love. It doesn’t take a marriage counselor to determine who the guilty party is.
Now, I believe that the hope of the world is squarely centered in the local Church that is producing new life daily. My comments are not anti-church. My comments are anti church sterility.
Over the last 50 years too many have been witness to the dying of local churches in urban and rural America. A recent headline stated that Muslim congregations in America are beginning to purchase the facilities of former brides of Christ who quit reproducing. (The Old Testament is full of headlines just like this because God’s people quit being faithful to Him and the high places of their homeland became places of worship of idols.) I liken these churches to roadkill as a consequence of high speed culture flying down the highway of life. These dead brides, having the God given gears to travel at high speeds, mortally chose to faithfully walk and not faint on the spiritual autobahn. There is a time to walk and not faint, but there is also a time to soar as on wings of eagles. Church be nimble, Church be quick, or Jesus will jump over your candle stick as He travels nimbly and quick. Is Jesus quick and nimble? Jesus’s very nature is to keep His eyes on the will of the Father and complete what the Father asks of Him. Jesus had 3 years to land on earth and accomplish the payment for all mankind’s sins, past, present and future. I have heard stories of recent roadkilled churches, and how this once vibrant bride of Christ, somehow quit moving quickly and literally took 3 years to determine whether or not the carpet should be replaced in the sanctuary. It then argued another year about what color the new carpet should be. There are churches taking 3 years to decide what they should do with the $350,000 in the missions fund, all the while in that same 3 year period, approximately 20 Million children under the age of 5 will have died from the lack of food and clean water. The ghosts of this roadkill quote Bible passages to justify their death. They justify their death by saying they refused to conform to the patterns of the world and think themselves as martyrs. This inability of responsibility reminds me of a teaching of Jesus describing this very tragic behavior. It is found in Matthew 6:23, “And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!”
Conforming to the patterns of the world has zero to do with church speed, or nimble and quick and holy decisions! Zero.
Many, unrepentant contributors to the cause of the roadkill justify their inability of responsibility by saying the kill is a product of a satanic attack. I, humbly, beg to differ. If the deceased church had the ability to move quickly and celebrate the risk of living married to Jesus of Nazareth, to spend large amounts of money on fulfilling the wishes and commands of Jesus, but chose not to…Why would satan need to attack such an infertile or castrated organism? I do not give credit to the devil for such roadkill. The roadkill can be explained by the simple choice of mankind to stop loving Jesus. In the passages that John recorded in Revelation there is a whisper from Jesus beckoning His bride to return to her first love. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, obey me.” If the bride doesn’t obey Jesus and thus return to her first love, then Jesus simply jumps over the candle stick and moves on. Another way to describe this moving on, is for Jesus to divorce this specific bride. Thus, roadkill.
Spiritual roadkill is not a product of satanic attack. It is a product of lack of love, light and ultimately life. It is best understood as men and women in the form of a fruitless bride of Jesus, worshipping the idol of one-another, circling the wagons and becoming the product of the circle of the cursed life. Men and women groping for power and influence and control, being made sterile or castrated by the worship of the idol of personal preference. It is the bride of Jesus of Nazareth having a love affair with herself right in front of her husband. When this happens, Jesus moves on. Thus, roadkill.
Is there any good news as we travel at high speeds down this spiritual autobahn that is littered with roadkill every quarter mile? Of course there is!
God said in Isaiah 61:3 that He can make beauty from ashes. The only way we can have less roadkill happening, is through the process of Christ-like evolution. Dare I say Christ-like elimination? Do not forget that a kernel of wheat must die before new life begins. In Revelation, Jesus whispered to the probable roadkill to return to her first love, and if she doesn’t obey, he nimbly and quickly moves on. What this leaves behind, is a bride that the devil does not need to concern himself with, and the Holy Spirit can’t even see in its rear-view mirror. This leaves a stranded bride in the middle of the highspeed road of life. It is not a surprise to the world, that all that remains, is another roadkill that vultures get sustenance from. Tragic.
The beauty that God can make from these ashes is the fact that slow brides become former brides and thus are unable to produce more slow brides. I am struggling to see this fact as beautiful, for there is nothing more disgusting in all creation than to see a church become non-living. I’m heartbroken to even write about it. However, talking or writing about it in a politically correct fashion is not the solution. Ignoring it, is not the solution. Calling it what it is, repenting of it, and changing gears is the solution. In one word, Change. If you can’t shift in this shift happens society, you become roadkill.
Heres the real truth. Church will go on. With or without you. Jesus told us all, that the gates of Hades will not prevail. Jesus promised, that this all ends in victory for the church. I think it is important to warn that the victory goes to the church. Not the roadkill. The roadkill used to be the church in its former state. If your former state is the church, then your current state is not the church. Only the Church is victorious. The Church will speed on.
The Bride of Jesus is meant to live for eternity. She is never meant to be roadkill. God doesn’t cause roadkill. I do not think that satan causes roadkill. People cause roadkill. It is not the driver, obeying the speed limit, that causes roadkill. It is the driver that thinks the road is all hers and is ignoring the speed of life that becomes roadkill. Lack of speed kills too.
You are the Church.
You are the Bride of Christ.
What gear are you in?
What gear is your church in?
Q: If your gear is too low and slow…who is to blame? A: Only you.
Q: If your church’s gear is too low and slow…who is to blame? A: My personal experience has proven, that the committees and groups of deacons and groups of elders that demand to control the movement of the Bride of Jesus Christ are the guilty ones. Also, the founding members who refuse to shift gears are the guilty ones. Also, the spiritual leaders who ignore their biblical mandate to lead diligently are the guilty ones.
The control monger committees, deacons, and founding members along with timid and diligent less leaders, afraid to pick up speed, simply will become a turtle with her head tucked “safely” away sitting on the fastest speedway of life and consequentially roadkill for passersby to gross out about.
The very people who Jesus died for, are traveling this speedway, and are witness to all the roadkill, and what they see is causing them to choose not to become the bride of Christ, for fear of becoming roadkill themselves. I believe that spiritual roadkill is the number one reason why unchurched people refuse to be a part of the Bride of Jesus of Nazareth. Nobody wants to drive in a pretty and slow car. Its embarrassing. Fears of becoming roadkill are strong influences.
The people, who are far from Jesus, are eternally dying to get behind the wheel of the greatest drive life can provide. That ride is supposed to be the Bride of Jesus. The Church. People, who are far from God, want to ride, but refuse to ride in the way that causes them to become roadkill.
The times we live in demand for the Bride to be swift and healthy and reproduction focused.
The times we live in demand quick and nimble churches.
The times demand urgent churches.
The times demand churches of responsibility and repentance of fruitlessness.
The times demand the church to be obedient to the King of Kings.
The times demand churches of mobility, maneuverability, and quickness of holy decisions.
The times demand the church to live in the now.
Speed up or get run over.
It is a choice.