Confessions Of A Proud Church
A confessional of the church age that “needs nothing”
THE GREATEST DANGER
Do we have a broken heart for the state for the Church? There are so many dangers in a Church age that is content, prosperous, fat, and “having need of nothing!” Christ’s last words to the Church was “repent” in the letters of Revelation because he said “I know thy works.” Christ knows your works nothing is hid from His eyes. Many Christians are living in utter sinful lifestyles that grieve the heart of God. Francis Frangipane said: “The greatest danger facing the Church today is exhaustion because God is resisting us as a proud Church.” The scriptures say plainly: “God resists the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” If you do not humble yourselves now then there will be a “day” of humbling to come. We must relent and humble ourselves while it is still called “today.” The time is short. Leonard Ravenhill stated it is “either Pentecost or Holocaust.” These are our choices! We must either humble ourselves and allow God to revive His Church or continue in our proud self-confident Christianity and send the multitudes to hell.
14 “WE HAVE” CONFESSIONS…
Hear the heart searching words of Horatius Bonar as he openly confesses to the ministers of his day the short-comings of the Church of Jesus Christ and calls for a introspection of our hearts:
1. We have been unfaithful. The fear of man and the love of his applause have often made us afraid. We have been unfaithful to our own souls, to our flocks, and to our brethren; unfaithful in the pulpit, in visiting, in discipline, in the church.
2. We have been carnal and unspiritual. The tone of our life has been low and earthly. Associating too much and too intimately with the world, we have in a great measure become accustomed to its ways.
3. We have been selfish. We have shrunk from toil, difficulty and endurance, counting not only our lives dear unto us, but even our temporal ease and comfort. We have sought to please ourselves, instead of obeying Romans 15:2: “Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.”
4. We have been slothful. We have been sparing of our toil. We have not endured hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Even when we have been instant in season, we have not been so out of season; neither have we sought to gather up the fragments of our time, that not a moment might be thrown idly or unprofitably away.
5. We have been cold. Even when diligent, how little warmth and glow! The whole soul is not poured into the duty, and hence it wears too often the repulsive air of routine and form. We do not speak and act like men in earnest.
6. We have been timid. Fear has often led us to smooth down or generalize truths which if broadly stated must have brought hatred and reproach upon us. We have thus often failed to declare to our people the whole counsel of God.
7. We have been wanting in solemnity. How deeply ought we to be abased at our levity, frivolity, flippancy, vain mirth, foolish talking and jesting, by which grievous injury has been done to souls, the progress of the saints retarded, and the world countenanced in its wretched vanities.
8. We have preached ourselves, not Christ. We have sought applause, courted honor, been avaricious of fame and jealous of our reputation. We have preached too often so as to exalt our-selves instead of magnifying Christ, so as to draw men’s eyes to ourselves instead of fixing them on Him and His cross.
9. We have used words of man’s wisdom. We have forgotten Paul’s resolution to avoid the enticing words of man’s wisdom, lest he should make the cross of Christ of none effect. Thus, by avoiding the offense of the cross and the foolishness of preaching we have had to labor in vain, and mourn over an unblest, unfruitful ministry.
10. We have not fully preached a free gospel. It is only a free gospel that can bring peace, and it is only a free gospel that can make men holy.
11. We have not duly studied and honored the Word of God. We have given a greater prominence to man’s writings, man’s opinions, man’s systems in our studies than to the Word. We have drunk more out of human cisterns than divine. We have held more communion with man than God.
12. We have not been men of prayer. The spirit of prayer has slumbered amongst us. The closet has been too little frequented and delighted in. We have allowed business, study or active labor to interfere with our closet-hours.
13. We have not honored the Spirit of God. It may be that in words we have recognized His agency, but we have not kept this continually before our eyes, and the eyes of the people. We have not given Him the glory that is due unto His name. We have not sought His teaching, His anointing-the “unction from the Holy One, [whereby] ye know all things” (1 John 2:20).
14. We have had little of the mind of Christ. We have come far short of the example of the apostles, much more of Christ; we are far behind the servants, much farther behind the Master. We have had little of the grace, the compassion, the meekness, the lowliness, the love of God’s eternal Son. His weeping over Jerusalem is a feeling in which we have but little heartfelt sympathy.
- We are full of presumption.
- We exalt our group and personal doctrines.
- We are self-sufficient.
- We are unwilling to pray.
- We are too proud to truly ask for help.
- We have a critical spirit.
- We do Kingdom business by the world’s standards.
- We do not tremble at the Word of the Lord.
- We are full of hypocrisy.
- We have dethroned Jesus and enthroned ourselves.
- We are trapped in self consciousness.
- We are ensnared by the love of money.
- We have gone to bed with the world.
- We promote personalities rather than principles.
- We do not know how to humble ourselves.
- We are full of excuses – refuse to take responsibility.
- We are competitive with one another.
- We are carnal in our leadership.
- We have a controlling spirit.
- We are self-seeking.
- We deny the Lordship of Christ.
- We purport to repent without repenting, giving God’s spiritualese.
- We do not have the fear of the Lord.
- We do not trust God’s grace or mercy.
- We have confused obedience and grace.
- We are adulterers and fornicators.
- We have refused to preach and teach the whole truth.
- We have pleased men rather then God.
- We have exchanged righteousness for self righteousness.
- We have evangelized but have not discipled.
- We have sinned so that grace may abound.
- We do not know what manner of spirit we are.
- We have turned the ‘sermon on the mount’ to mourning of the sermon.
- We refuse admittance, confession, heart ward repentance.
- We do not truly believe that;
- We are wretched, poor, naked, blind, miserable.
- We hate correction.
- We despise shame.
- We will not suffer.
- We prophecy lies and have no shame nor trembling.
- We refuse to contemplate.
- We do not hate our lives in this world.
- We have the plank of an I in the eye.
- We will forever be learning without coming to the truth.
- We will not weep over our condition.
- We will miss the very help that contrition brings.
- We will read all these things and cast them aside.
- We will let this all slip right on by.