HAVING A VICTORIOUS CHURCH
Do not ever be known as a judgmental church. It is not helpful to the cause of Christ and the local church. There is nothing that can turn unbelievers and even real believers away from a church quicker than a critical judgmental spirit.
Churches have spirits, we want to have the right spirit, the same spirit that Jesus Christ projected while here in his earthly ministry. He did not love sin, but he loved the sinner. He was always quicker to forgive than to condemn. Except when it came to the most religious people – the great church of the Pharisees. They were always ready to condemn everyone that did not come up to their standard. It was almost a code of honor for them to quickly condemn someone. They even found it very easy to condemn our LORD! Why? He did not fit their church standard!
A CHURCH STANDARD OR A CHURCH SPIRIT?
A standard is important, yes a real Christian wants to live within the foundation that God’s Word does allow. That is not to believe you have liberty to live contrary to the Word and still be considered a Christian. But what we believe, the standard we hold, must be ministered in the right spirit and by Christ living in our lives, if not our standard is invalid.
The Pharisees had their message down very thoroughly, but knew very little of mercy. Matt 23:23 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy , and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” They never saw the need to reach out in love to those less fortunate than they were, only in condemnation!
A CHURCH IS WHERE PEOPLE WITH PROBLEMS COME
A church is a hospital, where the sick come to be made well. They come because they need help. They may have reached a place they cannot even help themselves, but somehow they have found their way to church. How did they get there, maybe you brought them or invited them. They might think they decided to come by their own desire. If they came it is God that sent them however it was they arrived.
Let us be guilty of showing mercy. People come among us because they have a need, whether they recognize it or not, or even understand it. Rev. William Branham speaking of Nicodemus; “Nicodemus couldn’t understand it, the new birth, when he came to Jesus by night. Someone condemned him. I don’t condemn him. He was a good man; he wanted to find out something. He was busy through the day, maybe he was at his priest’s office, or something another; he had to come by night. Anyhow he got there; he done a lot better than a lot of people does now. They won’t come day or night.”
We must always look though the glasses of mercy and not judgment. The person you are condemning might have a greater standard than you because of the spirit they possess is much more noble and holy than a arrogant better-than-thou spirit.
A victorious church will never be quick to condemn others, even in their own church. I like what Abraham Lincoln said, “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” The Apostle Paul taught that the church has a ministry of Reconciliation and not condemnation; 2 Cor 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”Bro. Branham said; “Many times that we judge people by their actions, and sometimes we don’t judge the heart.” Remember it still holds true what Jesus said; Matt 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” I firmly believe having a merciful spirit will make for a victorious church!
Pastor Bill Ivy – Living Word Tabernacle, Campbell Missouri (Gibson Community) – www.livingwordtabernacle.com
Living Word Tabernacle, 31209 State Hwy 53, Campbell Missouri