All the Pretty Churches
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Revelation 3:14-17
As a high school sophomore, I was thrilled with the Wednesday program in which we volunteered in Washington, D.C., instead of attending school. I was excited about my first day “on the job” at Children’s Hospital – until I discovered the pathology department where I was sent wasn’t just a fancy medical term. It was the morgue! My job was to file photos of dead kids, and my boss, a gigantic man of whom I was terrified, invited me to visit the morgue. I was quickly moved to another department.
If one drove across America, one would be astonished at all the pretty churches. Perhaps the national debt could be paid off with all the money invested in beautiful church buildings. It is not uncommon for multi-millions of dollars to be used to build a new church, and the cost of maintaining, renovating, and expanding a church can be astronomical. Ever considered what God thinks when He looks down from heaven and sees all the pretty churches with all the pretty people inside all dressed up Sundays with their Bibles tucked under their arms, hugs for their friends, strong handshakes and wide smiles for those who come to the altar, and lots of well-rehearsed singing voices? Does He see the people He created to love, adore, worship, revere, praise, seek and serve Him, turning away from the wickedness of this world and living pure lives dedicated to loving Him and telling the world about Him, becoming holy as He is, being filled with and led by His Spirit and living by His Word?
Or does He see pretty churches like morgues filled with dead bodies living according to the world’s ways, more concerned with all their pretty churches, fancy clothes, social gatherings, false teaching and fundraisers, and rushing off from church to catch football games, eat big dinners as they return to their sin-riddled lives in between Sundays? Jesus says He will spit out those who are lukewarm about God. God wants us assembling with other believers to study His Word, praise, worship, and serve Him, but it’s not about pretty churches. It’s about turning our backs on the world’s ways, living our lives in devotion to Him, and going outside the church walls to love and tell a perishing world about Him.