The church is supposed to be an assembly of the redeemed of the Lord, rescued and separated from the world to be for God’s praise and His mission in His world. The church is meant to be the people of God. Concerning the church, consider the following definition and description in scripture.
“…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation; His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
So much is inherent in the above definitions. It is such that for church to be church indeed the indices indicated in these definitions must be necessarily true. These include the choosiness, royal priesthood, holy nation, special people, proclaimers of God’s, praise, called out of darkness, dwelling in the light of God’s embodiment of the mercy of God.
Without God these are not possible. God is at the centre of the gathering of His people . In and through His son, our lord Jesus Christ, God calls and draws people to Himself, forgiving them, cleansing them, transforming them and sending them.
However, God is not forced to remain in the midst of any people. For Him to remain, there is one absolute and necessary conditions; namely Obedience and Submission.
When the foregoing are compromised God separates Himself from the people. When He does, He begins to entreat them to repent and return to Him. In doing this He suffers long. He warns of the dire consequences of living in diobedience. He calls attention to the people in past generations who disobeyed Him. He wants us to learn from them and so not go their way. For that way is the way of death and destruction. But many a time we do not hear.
Close study and observation of today’s church in many places, reveals so much that is worrying, very worrying.
In many places, the indicators that God is among His people seem very scanty and in many places no where to be seen. All these show that even though church is going on, God is not there in many cases. What a shame! What a religious mess and tragedy!!
There are churches of all descriptions all over the place. There are colourful billboards of men of God “everywhere, adorning the digital pictures of these great men” with their wives behind them or beside them. The media print, electronic and outdoor is awash with the publicity and advertorials of church and religious activities and events of all descriptions. There is even stiff competitions among the churches and their leaders to the level of the absurd.
It is not therefore very difficult to imagine why God has stayed away.
However, there will always be that 7000 whose knees have not bowed to baal. There will always be the faithful remnant. God will always have this remnant through whom He keeps entreating the backsliders and the disobedient to return.
There will always be this remnant that will remain God’s prophetic voice to the apostate church, to the nation, and to power.
When God cannot speak among a people, He sure speaks to all from His throne. How we stand with Him determines so much. The scripture declares that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. So much in our relationship with God depends on us, the decision we have taken. Obedience draws us close to God and Him to us.
When we chose disobedience we keep Him far away from us.
The other reality that is inevitable is that when God the true king is not on the throne in the church, a man-king will ascend the throne. No vacuum is allowed. It is for this reason that many leaders in today’s church have degenerated into medieval monarchs, lording it over their different churches. They become be-all and know-all. They become maximum rulers. Their wives become the queens. These things are not difficult to see. Yet we are carrying on as if nothing seriously dangerous has happened. It is so worrying because the scenario being described is so pervading, yes, so pervading. It is indeed a terrible mess, when God is not in church.
The other consequent tragedy is that when God is not in church, it is not only the church and her people that suffer spiritual deprivations and loss of grace, but the nation and the communities also.
There is a cry to the church and the nations which we herein re-echo. The church is sick, very sick. The nation is sick and in trouble. But there is a “Balm in Gilead” to make the wounded whole again. We call the attention of all church leaders: Bishops, General Overseers and Superintendents, Seminar Pastor, Presiding Apostles, Archbishops, etc to hear the word of God. God is calling all church leadrs in particular to reconsider their ways and return to Him. Let the faithful remain faithful. Let the wicked and unfaithful remain unfaithful. The day of reckoning will soon be here only it will be too late then.