While reading through much of the New Testament, we encounter Paul’s letters to the churches, containing specific instruction to that congregation along with general teachings that can be applied to any of us today.
Have you ever taken a good look at your own church, and wondered what a letter to your church would look like? Here are my own letters to my churches.
To the church of my youth in Spokane, Washington, grace and peace be with you. I sincerely thank God in all my remembrance of you and in my foundation of the gospel. Known as the Bereans, you are doing well in living up to such high standards, receiving the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily and studying to show thyself an unashamed workman, accurately understanding, teaching and living the Word of truth. I commend you for building strong, Biblical foundations and raising God-centered children, as this spiritual grounding will continue to bless all those you come in contact with.
To the church of La Jolla, California, I give thanks to God for you, praying for you always. Oh how I long for you with the affection of Christ Jesus. Surrounded by riches and the temptations of this world, you chose daily to ground yourself in the word and the truth of God. Your faith is far greater than I have seen before. There are those among you, namely June and Jewel, whose sincere faith has the ability to move mountains. I commend you for your faith, that which I have never seen before or since. Many blessings to you as I long to see you again, in Heaven.
To the saints and faithful servants at the church of Riverton, Utah, I speak proudly of you for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecution and afflictions, which you endure. I pray for you always, that our Lord Jesus Christ will continue to be glorified through you. May you continue your difficult work, knowing you are the hands and feet of Christ, in the midst of a satanic stronghold. The hearts of the saints are being refreshed and strengthened through you. Consider it joy as you encounter these trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. You have the strength and endurance that I have not experienced before, in the midst of hardships. I commend you for your steadfastness and unrelenting perseverance. God is using you and your steadfast strength in so many ways, including my own strength in recent years, as I consider all that you are doing in your faith.
To the church of St. Helens, Oregon I greet you with a sorrowful heart as your sipping on milk has gone on for generations, with no depth or even desire for an increase in your walk with God.
To the congregation, I pray that you would learn to appreciate those precious few among you, who diligently study the Word and let them have charge over you, to give wise instruction – while they are still available to you, before they too brush off their sandals and hand you over to the evil one. I urge you to admonish the watered down doctrine that pours out from among you and into your sorrowful excuse of a community.
Your work without faith is dead. You busy yourselves with church activities while neglecting a relationship with the God you claim to follow.
I pray that you will see those in need, who have been neglected and ignored for decades; those you choose to turn your back on, both within and outside your own congregation.
Your day-to-day decisions and activities have left you prideful and too busy to open your hearts to do the work that God sets before you. I pray you do not continue to be deceived so strongly by the ways of the world and by Satan. The busyness of your hands is merely a distraction, a diversion from understanding the truth of God’s word. Yet how can I expect you to give spiritual support when you have not yet any understanding of such things.
As my heart grieves for your negligence to God, I cannot imagine how much more God’s disappointment, and the sadness that must fill His heart, as He witnesses your daily choices and actions – claiming His name while hardening your hearts and turning your back on fellow human beings.
There are still among you (at least one or two) who know God truly, and seek His wisdom directly from the word (instead of creating doctrine from the world). I pray that these few will stand firm, shining a light into your wretched darkness. Yet, if it is God’s will, I pray those few will know when to brush off their shoes and begin again, in a place where hearts are open and receptive to Christ – as your hearts are currently hardened by the distractions and the ways of this world.
Sadly, you continually desire the sparkle, trimmings and busyness of the façade of Churchianity, while turning your back on your community, your congregation and on God. I pray that you will someday recognize your blasphemous ways and enjoy an actual relationship with God, so you may experience the depths of a true relationship with Him, and learn to put your walk with Christ into your daily choices and actions. It is only yourselves that you are fooling. Either way, your actions display the reality of your heart, for all to see.