From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Pastors today would do well to take up a serious study of these important letters. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:11). The book of Revelation contains the seven letters dictated to the Apostle John to be sent to the seven churches in Asia. Christ’s examination of His churches at that time is also an indictment on the church today. While His words sting with truth, they are also full of wonderful promises of what can happen when we heed His warnings and follow His commands, which bring conviction, repentance, and purification. Only then can the church really be effective.
A man once wrote, “For 2,000 years the church has been in existence, and we still have war and misery. The church is a failure.” But that would be like saying that penicillin is a failure when a patient refuses to take it and follow its directions, or that sulfa drugs are a failure when the physician neglects to prescribe them.
Jesus promised that His church, the body of Christ, will never fail. However, when churches turn away from God’s Word to chase after the worldly system, they stumble and fall. There’s a vast difference between godliness and worldliness. There’s a crisis today of many professing Christians walking hand-in-hand with the world, making it difficult to distinguish the Christian from the unbeliever. This should never be.
But the church was not designed to stop wars or to solve misery. The church was designed to grow in God’s Word and proclaim His Gospel to lost souls. May it be so.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)