The apostle Paul wrote:
For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.
– 2 Corinthians 4:5
Today’s organized churches have managed to turn Paul’s approach on its head. That is, today’s American churches live by this credo:
For we do not preach Christ Jesus but ourselves as Lord, and Jesus as your bond-servant for our sake.
How do they do this? Well, it was Jesus who said:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
– Matthew 11:28
But today’s churches say:
Come to us, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and we will give you rest.
Today’s churches do preach Jesus (though some of them more than others) – but they preach Him more as a mascot than as a Lord. Ohio State has the Buckeyes, UCLA has the Bruins, and the churches have Jesus.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is not a mascot; He is not a figurehead. He is Lord. And He Himself asks:
Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
– Luke 6:46
Meanwhile, the institutional church asks:
Why do you call Jesus ‘Lord, Lord,” and do not do what we say?
The kingdom of God that Jesus promised has come, but the institutional church will not declare that this is so because it would put them out of business.
Therefore, when it comes to the message of the Lord Jesus Christ preached by today’s churches:
…all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.
– Matthew 23:3
In this age, brothers and sisters, we are not to wait on the kingdom of God; rather, we are to demonstrate it.
He who trusts and obeys – day by day – the words of Jesus Christ demonstrates the kingdom of God. For the kingdom of God is not belonging to a man-made church, but is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).