Matthew 13:58 “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Jesus Christ strikes at the root of our lack of fruit in this day and age – unbelief.
It is not the unbelief of those who do not know the Lord as their Savior. It is us, the church, who have lost our faith along the way. We have become satisfied with attending services that tickle our ears and cause us to feel good when we leave.
We have lost our sensitivity to our own sinfulness.
We have justified our laziness and compromised our way into a lukewarmness that sickens our Savior.
Revelation 3:16-18 “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: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”
How did we get to this point?
The church’s history at Galatia reveals that they willingly received the gospel and began to live as God would have them. Along the way, Satan’s army snuck in stealthily and started to sow seeds that Paul saw as evil fruit.
There were perverters.
Galatians 1:6-7 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”
These would inject thoughts and follow feelings trying to sway and control those new believers.
There were bewitchers.
Galatians 3:1 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”
When we are not grounded in the faith through discipleship and mentoring, we open ourselves up to believing false doctrine.
There were entanglers.
Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Without proper teaching and discipleship, a new believer will come under the world’s temptations, and not knowing how to defend themselves, succumb to their old sins.
Ultimately, Paul calls these that tempt them, hinderers.
Galatians 5:7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
Often, we begin well but end poorly because of the hindrances that are not adequately identified. We are held back by the bonds and chains of some sin that goes unconfessed. We put off the ministry’s work because it becomes uncomfortable to be seen as a Christian in this day and age.
Some of the basic tenets of the Christian life are looked down upon today. Baptism, church membership, tithing, evangelism, and study are no longer at the forefront of church teaching.
We promote social events and concerts more than lifting up the Lord Jesus Christ for the world to see. What they see and hear is much like their own experience but with no conviction. Without conviction, there can be no conversion.
We allow ourselves to be hindered when we fail to do the basics of Christianity.
Daily devoting ourselves to maintaining and growing our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Studying, meditating, and memorizing the scripture to hide more of His Word in our hearts.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
When God’s Word becomes more than just familiar, we become grounded in our faith enough to venture out into what God has called us to do. We’ve gathered enough evidence to bolster our faith and weather the storms that come.
The church is not a place for us to display our Christianity. It is a hospital where the sick can get well, the hurting can find comfort, and the lost can find hope.
We mustn’t back down because our message offends. If we preach Christ in love as led by the Holy Spirit of God, the anger and confrontation may come to us, the messenger. But it is the message that should cause the offense, not our attitude or delivery.
Our enemy will do everything in its power to hinder us from bringing the truth to the lost.
We must determine to hold fast to our Savior’s hand and walk on.