TO LET, FORMER CHURCH
“Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my
Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people
Israel” (Jeremiah 7:12 NIV).
I was prepared for many cultural shocks and surprises as I was leaving
African soil for the Western World for the first time last month. I
did have, and I am still having, many of such shocks in the less than
two months of my sojourn in this so-called developed part of the
world. One that baffles me most is the big churches and cathedrals
with few or no worshippers on worship days. Most of these few
worshippers are old people. The youth are nowhere to be found. I was
more surprised one day when I saw an advert placed on a big old church
that reads: "To Let: Former Church". I looked at the church and
grieved within me. So, what some people are saying that many of the
old churches in the western world have become halls for secular
purposes is true. I will not be surprised if some of these churches
are bought by Muslims and they turn them to mosques.
As I was thinking over this, the situations of Shiloh and later
Jerusalem came to my mind. The tabernacle (the Tent of Meeting) with
the Ark of Covenant was set up in Shiloh (see Joshua 18:1-10). The
town became the religious centre for the people of Israel (see Judges
21:1-2, 19; 1 Samuel 1:3). Because of the wickedness of the priests of
Shiloh (and apparently other people of Israel), God abandoned the town
and allowed the Philistines to capture the Ark of Covenant and destroy
the city (see 1 Samuel 3:11-14; 4:1-22; Psalm 78:60). Jeremiah
prophesied about the impending similar destruction to the temple in
Jerusalem (see Jeremiah 7). Instead of the people to yield to his
warning, they were persecuting him. The temple and the city were
destroyed (see 2 Kings 25).
I would not want to be judgmental about the decline in the growth of
Christianity in the western world that results to abandonment of
church buildings, but it is certain that the Christians there are to
be blame. Complacency in their part has made Christianity unpopular,
and many churches are dying gradually while some are dead already.
As an individual Christian, are you as fervent in the Lord as when you
first became born again? Is complacency not making you to be far from
God? Can God still depend on you? Beware that you do not become an
abandoned instrument in the hands of God.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not become an abandoned instrument
but that you will continue to be relevant in the things of the Lord.
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)