The Unshakable Kingdom
It’s troubling to hear reports that the church is in decline. Some have blamed it on COVID, but even before the pandemic Christianity has been in decline. Over the past three decades there has been a decline in membership and hundreds of churches have ceased to exist. Some have suggested that this trend will continue.
This isn’t the first time that the church of Christ has been in decline. Most scholars believe that the NT book of Hebrews implies that because of persecution and imprisonment, many Christians were simply walking away from the faith. The writer of Hebrews intends on reversing this trend by calling on his readers to refocus on Jesus. The superiority of Jesus is then spelled out throughout his sermon. Another thing that this preacher recognizes is that it’s easy to think of the church in merely physical terms, as flawed people who have failed to connect to their culture. He calls on his readers to see the church as an unshakable kingdom rooted in eternity: “….you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant….” (Heb. 12:22-24).
Too often the response to decline has been church growth programs “to help us grow.” Evangelism workshops have their place, but let’s take a cue from Hebrews. Our focus need not be on growth or decline, but on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. Let us elevate Jesus and call on one another to remain faithful. Let us look to Jesus to transform our lives. Hebrews shows how faith overcame in the lives of our spiritual forefathers despite insurmountable obstacles. Faith in Jesus will not disappoint neither in this life nor in the life to come. The church will not fail for it is an unshakable kingdom (Heb. 12:28).