Megachurches, The Seed That Falls On The Path

I think that today’s megachurches are described in Matthew as the seed that falls along the path. Let’s take a look at the passage.

NIV Mat 13;18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one (the Devil) comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.

This passage talks about those who hear the message but do not understand:

Those who truly understand and appreciate the message of God understand that the watered down gospel that we hear at today’s megachurches is not the whole truth. There are many passages of scripture that the megachurch is unwilling or simply unable to address. Take these two examples:

Example #1

NIV 1 John 3;1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

When God’s seed is in us we can not continue sinning! When we are born of God we can sin, but we will not continue in those sins or it will destroy us. God’s Spirit will lead us to love our brothers, and do what is right. Today’s Church of No, [or is it just Super Super Low] expectations won’t explain these difficult passages.

This verse declares that “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God” and that “Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God”

If these passages are true why do these megachurch goers look just like their neighbors? Unfortunately this is not just a problem for megachurches. Why do virtually all conventional church goers look just like their worldly neighbors?Today’s Weak ChurchesLukewarm Churches

The simple answer to the question is that these folks are just ‘Playing The Church Game’ .

Example #2:

NLT Gal 6;14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.

The passage simply declares that real believers will be transformed, transformed from their worldliness to become the new people of God seeking only his glory. But this again is contradicted by the statistics. Today’s churchgoers look just like their neighbors.

Now lets take a look at the end of Revelations 19 and the beginning of chapter 20.

NLT Rev 19;19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.

Rev 20;1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. 3 The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while.

I believe this passage is describing something that has been happening on earth since Jesus died on the cross.  Satan is bound when for an individual when they come out of Babylon and the devil can not deceive them until the end of their lives here on earth.  This coming out of Babylon involves primarily trusting in Jesus power to turn us from deliberate sin.  I believe the Devil is God’s Angel of Death, taking all souls from this earthly realm to a spiritual realm.  That day of passing marks the end of the thousand years.   There’s one last piece of the puzzle, the timing of the rise of these Megachurches. This is a great reference article on Megachurches.

‘The Rise of the Megachurches and Changes in Religious Culture’: by Stephen Ellingson

Copyright © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Here’s the full article:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121567310/HTMLSTART

Here’s an Excerpt:

Megachurches represent an emerging and powerful force within American Religion. These large, Protestant churches that average at least 2,000 attendees per week are reshaping religion locally, regionally, and nationally as well as at the denominational and congregational levels. Megachurch leaders have been leaders in religious innovation since the 1970s, ushering in major changes in church architecture, ritual practices, polity, and marketing. In this essay, I review the nascent literature on mega churches. First, I discuss the major descriptive findings from several surveys and case studies of mega churches. Second, I examine scholars’ efforts to explain how and why mega churches have emerged and grown over the past forty years. Finally, I suggest several lines of future inquiry that may allow sociologists of religion to extend or refine existing cultural and market based theories of religious change and church-sect theory.”

This article notes the rise of the mega church “occurred over the last forty years”. The article was published 12 Dec 2008. That places the rise of the mega church about 1968, only one year after the 6 day war . I used to think this timing was significant in terms of prophecy, but now see it more as a coincidence.

Looking back at the parable of the sower:

NIV Mat 13;18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one (the Devil) comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.

I used to believe that prophecy should be interpreted on a world wide corporate level.  I now see that these prophetic events have been going on for many generations, but on an individual personal layer.

May God Give You Clear Spiritual Sight. May He Guide You Into All Truth!

Glenn

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