Many Christians are concerned that we will live to see the persecution of the church in America. Some argue it is already taking place. In some ways that may be true. But persecution for the name of Christ is nothing to fear.
It’s kind of ironic that whenever it takes place, even though it is an attempt of the enemy to destroy the Church, the Church has always grown as a result. Even though Satan knows the church grows in spite of persecution, he can’t help but raise people up to persecute the bride of Christ because he hates her so much. So he is almost shooting himself in the foot by this tactic.
However, one of his approaches that has been effective in dampening the influence of the local church is in getting Christians to become self-centered. Thom Rainer said a church can’t survive long-term when members focus on their own preferences. Many Christians determine if they like their church based on, “my music style”; “my length of service”; “my color design of the paint, carpet, and chairs”; “my kind of activities”; “my, my, my, my”. This is a sign of a dying church.
A healthy church is focused on: “What does the Lord want?”; “How can we reach others most effectively with the gospel?” And, in a healthy church, “I, me, mine” takes a back seat. Paul said in Philippians 2:3,4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Let’s make sure, we are focused on others.
When you hear a song you don’t like, pray and think, “Maybe someone else needed to hear that song. Lord bless that person.” When you hear a sermon that doesn’t really speak to you as much, praise God that maybe someone else needed it that particular day. When you read a devotional that you find less than inspiring, pray for someone else who may be in need of that thought on that day. Let’s take our eyes off of ourselves and have the attitude of Christ.