The past two blogs I wrote about a few lessons Christians can learn about our spiritual life from the Dead Sea. Today I will conclude with a few applications for all Christians who gather in the name of Jesus: the Church.
When I use the term ‘Church’, I am not referring to any particular denomination or structure. Instead, the Church is comprised of all people who have yielded their very being to the Lord Jesus Christ and have given him total rule and control over their life and destiny. These people are infused with God’s Holy Spirit and are committed to growing in His Word and serving His Kingdom plans.
A necessary part of the Christian life is regular time together with other believers, the Church. When we grow together, worship together, share life together, and serve together God is glorified, and the Good News is spread. My experience is that the Church has the potential to reveal and demonstrate God’s power and presence in ways individual Christians can’t do alone.
The Dead Sea: Don’t drink the water!
Just as the Jordan River feeds the Dead Sea, God fills the Church with His life-giving presence. But God never intended for the living water of His presence to be kept confined within the church. Jesus specifically addressed just before He ascended to the Father:
“ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
The living water that Jesus has poured into the church is also meant to flow out of the church and into the world. When this happens, the church fulfills its purpose in Christ and also remains spiritually vibrant and healthy.
When the church becomes self-absorbed, we risk becoming like the Dead Sea, where the living water of the Jordan evaporates and what is left is so salty it is virtually undrinkable. If the Church focuses only on itself, it can lose sight of our real purpose and foundation in Jesus Christ. His presence in our midst can be crowded out by the concentration of our mere human efforts. The result can be disastrous, including a slow slide into dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors. If this continues unchecked, the church will rely less on God and His saving work and slip into legalism and self-righteous efforts, or even license and severe error.
A worshipful Church will allow and celebrate the flow of God’s presence coming in, through, and out of our midst and into the world.
Beware the quicksand and pools near the Dead Sea!
There are dangers just outside the shores of the Dead Sea. Local springs create dangerous pools with quicksand. Here’s the deal with quicksand:
It can appear solid until an external force initiates liquefaction, causing the sand to lose strength. The object (or person) on top of the sand will sink because of the displaced sand and water mix.
In other words, you don’t want to mess with quicksand.
There are spiritual quicksand pools just outside the church that pose a threat to the Body of Christ. Trendy philosophies and false theologies can appear solid, but they can and will swallow and bury the people who entrust themselves to them.
There are many places in the New Testament where the Church is called to be on guard against the prevailing philosophical winds of the times. The answer to this danger is for the Church to remain anchored in Christ and the Word of God, as Paul wrote to Timothy:
“Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
The Church is called to stand firm in God’s Word and let His power flow in and through us so the world will know that Jesus Christ is the One and only Hope of the World.
Blessings to you,