Some Feel As If The Church Has Failed Them 1-9-2017

We need to reach out to those who might feel as if the Church Has Failed them

When you're out on a limb, it can feel like the church failed youHello folks, I am the Reverend Hank Wilson and welcome to the Christian Life Gospel Ministry’s Facing Life, it is our Biblical guide to staying upright when life tries to knock you down.  We started today with Charlie Pride, Nobody answered me

Recently when I was thinking about the types of people, we need to focus on bringing into the family of Christians, it dawned on me that while everyone should be a believer, for one reason or another there are many who do not.

I thought I’d take a look at a couple of types that we need to approach.  There are those whom believe the church has failed them and those who doubt the truth.  We can turn them into seekers, if we try.

If we start our day with a prayer such as this  – “Dear Heavenly Father, I know that you are in charge of the Universe.  I know that you have a grand plan for us.  I believe that you sent your Son, my Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ to live and walk among us and to die for us.  I believe that you raised Him from the grave and that He sits at your right hand.  Father, I ask that you send the Holy Spirit into my life whenever I encounter a person who feels rejected or let down by the church or they have doubts about your existence that you show me how to turn them into seekers of the truth. That their lives will be changed and their souls saved.  Thank you – Amen.”




Scripture Luke 24:13-27 The Road to Emmaus – Takes place after the resurrection.

13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the program recently I was thinking about the types of people, we need to focus on bringing into the family of Christians, it dawned on me that while everyone should believe, for one reason or another there are many who do not.

I thought I’d take a look at a couple of types that we need to approach.  There are those whom believe the church has failed them and those who doubt the truth.  We can turn them into seekers, if we try.

Those who believe the church has failed them in some respect, something they counted on did not happen and they are most often angry, frustrated and feel neglected.  In the Gospel of Mark in Chapter 9 Verses 17-27 Jesus is teaching and there is a crowd around Him and we read “17 And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.”

Like so many people, the man turned to the church for help and unfortunately didn’t receive what he was asking for.  The disciples were unable to help, and much like in today’s world when sometimes folk will turn to their church in a moment of need only to be turned away.  But instead of rejecting everything and becoming bitter, this man didn’t want to give up, so he came directly to the source.  He came to Jesus.  That is something that we can all do, we can come directly to Jesus.  Humans may let us down, but Jesus never will.

The story then continues with Jesus saying “19 And He *answered them and *said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!”  Jesus seems frustrated with his disciples.  It is as if, they did not have enough belief and faith.  A lack of faith will always hinder our ability to do what we need to do to bring people to salvation.

Mark continues, “ 20 They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth.” This is some serious evil possession taking place. This scene tells us that the demon inside knew what was about to happen and was trying to prove how powerful it was.  Jesus stayed calm, and then “ 21 And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.” Nowhere does it related the boy’s age, so we can’t tell exactly how long the boy had been possessed, but it was obviously a long time.  The convulsions were so bad that they boy ended up in both fire and water and in danger of being killed because he was unable to control what was happening to him. The father is naturally concerned about his son’s health and wellbeing.

The boy’s father continues by pleading with Jesus “ But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”  This is an occasion when you have a person who fits into both categories, someone who feels let down and who doubts.  Mark continues, “23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”  I always imagine that when Jesus said this, He had a look of ‘oh please’ on His face.  This statement reinforces the fact that Jesus knew exactly who He was and what power the Father had placed in Him.  And as Mark goes on we see that “24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”  By now, the man is pleading with Jesus, not just to save the boy, but also to help him with his faith. There are two parts, Jesus and His belief in Himself and the father’s open confession of faith in Jesus.




Now it gets interesting, “25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” 26 After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!” Jesus has demanded the demon leave the boy and after one last time torturing the boy, it left.  The boy was so exhausted that he just collapsed and of course, some who saw it thought the boy was dead, then in “:27 But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up ”  Jesus brought the boy to safety, answered the father’s prayers and demonstrated His power to those who were watching.  If there were others in the crowd who felt they had been let down by the religious leaders, they would have been given hope.  Most often in the New Testament when we read about events such as these we see the crowd of believers growing and His teachings being spread throughout the countryside.  When we encounter someone who has lost their faith and who feels like the church has failed them, I have found that after a little conversation we can find out exactly why they feel let down.  It usually comes down to them having unrealistic expectations about what the church was all about.  It is important that we do has Jesus did, take the person and lead them back into the light.

Remembering that if they have fallen away in addition to their feelings of being let down, there will also be some doubt in their mind.  Doubters have always existed in fact several of the earliest disciples doubted who Jesus was.

In John Chapter 1 Verses 45 and 46, “45 Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.””  Nathanael had a very normal reaction after all the Jews had been waiting for over a thousand years for the Messiah, and when Philip told him that Jesus from Nazareth was the one, well it is easy to see how Nathanael would be a wee bit skeptical.

Now 2,000 years later there are people out there who doubt Jesus.  They doubt his divinity; some doubt the resurrection story and some claim He never actually existed.  I always chuckle when I read those kind of posts, because even if a person doesn’t believe He is the son of God, to doubt that He was an historical character is just plain ignorant and shows a real lack of education.

We know that the authorities doubted Jesus, in fact, His own family had doubts and it was only after the resurrection that His brother James came to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Throughout his travels Paul often encountered doubters but through the strength of his belief he was able to lead people to Jesus.

That is how we need to act when we encounter doubters.  No sense in arguing with them, that doesn’t do any good, instead try to listen to them and then answer their questions and if we don’t have the answer, tell them we’ll find out for them. People have to see that our faith is unwavering, that our beliefs are rock solid and when then do then it will be as when John wrote in Chapter 12 Verses 20 through 26. “20 Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; 21 these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” When we encounter a doubter, it is possible to turn them into a seeker, when we doubt that means we are looking for the truth.

“22 Philip *came and *told Andrew; Andrew and Philip *came and *told Jesus. 23 And Jesus *answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Jesus knows that His time is at hand, that He is about to be put to death and then the world will know exactly who He is.

24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” By His death and resurrection Jesus knows that His message will be spread throughout the world. He then says, “25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” Remember how Jesus always spoke of storing riches in Heaven and not worrying so much about riches on the earth.  When we do that our payoff is so much greater than anything we could have here in this temporary life we lead on earth. As He said in Verse 26” If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” Imagine the joy when Jesus looks and says to the Father that person is one of mine.




So the next time we encounter someone who believes the church has failed them and now has doubts about everything, we need to turn them into seekers of truth and then we will truly follow His instructions to He said to go out and make disciples of the whole world.

If we start our day with a prayer such as this  – “Dear Heavenly Father, I know that you are in charge of the Universe.  I know that you have a grand plan for us.  I believe that you sent your Son, my Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ to live and walk among us and to die for us.  I believe that you raised Him from the grave and that He sits at your right hand.  Father, I ask that you send the Holy Spirit into my life whenever I encounter a person who feels rejected or let down by the church or they have doubts about your existence that you show me how to turn them into seekers of the truth. That their lives will be changed and their souls saved.  Thank you – Amen.”

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