Everything reacts. Only some things act. In the modern day world, as a whole, Christians react. We never seem to be the first to do anything. We are cudgeled by the state to stay within our homes, and discouraged from practicing our beliefs in public. We remain small and in partial control of our own homes, churches, and lives, but nothing more. We pay rent on our land and interest on our wages. So, what good is the church doing? Not much. It can do marvelous things, though.
Picture a sleeping giant, if you will. His eyes have long been shut, his heart beats rhythmically, and his chest heaves with every breath. A race of evil imps have tied him with several thousand strings to the ground. Every now and then, when they prick him accidentally with their sewing needles, they cause him to stir ever so slightly, ruining hours of past work. After he settles, they bind him again. Suddenly out of the clear blue skies, a pin appears and jabs itself into the giant’s lower regions. The giant sits bolt upright flinging little imps high into the atmosphere. He roars in pain. He rises, snapping all threads and crushing legions of imps underfoot. Once freed, the giant continues to hunt the devious imps until he has completely eliminated them, while building a magnificent fortress out of solid stone from which he rules the imp-less land.
Such is the duty of the church. God has made it a giant. A cruise missile in the stone age. Yet, after it accomplishes great things, it lies down for a nap. This isn’t the first nap it’s taken, and it probably won’t be the last. Nevertheless, it needs to wake up and crush the imps. The imps represent the cunning crafty midgets such as the corrupt state and the immoral majority. As the church slumbers, the imps attempt to tie it down with foul lies, deceptions, and sin. Every now and then there is a major tie-down such as Roe vs. Wade. But statistics say that fewer and fewer women think that it is acceptable to destoy unborn children. The giant stirreth.
It’s quite easy to say “wake up!” to the church. I just did it. But how does it work?
The pin from heaven. God wakes the church with His thundering Word. When He determines that the giant shall wake; it shall wake. Does this then mean that we should sleep also? Certainly not. Wake! God tells us. Work! God tells us. Live! God tells us. If it is a command from God, who are we to disobey? Do we continue in our slumber, or do we pray for the divine pin?
After he is awakened, the giant gets to work exterminating the imps. In the past it has achieved great feats of extermination: for instance, the rapid spread of the gospel in the early church, or the Reformation of the church in the sixteenth century. We don’t have the power in and of ourselves to crush the little imps. God gave it to us. He commissioned the church, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Mt. 28:19,20). So, in truth, we are endowed with the power of God.
We must build also. The crushing will stop. But the building will continue. The church has been endowed with the power of God to build; to make great towers of faith that will bring people from far and wide. To fulfill the dominion calling, we must build upon the castle of God, which is the church. A castle is not simply for defensive purposes. In Europe, tours are given of the castles of the past because their architecture, tapestries, and furnishings are spectacular. Let us furnish the house of God with the wonderful decoration of believers.
Christ had words for the luke-warm, sleeping church. They are found in Revelation 3:14-19. He is not in favor of simply holding on to the past works of the church; He wants to conquer the world. By our lives, by our actions, by our praise and worship to God, we are to evangelize and proclaim the word of the gospel even unto the ends of the earth. Wake the giant, ignite the lukewarm church, and crush the imps of sin!
- Ben Casbon