The root of the righteous, we are told, shall bear fruit (Proverbs 12:8) and it shall not be moved (Proverbs 12:3). It is the root that is important; for only from the root springs life, and it is only as the root is given the nourishment of the right soil and true nutrients that the tree will grow. But it takes time, firstly to establish the root, then to allow the tree to bear fruit. Patience is required before the fruit appears.
Today, the obsession is with “fruit” not the root; fruit is demanded immediately, before the root has even become established; this is instant Christianity and is a mark of our society where instant gratification and satisfaction is demanded.
It is little wonder that the world looks at modern Christianity and turns away in despair, for it is the outcome of a people receiving the gospel in word only, but not in power and in the Holy Spirit (See 1 Thessalonians 1:5).
Current evangelism amounts to little more than an invitation to tranquility and comfort; it has become mere humanism with a few carefully selected words of Jesus thrown in. Christ calls men to take up a cross; we call them to have fun in His name. Christ calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they “accept” Jesus, the world is their oyster. Christ calls them to suffering and endurance; we call them to enjoy all the modern comforts that civilization offers. Christ calls them to self denial and death; we call them to invite them to become stars in a religious constellation. He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry imitation of “happiness” that would be derided by those faithful saints who, even today, are paying, with their lives for their faith. It is a shocking calumny that we dare to present the faith to which we are called by God in such a manner!
It is apparent that many think Christianity is a higher and more moral form of entertainment; Christ has done all the suffering and shed all the tears; we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak. So goes the narrative of modern evangelicalism. But our preoccupation with the benefits of Christianity, and the neglect of our responsibilities and obligations to Christ is a harbinger of bitter days to come. The Church is being consumed by its worldliness and, as we look around us, we see the disintegration of our society that is a direct outcome of the failure of the Church to be a faithful witness of Christ in a fallen world.