( Ebook ) ☦ The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal ♫ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Charles Swindoll does an excellent job explaining what the church is and was it is not Anyone interested in learning what a church should be will profit from reading this book I trust you will enjoy the quotes from this great book When the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first D Martyn Lloyd JonesHere is the great evangelical disaster the failure of the evangelic Charles Swindoll does an excellent job explaining what the church is and was it is not Anyone interested in learning what a church should be will profit from reading this book I trust you will enjoy the quotes from this great book When the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first D Martyn Lloyd JonesHere is the great evangelical disaster the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth There is only one word for this namely, accommodation the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age Francis SchaefferInstead of life being interpreted honestly, it is now interpreted emotionally Instead of real being real, virtual reality has taken charge And since the reality is now distorted and viewed as distasteful, the younger generation prefers virtual reality Reality bores them We have changed our thinking based on objective instruction from the truth of Holy Scripture to the subjective, secular thinking based squarely on a horizontal, humanistic perception, where self is always predominant Charles SwindollThe world is waiting to hear an authentic voice, a voice from God not an echo of what others are doing and saying, but an authentic voice A.W TozerWebster defines eroded in simple terms To diminish or destroy by degrees To eat into or away by slow destruction of substance To cause to deteriorate or disappear Over the years, I have discovered three simple truths about erosion, all of which parallel Webster s description Rather than occurring rapidly, erosion is always slow Instead of drawing attention to itself, erosion is always silent And in place of being obvious, erosion is always subtle Charles SwindollWe need places in our journey where we force ourselves to pause and evaluate whether or not a drift is taking place Why Because a church without milestones will drift And like erosion, we will not see it occurring if we don t look for it Charles SwindollThey were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer Acts 2 42.In this one verse we have the lowest common denominator of a church This is a ground zero It would help greatly if God s people reminded themselves of this single verse of Scripture every day When the first body of believers gathered together, they devoted themselves to four essentials Did you notice them Here are the four essentials teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer This verse is not only descriptive of what the early church did it is also prescriptive of what all churches must do Charles SwindollClear, Biblical thinking must override secular planning and a corporate mentality in the church And the imperative Think spiritually However well organized our churches become, we must give priority to Biblical, rather than secular, thinking Charles Swindoll Studied, accurate decisions must originate from God s Word, not human opinions A true, spiritual mind set comes from meditation on the Scriptures So the imperative would be stay Biblical The Word of God ought to be central to every worship service Further, every elders meeting and every staff meeting should have the Scriptures as the basis of the decisions that are made God s Word is to be the church s guide it shapes our current thinking and future planning by giving us principles we can understand, believe, and apply Charles SwindollThe world is waiting to hear an authentic voice, a voice from God not an echo of what others are doing and saying, but an authentic voice A W TozerWise, essential changes must occur to counteract any sign of erosion Please note I did not use the word easy Change is not easy when erosion has occurred, but it is essential The imperative Be flexible Charles SwindollWhat the church needs today is notor better machinery, not new organizations ornovel methods She needs men whom the Holy Spirit can use men of prayer, men mighty in prayer The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men He does not anoint plans, but men men of prayer E M BoundsThe church was never meant to be a professional organization Charles SwindollWe must not mind insulting men, if by respecting them we offend God John ChrysostomIn his book, The Courage to Be Protestant, David Wells asks several penetrating questions What is the binding authority on the church What determines how it thinks, what it wants, and how it is going to go about its business Will it be Scripture alone, Scripture understood as God s binding address, or will it be culture Will it be what is current, edgy, and with it Or will it be God s Word, which is always contemporary because its truth endures for all eternity Banish professionalism from our midst, Oh God, and in its place put passionate prayer, poverty of spirit, hunger for God, rigorous study of holy things, white hot devotion to Jesus Christ, utter indifference to all material gain, and unremitting labor to rescue the perishing, perfect the saints, and glorify our sovereign Lord John PiperThe Lord will honor and bless any plan that upholds prayer and promotes His Word Charles SwindollWe are continually striving to create new methods, plans, and organizations to advance the church We are ever working to provide and stimulate growth and efficiency for the gospel This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of man Or else he is lost in the workings of the plan or organization God s plan is to make much of the man, farof him than of anything else Men are God s method The church is looking for better methods God is looking for better men What the church needs today is notor better machinery, not new organizations ornovel methods She needs men whom the Holy Spirit can use men of prayer, men mighty in prayer The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men He does not come on machinery, but on men He does not anoint plans, but men men of prayer E M BoundsExcellent exposition of the Scriptures alone isn t enough to cause people to continue attending and to stick together as a church It takesI have lived to realize that, while a strong pulpit is essential, a contagious church also requires a context of other distinctives There must bethan preaching More than one gift at work More than the conviction of one person A contagious church has a number of individuals living out clear, Biblical principles with the result that people pause in the midst of their busy lives They realize this is a place worth their coming and participating Charles SwindollIt s essential that we not get distracted by all the we can do as a church and stay focused on only what we must do as a church Otherwise, we may be attracting a crowd for the wrong reasons Charles SwindollLarge numbers don t necessarily reveal God s blessing They could, in fact, reveal error They could reflect an ear tickling ministry that panders to people and tells the crowds what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear A growing number of churches and denominations today have found the four essentials teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer Acts 2 42 unnecessary burdensome, you might say Archaic traditions of a bygone era So they have hired what I call pulpit whores, or putmildly, teachers in accordance to their own desires to affirm them in their selfish and carnal lifestyles No wonder the crowds expand it s as if God has officially approved their sin Charles SwindollI ve learned through the years that perception overshadows reality I hate that, but it s true From political candidates to polyester carpet, how people perceive things is, to them,convincing than a truckload of evidence Unfortunately, most people draw their opinions from the shallow stream of perception instead of the deep reservoir of truth I find that strange and disappointing Charles Swindoll I am convinced that the church doesn t need marketing devices, worldly strategies, live entertainment, or a corporate mentality to be contagious Not if the glory of God is the goal Not if the growth of God s people is in view Rather, the church needs Biblical truth taught correctly and clearly and lived out in authenticity.One of the worst things we can do in our churches is to take our eyes off the essentials to take our cues of how to do church from our postmodern world instead of determining our distinctives and priorities from Scriptures It s a great temptation to try that these days, because there are so many churches doing it They look like they know what they re doing The crowds swell The ratings soar The money pours in They speak in such a convincing way that we are tempted to think, Well, maybe they re right and we re beginning to miss it Please Don t go there Charles SwindollA marketing mentality and a consumer mind set have no business in the church of Jesus Christ By that I mean Jesus is not a brand human thinking does not guide God s work and the church is not a corporation The church of Jesus Christ is a spiritual entity, guided by the Lord through the precepts of His Word.If we sacrifice the essentials of teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer on the alter of strategy, creativity, entertainment, and relevancy, we have abandoned the main reasons the church exists We should build on these essentials, not attempt to replace them Charles SwindollFrom the verb be strong, we glean the first distinctive for a contagious church it is always necessary in grace 2 Timothy 2 1 That sounds simple, but it will be one of the most difficult principles to apply in a consumerist culture Charles SwindollAuthor Steve Brown says that some people think legalistic churches are as bad as grace oriented churches As he put it, they are noalike than saying a taxidermist is like a veterinarian Some would claim, Well, either way you get your dog back True, but one of them collects dust and never moves The other one is busy and barking and eating and jumping he s alive He s the real thing The point Let s choose to be veterinarians Let s determine that our churches will be places of grace A church of grace is alive, anticipating God s work, willing to risk, free of judgmentalism but make no mistake they re not free of holiness There s a vast difference Charles SwindollThe church needs to guard against compromising the Word of God so that it takespalatable to newcomers Christians suffer when we do that I ve said for years, Sermonettes are for Christianettes If our churches give a little eight minute sermon, we are not feeding the flock Instead of teaching them, we re tantalizing them Instead of stretching and challenging them, we re entertaining them Our congregations need pastors who study hard, play hard, and prepare well balanced meals, then open the Scriptures and teach people how to study the Word for themselves That s what gives them stability in hard times, discernment in the midst of deception, and the strength to stand alone Charles SwindollDid you notice in Titus 2 11 15, the grace of God has appeared instructing us to deny ungodliness I repeat it only to underscore grace doesn t mean anything goes Rather, grace motivates our behavior Grace frees us to obey Being strong in grace goes hand in hand with being committed to living the truth There is no contradiction in those two commitments After all, grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ John 1 17 Grace provides the context for God s commands to be taught Truth equips our minds and shapes up our lives Truth therefore must be taught Charles SwindollChristian service means invading a battleground, not a playground and you and I are the weapons God uses to attack and defeat the enemy When God used Moses s rod, He needed Moses s hand to lift it When God used David s sling, He needed David s hand to swing it When God builds a ministry, He needs somebody s surrendered body to get the job done Warren WiersbeBecause of Jesus Christ, the church must endure every difficulty for the benefit of others I find this principle in Paul s writings to Timothy For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory 2 Timothy 2 10 Charles SwindollMost middle class Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, and to play at their worship As a result, their meanings and values are distorted Their relationships disintegrate faster then they can keep in repair, and their lifestyles resemble a cast of characters in search of a plot Gordon DahlWhen we substitute the urgent for the important in the church of Jesus Christ, we emphasize work, activity, involvement, doing, producing, impressing, and accomplishing But it leaves us feeling flat and empty Exhaustion replaces satisfaction Further, it smacks of the secularized world in which we work Who knows how many people have been turned away from Christianity, longing for the true, living God but encountering at their church a secularized substitute Charles SwindollThe underlying objective of a church committed to the important things rather than the urgent is the cultivation of a body of worshipers whose sole focus is on the Lord our God Charles SwindollSecularization theology has taught us to be tolerant of the world system to beaccepting and understanding and not bigoted G K Chesterton says it well Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions It s always easier to claim tolerance and straddle the fence than to choose sides Tolerance will get you elected Tolerance keeps you popular with a voting congregation Tolerance doesn t make waves at the office or across the backyard fence But tolerance makes no impact for the kingdom of God Charles SwindollPaul is describing in 2 Tim 3 4 5 the outward form of religion but were denying the power of it They evidently attended the worship services of the church They sang the hymns, they said the amen to the prayers and put their money in the offering plate They looked and sounded egregiously pious But it was form without power, outward show without inward reality, religion without morals, faith without works True religion combines form and power It is not external form without power It fosters a worship which is essentially spiritual, arising from the heart, which expresses itself through public, corporate services, and which also issues in moral behavior Otherwise, it is not only valueless it is actually an abomination to the Lord John R.W StottChristians are in the minority, to be sure God always prefers to do His work through a remnant who face insuperable odds Babies conceived in aging wombs Meals for thousands from a meager sack lunch Every sin atoned for by one Man s death The world turned upside down by twelve ordinary men who were called apostles God specializes in the impossible In fact, He is greatly glorified in circumstances where human ingenuity, creativity, and ability fall short Charles SwindollUnderstand, there s nothing wrong with creatively communicating to our neighborhoods about our churches But when promotion receivesemphasis than the essentials the apostles teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer see Acts 2 42 then the tail is wagging the dog The church starts drifting off course Erosion sets in On the other hand, when we commit ourselves to the essentials, our churches will be contagious for the right reasons And in Ephesus, that is exactly what was occurring all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks 19 10 Word of mouth has always been God s preferred method of getting the message out Charles SwindollMost of the Ephesian Christians were now when the book of Revelation was written second generation believers, and though they had retained purity of doctrine and life and had maintained a high level of service, they were lacking in deep devotion to Christ How the church today needs to heed this same warning that you have left your first love , that orthodoxy and service are not enough Christ wants believers hearts as well as their hands and heads John F Walvoord C.S Lewis once made the statement The true Christian s nostril is to be continually attentive to the inner cesspool If I may write it far less eloquently, We need to smell our own stink Why Because we are all depraved all given to selfishness all drawn to embrace what the world tempts us to crave Charles SwindollTrust me, churches that keep you always busy are predisposed to erosion Join this program enroll in this study go on this trip come to this concert teach this class serve here meet there be hardworking stay productive count those heads keep busy Sadly, many of those same churches fail to encourage personal reflection, growth, and analysis Their focus The bottom line Busyness equates to success Lewis Sperry Chafer summed it up this way Much of our spiritual activity is nothingthan a cheap anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life Charles SwindollIs it really possible for a Christian to become overexposed to spiritual things Yes, if having blessings from God in such abundance makes us hardened to them It can happen when we become the benefactors of a great number of God s blessings Our business goes well Our health is good Our children are fine Our marriage is strong Our church is good The music is great Our pastor is solid Our home is lovely Our ministry is bearing fruit Our cars are new Our neighborhood is clean Our schools are safe We ve made good decisions in life Blessing after blessing after blessing But Jesus interrupts I have this against you, that you have left your first love How does this kind of personal erosion occur Nobody ever picks up a phone, calls a friend, and says, Hey, today I feel like ruining my life We don t do that But we do, on occasion, entertain thoughts like, I don t want the lordship of Christ to touch this area of my life This is mine After all, look at what s happened as a result It s not that bad I can handle it And we allow a subtle but destructive drift the dethroning of His authority and an enthroning of our own It happens because we ve gotten bored in the Christian hothouse.A believer who wades through God s favor and God s blessing and God s bounty day after day, week after week, year after year can begin to court the dangers of erosion How Things get to be predictable They become routine You grow cynical And before you know it, you can be lusting while you re singing a gospel song You can be thanking God for His forgiveness of your sins while you harbor bitterness toward your brother or sister in Christ What you re doing is just another religious duty A.W Tozer writes,Familiarity may breed contempt even at the very altar of God How frightful a thing it is for the preacher when he becomes accustomed to his work, when his sense of wonder departs, when he gets used to the unusual, when he loses his solemn fear in the presence of the High and Holy One when, to put it bluntly, he gets a little bored with God and heavenly things Charles Swindoll This is one of the most important books I have read Swindoll provides strong evidence for the erosion prevalent in churches and the lives of believers Although his audience is mainly pastors and lay leaders, believers of all types will appreciate his candid reflections about his own experience in ministry I constantly marked quotations from Swindoll and well known theologians as I read I highly recommend it. Outstanding book on church renewal Some of my favorites quotes Here is the great evangelical disaster the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth There is only one word for this namely, accommodation the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age Postmodernism thrives on chaos It desires to destroy all moral criteria and replace it with no criteria It seeks a world in which everything is relative, where there is no truth, and perception alone Outstanding book on church renewal Some of my favorites quotes Here is the great evangelical disaster the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth There is only one word for this namely, accommodation the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age Postmodernism thrives on chaos It desires to destroy all moral criteria and replace it with no criteria It seeks a world in which everything is relative, where there is no truth, and perception alone is reality Since God s eternal truth has no place in such a world, with the rise of postmodernism we witness a commensurate decline in biblical knowledge F B Meyer, British pastor of yesteryear, put it this way No man suddenly becomes base Spiritual erosion occurs, instead, by degrees by slow destruction It can happen in individuals and it can certainly happen in a church C S Lewis, in his cleverly written work The Screwtape Letters, wrote, Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts There was no tradition, there were no church constitution and bylaws, no programs, no senior pastor, no board of elders, no marketing plan, no splinter groups, no corruption and no erosion not yet We re told precisely what those early believers did when they met together Look closely They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer Acts 2 42 Koinonia represents close relationships that involve sharing life with one another the bad times as well as the good Those in fellowship with one another cultivate an intimate harmony with others In church, the Word of God is not only learned through teaching it is lived through fellowship The first principle clear, biblical thinking must override secular planning and a corporate mentality Second, studied, accurate decisions must originate from God s Word, not human opinions Ray Stedman If the church was doing what it is supposed to be doing, people couldn t stay out A W Tozer The world is waiting to hear an authentic voice, a voice from God not an echo of what others are doing and saying, but an authentic voice Third, wise, essential changes must occur to counteract any sign of erosion Church Awakening An Urgent Call for Renewal, by Chuck Swindoll, is one of the most passionate and hopeful books on the church I have read Dr Swindoll, a well known pastor, theologian and author, is also known for his Insight for Living radio broadcast Swindoll addresses this book to serious churchgoers and church leaders, urging that the Word of God be central in church worship He describes erosion that has taken place in the church over the years, a gradual slide from its past historical f Church Awakening An Urgent Call for Renewal, by Chuck Swindoll, is one of the most passionate and hopeful books on the church I have read Dr Swindoll, a well known pastor, theologian and author, is also known for his Insight for Living radio broadcast Swindoll addresses this book to serious churchgoers and church leaders, urging that the Word of God be central in church worship He describes erosion that has taken place in the church over the years, a gradual slide from its past historical foundations We live in a postmodern world in which many no longer believe in absolute truth Quoting from Isaiah 12 32, Men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do, Swindoll says the church needs discernment and clear heads in turning the tide of postmodernism that has caused the church to slide into the murky waters of a post Christian swamp I highly recommend this book ( Ebook ) ♴ The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal ☧ In THE CHURCH AWAKENING, Charles Swindoll discusses the challenges, struggles, and priorities of the church in the twenty first century He reveals the problems inherent in the entertainment based postmodern church and shows how a return to biblical teaching will restore its strength and impact Now being replaced by a feel good message instead of what Christians need to know to stand strong in a world that s lost its way Swindoll exposes the problems of and solutions for the postmodern evangelical church Just as he opened readers eyes with his bold statements in The Grace Awakening, now he offers a straightforward volume revealing how to reestablish a life altering church with Christ as Lord and Master Illuminating and empowering, THE CHURCH AWAKENING will ignite a revolution in the way Christians do church for years to come Despite the gravity of the content, it would be hard to read this book without thinking of the author and finding yourself continually appreciative of the wisdom and experience that can only come from decades of perseverance.The content itself is rock solid, and the book is packed with real information and substance Christian bookstores are filled with breezy reads that take a few basic points at a time and make thirty page chapters out of them This is not that kind of book. Chuck doesn t provide a comprehensive ecclesiology, but the basics of what it biblically means to be the church is outlined in Chuck s distinctive style Because of Chuck s good hud nature, the warnings and challenges in this book sometimes outflank your defenses and catch your sentries napping Written in 2010, it remains an evenurgent call for the church to wake up. I am very thankful to be in a Bible preaching church and I am not sure this book applies to our church The book was fairly predictable and did challenge me in my personal awakening I am not usually a non fiction reader, so it took me some time to read it I do agree with the things Chuck Swindoll had to say about the church as a whole. Had high hopes for this book because I love Swindoll, but it seems like it s about 20 years old It does have some high points, but I gave up after the chapter on worship wars Swindoll is much better in person This book is very predictable and a little like old news It s like donning a plaid sportscoat or tight rolling your jeans. A very good book Swindoll highlights may things the church needs to be aware of As with all organizations, churches have life cycles and must renew themselves to avoid inevitable erosion Chuck provides valuable insights on identifying and overcoming complacency.