It’s a question I ask myself most every Sunday morning. As I pass by churches… in going to my own… in watching services on line, why are there so few people in “most” area churches. There are indeed big churches with big congregations, but they are few and far between and many times unbiblical. So let’s just keep the question to our town… where ever your town is. Are the church’s full or empty? Odd’s are against them being full, but I’m a Baptist and Baptist don’t bet, (Yeah, I know that’s not true) so we won’t put any money on it. So the question is…. “Why are they empty?”
Likely for the same reason Isaiah had this discussion back in 739 to 631 when the book was written
Isaiah 29:1-14 KJVS
Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.  Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.  And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.  And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
A Whisper out of the Dust
That’s a nauseating thought for me this morning. Ariel was another name for Jerusalem. How many times had God been frustrated with Israel? How many times has He been frustrated with us? With me? Far too many times to count no doubt. But Israel wasn’t under grace, praise God we are! God’s words about heaviness and sorrow, and that it was to Him as it is to them, breaks my heart. The people that God went to the cross for, brought them through trial after trial, gave them miracle after miracle continually rebelled until there were so few they were a “whisper out of the dust.”
Does that sound anything like the church to you? No more than a whisper. Christianity that once stood mighty in the United States and shone itself brightly to the nations around us, is barely a whisper in the world today. How could anyone view this nation as a Christian Nation? But it’s easy to look on it and say, “oh but that’s a national issue.” Is it? It started in a little church somewhere when somebody didn’t stand up for God. When people started reprioritizing Sunday morning, Pastors stopped preaching on sin, Daddy’s and Momma’s didn’t take their kids to church and the kids grew up to be heathens and their parents wondered why. And those who stayed in church wonder why nobody is there, and they have but to look in the mirror. Self included. We are nothing but a whisper to the world. They can’t hear us.
A Collapse in the Dirt
 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.  Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.  And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.  It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.
I’m sure Israel, like us, thought that God would deliver them once again. But then destruction came upon them suddenly. All those that fight against Christianity have that same arrogance thinking that they’re winning the battle against us. They are so blatantly proud (pride) over their ability to pollute the minds of children that they openly brag about their victories. And we watch America collapse in the dirt. But just as Isaiah described in the dreams, they’re going to wake up one day and see that what they filled their minds and bellies on was nothing but a dream, and God will deliver the nightmare. I love God’s justice until I think about those who are caught up in it because the church didn’t fight for them. While I don’t believe in ramming the gospel down anyone’s throat, I do believe we should at least spoon feed it to them through taking it out to where they are. And yet, I do so very little.
If by some chance we do get them into the church, what then? Will they find hope and victory? That’s what I found when I arrived in February of 1996. But if I’m honest I have to tell you that I grow weary in this battle. Not against the enemy, but the church. Those who are saved and I feel like I have to drag them to Heaven with me. They’re not serving or fighting, they’re just sitting on their posterior ends waiting for Jesus to come back and get them. Well, what about the one’s that Jesus won’t be taking with Him. Are we concerned about them? The fact that they will be damned to an eternity in Hell?
 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.  For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.  And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:  And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.  Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:  Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
That’s a dreadful title, but truth none the less. We have Christians who say they don’t understand the scriptures, we have those who just won’t read it. And those are the church goers. Those out of the church may not even know where their Bible is if they have one at all. I distinctly remember finding the one my Dad gave to me that was so dry and dusty the cover was coming off because I didn’t pick it up. I was so ashamed. When I did start reading it, it became like well of water for my thirsty soul, I couldn’t get enough. I wanted it in every shape and form, preaching, teaching, reading, studying to understand. The Word still excites me like that. But if I don’t share what I’ve learned it dies with me.
If you want to know why the church sits empty this morning you’ll have to see where it is that you’re sitting. Are you in or are you out. If you’re in, are you excited about it, and are you sharing that zeal. If you’re out, and you say you are a child of God, explain that to an unsaved person. Explain it without having to say, I should be in church. Explain to that unsaved person how they need God, and you do not.
I have family and friends who are not saved. That burial scares me for them… “God fill our churches this morning and fill our hearts with a burden for the lost.”
Have a blessed week! From Shari, the Jesus Chick.