In Christian circles today, the church that can show an impressive quantitative growth is frankly envied and imitated by other ambitious churches. Numbers, size and amounts seem to be very nearly all that matter-with a corresponding lack of emphasis on quality! This is the age of the Laodiceans. The great goddess, Numbers, is worshiped with fervent devotion and all things religious are brought before her for examination. Her Old Testament is the financial report and her New Testament is the membership roll. To these she appeals as the test of spiritual growth and the proof of success or failure in most Christian endeavors. A little acquaintance with the Bible should show this up for the heresy it is. To judge anything spiritual by statistics is to judge by another than scriptural judgment. Yet this is being done every day by ministers, church boards and denominational leaders. And hardly anyone seems to notice the deep and dangerous error!
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If you are a discouraged and defeated Christian believer, you may have accepted the rationalization that your condition is "normal for all Christians." You may now be content with the position that the progressive, victorious Christian life may be suitable for a few Christian - but not for you! You have been to Bible conferences; you have been to the altar-but the blessings are for someone else. Now, that attitude on the part of Christian believers is neither modesty nor meekness. It is a chronic discouragement resulting from unbelief. It is rather like those who have been sick for so long that they no longer believe they can get well. Jesus is still saying, as He said to the man lying by the gate at the Jerusalem pool, "Do you want to be made whole"" Jesus made him whole-because of his desire! His need was great, but he had never lapsed into that state of chronic discouragement.
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