Review: Jesus Called He Wants His Church Back
By Ray Johnston
Jesus Is Calling-This book goes deep into the depths of Christians and American Church ministries. The author starts the book off by acknowledging that Jesus is popular in America- true. After two thousand years, he is still a global favorite and sits at the top of the US polls. He’s more popular than Beyoncé, Frank Sinatra, or Mozart. He is quoted more often than Winston Churchill, Woody Allen, or Forrest Gump’s mom.
The author states that the people that left Christianity were those who called themselves Christians, but did not live the life. They’re finally given up the pretense. Christians in America faith should be breaking records with all the resources: World-class buildings, corporate level leadership, Technology, and etc. So the question is “Why aren’t we? Why nobody wants to go to church anymore?”
In part 1 of the read it begins with this title “A World without Jesus.” The very thought of it should bring you to your knees, but think about it for a moment. Where were you when Jesus called your name? Did you answer the call swiftly, steady, or slowly? If you haven’t accepted the call, isn’t the title befitting for your choice. What if the title was “Living on The Opposite Side of the Fence?” With a sub-topic who is watching over you if not Jesus….hmmm.
The writer says this “the greatest need of any Christians is to reconnect and rediscover the power unleashed by connecting with and actually following Jesus. While we look at the changes America has embodied, they left out the most direct component-Jesus.
The seven things that changed Americans are:
Americans lost Innocence (1950)
Americans lost Authority (1960)
Americans lost Love (1970)
Americans lost Values (1980)
Americans lost Faith (1990)
Americans lost Security (2000)
Americans lost Hope (2010)
The past seven decades have shaken America and not fully grasping the real problem that something is missing. Recognizing that in each decade Americans have lost one thing that is essential for emotional, relational, and spiritual health.
It is impossible to be emotionally healthy…..
It is impossible to be relationally healthy….
It is impossible to be spiritually healthy….
Without innocence, authority, love, values, faith, security, and hope.
The author began to impress upon us some heartfelt logic to really consider:
Try raising good kids without innocence…or values….or authority
Try leading a team, business, or country without respect for authority
Try building a healthy marriage without love….or values…or faith
Try building a better future without faith and hope
Try being emotionally healthy without security or hope
Try being happy without hope
These would be completely impossible without Jesus; Jesus showed us innocence, authority, love, values, faith, security, and hope. It takes a firm foundation and that take time to build a foundation. “Everyone wants a solid foundation for their homes, their marriages, for their kids’ values, and for their future”, but without the groundwork being laid the foundation will not stand. Many have used church as a money-making avenue and trying to get people to basically buy salvation….to buy a blessing….to buy a miracle or sign. Last I check Jesus didn’t need or want that type of help. Jesus is the ONLY One that can save, heal, and deliver. You definitely can’t buy your way into Heaven….the devil lied to you all if you thought you could.
If you truly read your Bible, the church is a body of believers in Christ Jesus that meet at a designated place to worship, prayer, and read scriptures. So many have been misled, misunderstood, and misguided by what others feel is right in their own thinking in regards to the church. The Bible has been misdiagnosed by many only taking bits and pieces out of it like a kiddie meal, instead of taking the full contents of the Bible for growth and maturity.
When under fire people get misconstrued of the season, thinking you did something wrong or something in your life is out of order; why couldn’t it be that God is refining that person for a new season or preparing them for something. “Life happens in seasons. Ecclesiastes says there’s a time for everything. Everything has a season. Good seasons. Bad seasons. Productive seasons. Growth seasons. And seasons of decline. Seasons of mourning. Grief. Seasons of laughter. Jubilee. Seasons where there are more obstacles than opportunities. Often followed by seasons where we can’t seem to find time for all the opportunities. There are seasons of stretching, where God seems to shape something new in our hearts. And we often don’t know what that new is until we enter another season.
Seasons of passionate, growing love. And tough seasons, where love is tested. Seasons you’re more the leader and seasons where you’re more being led. Seasons of blessings. And seasons of wondering where are all those blessings others seem to be experiencing” (Edmondson, R).
Just remember that Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves and if we try to say differently, we are lying to ourselves. Therefore, at some point we have to recognize that without Jesus it is impossible to live a healthy stable life. Many churches may fall by the wayside, but know that not all churches are spotted; there are some that truly serve God and want to honor the Father commandments. Too many of us try to play it safe and use television as a way to get the word, but what about fellowship with others of the same faith. Didn’t Jesus fellowship with others from town to town? Didn’t Jesus sat and talked with others?
Believe it or not the Christian Community can grow in a capacity to which Christ is calling us too. A Community takes care of one another, a community provide for the community, a community builds and not tear down, a community teaches other how to build, a community strive as the connection is being bonded and branded and a community thrust out negative people that would destroy the community.
The author states that “every Christian is called. Every Christian is gifted. If you are a Christ follower, then you are called to serve.” Life is too short to waste and you cannot get a do over, so why not do what you have been called to do and follow Christ. If you are called to it, then you were equipped to do it. Christians are called to be believers, but we’re also called to be belongers. You will never be the type of believer God wants you to be until you get rooted in a local church.
This was defining an interesting read, full of details, and nuggets for one to really chew on. I would recommend this book based on the in-depth information and concern for the church. Too many have lost their way back to Christ’s heart and replace that void with worldly things. Jesus wants His church back!