God has no use for dead churches and dead church members. He condemned the church at Sardis which had a name that they were alive but in reality they were dead (Rev. 3:1). A little later in Revelation 3 God condemned the church at Laodicea because they were in the depths of lukewarmness which made Him sick (Rev. 3:16). When God appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai He appeared to him in a burning bush and not from an old dead stump. Throughout the Bible we see God coming in lightning, storms, thunder, earthquakes, and various upheavals, all of which show that God is a living God and He wants His servants to be alive and active. Of course we must always stay within the scope of the Bible.
When we worship it should always be a living experience. When we pray our prayers should always be fervent and alive. When we sing it should be with a joyful noise and with heart and soul. The preaching and teaching should be moving and challenging. A dead, disinterested, unconcerned, lifeless, draggy church displeases the good Lord. Either a church must come alive or God will in due process of time remove the candlestick (Rev. 2:5). All that is included in the removing of the candlestick we do not know. However, we know it is not spiritually healthy and a church cannot be blessed as God would have it be when the candlestick has been removed.
A member of the church once told me he told the preacher what to preach about. When I asked him what it was he said, “I told him to preach about 15 minutes.” He further went on to say if the preacher goes over 15 minutes he gets up and walks out of the assembly. Do you supposed he is a good Christian? Do you suppose his singing and praying is filled with zeal, faith, and life? How would you like to be in a congregation with this kind of mentality? How do you think the Lord looks on this kind of folks?
We have been teaching young men to preach for 45 years and we have taught them to put fire in their sermons or put their sermons in the fire. A sermon without fire in it is like a firecracker unlit. A congregation without fire in it is like an automobile without a motor—it is no account. So we invite all to come and be with us and let us stay on fire for the Lord.
Malcolm L. Hill January 12, 1934- June 26, 2012