It’s a strange statement, but in most places there are not as many churches as there are churches. I am not referring here to the many church buildings that have been emptied, sold and converted for use as Hindu temples, car repair shops, martial arts schools or apartments (come visit the UK if you don’t believe me!) What I am referring to here is the number of churches where people will gather today, but come out none the wiser as far as the Bible, the gospel and God is concerned. How many churches there are that preach the fluff of well-meaning platitudes, rather than the solid substance of biblical truth.
In the city of London there are apparently something like 4000 churches. But how many will preach the gospel clearly and accurately today? How many will speak from the Word of God in a manner that reflects its truth, accuracy, historicity and relevance? How many genuinely believe in a God who is at work in the world today, even during the sermon segment of the service? As Calvin wrote, “Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and listened to . . . it is in now way to be doubted that a church of God exists.” Let us pray for the people sitting in a church building today, but unclear as to their spiritual state or God’s provision for them in Christ. And let’s be sure that the church we preach in really is a church today!