In the last chapter Swindoll called for us to “wake up” to what the church has allowed themselves to become and to set their course back toward God.
In this 6th chapter Swindoll points out how the church needs to respond to the difficult times in which we find ourselves. He gives four basic guidelines to follow in setting our course straight.
This is what I like about Swindoll. Too many Pastors and authors have no problem telling you what your problem areas are, how bad you are, or how you need to live but very few will give you guidance or application to help you overcome what they warned you about.
How we can react to a world that is unhinged:
1. We need to stay realistic in the appraisal of our times.
…while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13 ESV
This is Paul warning Timothy about those difficult times.
We shouldn’t just accept what we hear from our government. We shouldn’t just accept what we hear from media outlets. We shouldn’t be surprised by the deception that goes on in this world, we should assume it!
Don’t be fooled by any of the externals that you see: persuasive speech… attractive brochures… celebrity endorsements… big crowds… persuasive logic… appealing personalities… even open Bibles! (pg. 184)
2. Be convinced of the long-standing truths you have been taught.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it – 2 Timothy 3:14
I think that most people have someone in their life that has been an anchor when it comes to instilling the Word of God in them. For some it was there Grandmother or their mother, for others it may have been a Sunday School teacher or a youth pastor.
In today’s churches there is a felt need to be relevant to today’s culture. I agree. However, Today’s culture is shallow and uninformed and this has overflowed into the church. You can be relevant without watering down God’s truth and commands.
You cannot improve on the long-standing orthodox truth. Hold fast to it…At the same time let me say that there is no reason to reject what is new and fresh, if it is in keeping with the long-standing truths set forth in Scripture. (pg. 189)
3. Stand firm on the inspired Word of God.
If Satan can get us to doubt the truth of god’s Word, then we have no standard by which to live, no clear message of salvation, and no guidelines for the oversight and advancement of Christ’s church. (pg. 190)
The Bible has always been under attack for its authenticity. I’m not referring to the KJV only debate but to the question “did God really say”… This was the tactic of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. In fact the Scriptures are the God-breathed message from God to mankind. There are no substitutes.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, – 2 Timothy 3:16
4. Allow the truth to fulfill its purpose in your everyday life.
The church should react to its times, not by simply reading the Bible for insightful information, but by allowing its truths to bring about inner transformation. (pg. 196)
As Christians in todays church we need to avoid the drift that has occurred in our culture from infecting and destroying our churches. We can do this by allowing the Word of God to transform our lives and holding on to the truths It contains.
Quotations are from The Church Awakening, Charles Swindoll, Faith Words-Hachette Book Group, 2010