In his blog post titled “The Obituary of the American Church,” Mike Breen says the church in America is facing the same temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness. Satan offered Him shortcuts to physical satisfaction, to control of the world, and to popularity. Breen says we are tempted in the same ways today. Either we strive to be popular or we worship those who are. We demand what we crave by claiming we are worth it; and we compete to outdo every body else. Breen says both church leaders and laity yield to the same temptations. In contrast, he says Jesus calls us to be His disciples, to forsake self, and to sacrifice ourselves for His kingdom. He quotes Dr. Martin Luther King as saying. “If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club.” The writer of Hebrews offers a way to over come such temptations. He urges us to focus on the New Covenant: Look BACK to Calvary. Realize that Christ, by shedding His blood, gives us access to an all-powerful God. Look UP to worship God fervently. Look OUT to serve a needy world. And look AHEAD to the reward Christ offers those who serve Him. He writes in Hebrews 12 that since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, we should dedicate ourselves to please God with great reverence.
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