Christ confronted the Laodicean church, which represented the Church of the end times. He gave her this warning that reaches out across the centuries to speak to you and me today: “Because you are lukewarm . . . I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). What incredible words! What is the crime, the unimaginable sin committed by the modern Church? Listen to the words of the One who, above all, seeks our faith, trust and surrender: “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. . . . Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:17 and 20).
This passage of Scripture, so often quoted and applied completely out of context, is not addressing a lost world in need of “letting Jesus in.” Rather, it is a direct and solemn call to modern believers who are lazily lying on the bed of indifference, quite happy with themselves and the portion they have. This generation has been diabolically blinded to the spiritual revelation that without a burning faith it is impossible to please Him. Jesus is literally and dramatically standing outside the door of a self-sufficient and oh-so-self-satisfied church that trusts in methods, strategies and “cutting-edge” paradigm shifts and tactics borrowed from the secular marketplace. He is crying out, “Let Me in! Repent! Turn away from these broken cisterns that will offer no living water! I call for a people whose trust and confidence will hold solely to My promises. I long for a people whose faith will allow them to see the invisible, believe the unbelievable, and receive the impossible!”
There can be worship, fantastic music programs, awesome buildings, impressive attendance, dynamic teaching, every imaginable church and social program, even Christian lingo and Bible quoting, but without faith it is impossible to please God! God delights in moving mountains and extravagantly unleashing all of heaven’s resources for breathtaking divine interventions when one sincere person simply turns to Him with true, passionate faith.
Burning faith asking with boldness still opens the heavens, moves His heart and His hand, and gives us unlimited access to surprising, inexhaustible, inexplicable, miraculous and supernatural resources. God says, “I love faith! Faith moves me! Faith will see My power and obtain My favor!” As a pastor in Montreal, I only need to take a sweeping look over the thousands of faces gathered on a Sunday morning to be reminded of modern-day miracles, stories and testimonies that joyfully announce to our cynical and skeptical world that faith pleases God!
Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.