No Church Growth for Isaiah

Isaiah 6:8-13, And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, 12 and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.

Many these days seem confused as to the real mission which Christ has given to His Church. It’s easy to tell by the very phrase that is so often applied, “Church growth.” Much is done in the name of growing numbers, growing offerings, tailoring the message in order to make people want to hear it. Such philosophies are entirely alien to the one which God gave to Isaiah. What was His mission? To grow? No. To preach. To keep on speaking when no one would listen (and not to change because they weren’t listening). To keep on preaching as the land was destroyed and decimated and even the remnant left behind was burned until, like a cut down, burnt tree, all that was left was a stump. It was never Isaiah’s job to figure out how to stop this. It was never his job to tailor his message. It was never his job to give the people what they wanted to hear. It was his job to keep preaching God’s Word, ever the same regardless of who would hear, regardless of what was happening around him.

Why? Because of that cut off stump. For the Holy seed is the stump. The Holy Seed is Jesus. The promised seed of the woman. The one reason why God did not make a complete destruction of His people. The one reason why He sent Isaiah to preach to them. The one reason there is forgiveness for you and for me for all our many sins. The one reason this world still exists. The one thing worth preaching about. If you aren’t preaching Christ, it doesn’t matter if everyone in the world is listening. You can have all the growth but you’ll have no Church. But if you are preaching Christ, it doesn’t matter if only a few or no one at all is listening. Preach Christ. That’s the mission. Amen.

In Christ
Pastor Ude