If I were to look at the church from the outside in approach (as not being a Christian) in most American churches I would most like being skewed and left with hypocritical opinion of the church. That is, to say, that I would probably ask why do I need God if Christians continue to do the same thing that they did before and continue to sin and keep on sinning. I would say how can they judge me when they keep doing the very things that they say that they are saved from. If I were to look at most men in these churches in America, I would be disappointed by the statistics that compare the world to them, meaning there probably wouldn't be much difference.
If I were to be real with these American churches that were just lukewarm, I would look to the book of Revelation and say to them what Jesus said to one of his churches about being lukewarm - he would rather have that church be hot (on fire for Him and His will) or cold (worldly) instead of lukewarm (which is like vomit in His mouth).
Based on the way that some Christians live, some in the world can conclude that the salvation of that church (living like the world) is like a lottery ticket - meaning that they can be "saved" and also live like they used to live by continuing to keep living the same way as before (this is the world's view). I would caution any church against living a lie such as this...you will be held accountable by misleading others.
Let's test that against Scripture:
Romans 6 English Standard Version (ESV)
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free[b] from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Salvation is a free gift from God. The cost of discipleship, however, is a life time process that we strive for as His children through our lives to have our sanctification finally completed by His return.
Please understand this point: Works is not a means to salvation and never will be. The Book of Romans states: Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy He has saved us. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Bottom Line: No matter what we do, can do or will do, works will never be good enough to earn our way into heaven.
So now I say to the churches that are neither cold or hot, but rather lukewarm. To the churches that compromise biblical truth because of family circumstances and/or worldly convictions and/or worldly condemnation - do not compromise the Bible, do not bend the truth do not accommodate the world's desires if it jeopardizes God's truth!
Some of you may read this and think that I am saying to then persecute those who sin. Stand firm and hate both the sin and the sinners that are transgressing the body of Christ - that is not what I am saying at all. I am speaking to the Church that is lukewarm and not following Christ's will. I am asking them to stick to the truth, to trust the Lord with all their heart and to lean not on their own understanding. To acknowledge the Lord in all that they do and He will make their paths straight. To the church that is cold - Repent! To the church that is lukewarm - Repent!
If the world is asking me to compromise Scripture to be accepted by them, then I am going to deny myself to the world and trust God! Really it is a simple choice. A humble reminder to everyone is that ONE DAY there will be a judgement! One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
Either you know Him and He will testify about you to His Father. Or He will deny you and say depart from me for I never knew you. Some of the churches may be just doing that - playing church and denying the very existence of why we need a perfect Savior (just going through the motions - these are those that Jesus talks about that will say Lord, Lord and He will say to them, 'depart from me for I never knew you').
Jesus said that His sheep know His voice and follow him. Scripture tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Jesus tells us that the world will persecute us just as they persecute Him. If I am going to error, then I am going to error on the side of Biblical truth instead of the desire of the world's version of bent truth.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! What about you and your house?