The Apostle John said, “It is the last time.” It is hard to argue with that! It seems to me that the more society “progresses” the more we “digress” from the things of God. Statistically, church attendance and giving have been on a downward spiral in most churches. What appeared to be one of the outgrowths of September 11, 2001 would be an increase in church attendance and religious activity- the opposite appears to be true. Society is not turning to God; it is turning from God.
The reaction of most people concerning this trend is hopelessness. Despair seems to be on every side. What can we do?
In First Kings chapter eight Solomon was praying concerning the newly constructed Temple. We can get great courage from seeing two sets of eyes on the church-house. They are the same eyes that should be on the church this very day.
The Eyes of God on the Church
First, God’s eyes were upon it. The Bible says, Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day: That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place. (1 Kings 8:28-29)
The eyes of God are on His Church. Let us never forget that it was the blood of Christ that purchased the church (Acts 20:28). Ephesians five reveals to us that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (5:25). Before we start thinking too lightly of the church let us remember the great price paid to purchase it. It is the most valuable thing in the whole world!
It is the same God and same glory that filled that temple that fills our hearts each Lord’s day. When the priests had brought in the ark of God, the Bible says, And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD. It was God’s presence among His people that made the house of any value. Let me say, God is still among His people. It is not the value of our buildings, the assets of property and financial grandeur that makes the church great- IT IS THE EVER-LIVING PRESENCE OF GOD AMONG HIS PEOPLE.
Paul said in Ephesians 3:21, Unto Him be glory in the church, throughout all ages, world without end, Amen! Before we despair, remember that God’s eyes are upon us. He said, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18)..
The Eyes of God’s People are Upon It
The second set of eyes were the Jews’, the people of God. Solomon continued on by saying If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: (1 Kings 8:46-48).
The day would come when, because of sin, the people were carried away. The Babylonians would destroy that Temple, but prayers were to be made toward the Temple. Such is the case of Daniel in Daniel chapter six. He bowed upon his knees three times a day toward Jerusalem and prayed.
You see, even when the nation had fallen prey to sin, God still had a witness praying towards the Temple. All is not lost; God still has a people looking to Him in prayer. HE ALWAYS WILL!
Before we start thinking the church is the thing God formerly used to make Himself known, let us never forget that God’s eyes are on the church and our’s are to be too. We are to look upon the church to see her need. We ought to see where we can make an impact for Christ. We should see people in need and determine to help them. As a matter of fact, Christ took His eyes back to Heaven when He ascended in Acts chapter one, but He left our eyes here to look after the greatest work in the all the world- The Church of Jesus Christ. Open your eyes, Christian, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest.