We are currently preaching through Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian church. Our current morning sermon series is called "Portrait of a God-centered church".
As this wonderful pastoral letter moves my soul, I am moved to think about the state of the church in the world.
I am forced to rethink and to rehearse and to consider how we may rebuild our broken churches upon this Thessalonian model, in our own day when the church at large is anything but God centered.
If anything, the modern church has a tendency to be self -centered and man centered. The Bible and the internet and the newspapers and my own experience tells me so !
This problem is, of course not unique to our own age, for this has been the constant struggle of the church ever since she was born on the day of Pentecost.
And I remember that the effects of sin upon our world have had a heavy toll upon us all. The pull is ever downward, as indicated by the law of gravitation. G = 9.8m/s.
Things fall down, not up!
The tendency is always towards decay, towards disorder – towards a state of entropy – as illustrated by the second law of thermodynamics .
So too it is with the church.
One of my favorite poets is T.S. Elliot. He has expressed himself in powerful poetry on the subject:
Of all that was done in the past, you eat the fruit, either rotten or ripe.
And the Church must be forever building
And always decaying - and always being restored.
For every ill deed in the past we suffer the consequence: For sloth, for avarice, gluttony, neglect of the Word of God.
For pride, for lechery, treachery, for every act of sin.
And of all that was done that was good, you have the inheritance.
For good and ill deeds belong to a man alone, when he stands alone on the other side of death,
But here upon earth you have the reward of the good and ill that was done by those who have gone before you.
And all that is ill you may repair if you walk together in humble repentance, expiating the sins of your fathers; And all that was good you must fight to keep with hearts as devoted as those of your fathers who fought to gain it.
The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying within and attacked from without;
For this is the law of life; and you must remember that while there is time of prosperity
The people will neglect the Temple, and in time of adversity they will decry it.
T.S. Elliot recognizes that the church is in need of constant reformation, for she is constantly subjected to sin and decay.
Every generation must understand this, and every generation of believers must rebuild her walls which are constantly being assailed.
We cannot live on borrowed capital.
A house lived in for along time must be renovated.
We cannot presume that our fathers yesterday have done a good work.
We must work today and labour today to maintain the faith as it was once delivered to us by our Lord Jesus.
And that is why I must preach on Sunday, praying that the Word, the gospel will come in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction! (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
 The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth, by Henry Morris: (p. 14) All processes manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. This is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics. ; Scientific Creationism, edited by Henry Morris: (p.25) The Second Law (Law of Energy Decay) states that every system left to its own devices always tends to move from order to disorder, its energy tending to be transformed into lower levels of availability, finally reaching the state of complete randomness and unavailability for further work.
 T.S. Elliot : Chorus from the Rock