Thinking about John 12:24-26 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
There’s a reference to Jesus’ own death and resurrection and the profound change that represents.
He likens it to a seed that ceases to be a seed (dies) in order to bring life (fruit).
There’s also a reference to the effects that change has on the life of Jesus’ disciples.
We too, are a people who will die (forsake our own lives) in order to bring forth fruit (live for the kingdom).
There’s really two ways to die.
You can die by living for yourself and trying to get out of life what you want for yourself. The destiny of that choice is eternal destruction
You can die by turning to Jesus and choosing to live for him, forsaking yourself and your own desires and making the kingdom your focus. It is a death, in that your life no longer is your own. But the destiny of that choice is eternal life.
Churches are dying in one of two ways.
A church that exists for itself and the desires of its members will die, because it will fail to share the faith and grow. It will eventually die by ceasing to exist.
A church that exists for the kingdom will constantly be changing as it seeks to express the Gospel and share it well with the changing world around it. The earlier forms in which it existed will cease (die), but it will continue to exist and go on living in ever changing forms.
Every church is dying in one of two ways, but only one of those ways follows the footsteps of Jesus.