Pr 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
This verse is an absolute. First of all it is God's statement and then life proves it true. History proves it. Anthology proves it. It is so obvious in the manners and behavior of people. Street people who are interviewed give evidence that they have lost some sort of vision that may once have been strong. One of my observations is that Viet Nam veterans came home from a legitimate war, but faced a liberalized nation. Their vision of America had been altered by the vocal outcries of progressive press and socialistic politicians. Many of them lost the vision of purpose. Some never recovered.
This is a Church publication, so I will focus on the effects of the loss of vision in Churches and individual Christians. If there is no vision there can only be lethargy and decay.
If an individual Christian loses his or her vision, then they can easily be sidetracked by flesh, the world or the devil. The vision is not only an eventual goal, but the immediate motivations. We call them convictions, whether personal or co-operative, they make up the driving force of our existence. If something happens or persuasive influences alter those convictions, then it is possible to lose the vision necessary to maintain our integrity. Our relationship with God and fellow believers is affected and we veer off course.
A Church must have a vision, a scriptural vision, in order to function and last in its purpose and God's design. Any city in America and especially in older nations where Christianity once thrived, you will see pictures of the loss of vision in the relics and cathedrals that once may have been renowned for the faith but are now empty or housing some religiously unaffiliated business. A beautiful church building here in Macon is now an apartment house. I've noticed two other church buildings in this area that are now auction houses.
What kind of vision must a Church have in order to be viable and continue to thrive. First it must be loyally committed to the Word of God and know why. As a result of that the other things should fall in place, but may not! Jesus Christ is Lord and the head of any Bible believing, Bible practicing Church. When men become the head of a Church then death is certain.
One of the primary results of loyalty to the Word and allegiance to the Lord will be obedience. The great commission or command is to go unto the uttermost part of the earth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This cannot be truthfully accomplished without a true fulfillment of the commandments of God and Jesus.; "Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and body and to love your neighbor as yourself." Religious fanatics will march up and down streets in search of converts with not the slightest love of God. Christians who do this out of a sense of duty will have the same results.
If a Church is not a soul winning church, then it has lost its vision. If a Church sets status levels as to who can enter or belong, has lost its vision. Anyone and everyone should be given the opportunity to hear and receive the gospel. Those who will not receive Christ will not stick around long in a Bible believing, Bible preaching, Bible practicing Church.
A religious club will only last about one generation. Many Churches become a religious club, when they become self centered and exclusive in their attitudes. They have lost the vision that the Spirit of Christ instills within his true Church. A real burden for the lost; across the street and across the seas must be a motivating force within a Church with a vision.
Loss of vision means you can no longer identify the lost.