Derek Prince - Frustration About The Church
This is an excerpt from: Orphans, Widows, The Poor And Oppressed
Now you could say to me, "Well, Brother Prince, what have you done about it?" and it's a legitimate question. So I'm going to tell you very briefly what I've done. I'm not boasting. I made no special claims, but I have cared for the orphans and the poor and the widows. When I married my first wife, Lydia, whom you knew, she had a little children's home in what was then Palestine, with eight girls-six Jewish, one Arab, one English. The day I married her I got eight daughters, and they're still my daughters today. That was a long while ago.
When I married my second wife, Ruth, who many of you will remember, she was Jewish, her first husband had deserted her, and she brought with her three more children... Two girls and a boy, to whom I became a father. So I am a father to twelve children, eleven girls and one boy. I forgot to mention that Lydia, and I adopted a little black African girl when we were in Kenya. So I have to stop and think... I have... Well let's start, I have one boy who is Jewish, I've got one little African girl who's black, I've got one Arab who's a Palestinian Arab, I've got one English and all the rest are Jewish.
And this began at the end of World War II, and we are still one family today. Actually, Actually I am head of a family that contains more than one hundred and fifty persons, and I was an only child with no brothers or sisters. He is a wonderful God, isn't He? And we are a united family. There are representatives of our family in Israel, Britain, Canada, the United States and Australia, but we are still one family. In a period of history when families have been falling apart, this family has stuck together, because it was founded on Jesus. The first child that my first wife took in was a little dying Jewish baby in 1928. And out of that family, out of that little girl and that act of mercy, there has come a family that now numbers more than one hundred and fifty persons.
I don't say this to boast. I have nothing to boast about, but I want to say it works. It works. And I want to challenge you, just in closing I want you to ask yourself, What kind of righteousness of faith am I practicing? Is it just a religious kind of righteousness like the people in Isaiah's day that spent a lot of time in the temple, and in religious services, but ignored the fatherless and the widow? Or is it a righteousness that cares for people? I want to ask you for a moment to just consider this question. I am traying to phrase it right. After hearing what I've said would you say to yourself, "I have to acknowledge I haven't really been practicing the kind of righteousness described in the Bible. I've been in many ways selfish and self-centered. I've cared for me, and me first".
I'll tell you one sure way to be frustrated is to be self-centered. You cannot be self-centered without being frustrated because there's nothing in self that will ultimately give you satisfaction. So I want to give you an opportunity to think this over and to consider whether you need to change your ways. I'm being very frank with you. I love you. You've been wonderfully gracious to me. You've responded to my ministry. I've no complaints. I could walk away and say bless you, praise the Lord. But I don't want to do that because I really believe God has sent me here to challenge some of you. You're Pentecostal, you're Charismatic, you speak in tongues, you sing the best choruses, and you read all sorts of books or watch all sorts of videos.
But what are you doing for the people who really need you, the people all around you, the poor, the homeless, the orphans, the neglected children? What are you doing? Are you doing anything? You see, I believe if the church in America would change and really act like Christians and care for the uncared for, and love the unloved and go out and show love, not wait for them to come into the building... You know, most unchurched people, they have no idea what goes on inside a church. It's just a building out there, some strange people go there every Sunday and do something and I don't know what it is. But you go out and you begin to show love to people who've never been loved and take care of people who are not cared for, and they'll begin to want to know what makes you tick. Why are you behaving like that? I believe it could bring a great move of God to this nation.
First of all, if we go out to people, sooner or later they'll want to come to know what makes us tick. Secondly, if the Charismatic and the non-Charismatic begin to work together in helping people who are in desperate need, it won't seem so important whether they believe in a pre- or post-rapture. They'll get more interested in things that are more practical and fundamental. I really believe we could have a move of God in America and in Britain if we would start acting like real Christians. I hope I'm not insulting you, but that's the kind of Christianity I read about in the New Testament. It's the kind of faith I read about all through the Bible. It's a faith that cares, it's a faith that loves, it's a faith that does something. I think of my little grandson standing there on the edge of the pool and looking at us all and saying, "Do something somebody"! And oh, I stand in front of the church, so many times and I want to say, "Do something somebody! Do something"!
Now this is a wonderful church and many of you are doing something tremendous, but many of you are not and I want to give you an opportunity to make one simple decision. The decision is "I'll do something. I'll put my faith into action. I'll care for those that are not cared for. I'll show love to the unloved. I'll provide for the homeless and the needy. Out of my own pocket I'll even offer some of them a place in my home to sleep in that nice bed of mine which I've kept so clean and tidy". What a sacrifice. But after all, Jesus made a sacrifice too. He left heaven and came to earth, took a very humble place, led a very humble life, ministered in a really practical way, and as you know ended up on the cross. I say to Americans many times, we have two idols in the American church: comfort and convenience... And they dictate to us much of what we do. If it suits me, if it's convenient, if I enjoy it I'll do it.
I want to suggest to you the message of John the Baptist. You need to repent. You need to change your mind, you need to change the way you think, you need to change. Now I'm going to give you an opportunity to make a decision. Don't make a decision if you don't mean it. The decision you will make is this, and some of you do not need to make this decision, I fully acknowledge many of you do not need to, but some of you and maybe you're a little far away, I can still see you and so can God, and He's looking right down into your heart right now, and He knows exactly what's going on, and He knows all your struggles and your uncertainties. But I want to suggest to you that you would make a decision. You know, repentance is a decision. It's not an emotion. The decision is "I'll be a real Christian. I'll do what the Bible teaches, I will care for the orphan and the widow, I will feed the hungry, I will take the homeless into my home".
Exactly what Jesus said, exactly what John the Baptist said. God has not changed His mind. He's exactly the same today. Now if after careful consideration you say, "That's the decision I want to make. I want to be a real committed Christian, practicing the New Testament righteousness. I want to care for the uncared. I want to reach out to the lonely and the hurting". You know I'm by nature not an emotional person, but God has been dealing with me and I can hardly talk about some things without crying. When I think... I'll tell you who really has my sympathy. The single mothers, and I'm a champion for single mothers. I mean, I never realized this, but I married a single mother twice. First one I got eight, the second one I got three, picked up one more on the way, and I don't regret it. I never have regretted it. My life has been full, it's been rich, it's been rewarding, it's been challenging, it hasn't been easy, but I wouldn't change it. I'm sorry for the people that are leading an easy life with no challenges and no sacrifices. I'm sorry for them. You don't know what you're missing.
So if you are here this evening and you sense that God has been speaking to you. Maybe you came here almost without planning it, or intending it, but you say, What the man has been saying is real, it's true. Christianity is not just sitting in a church seat. It's not just singing a few nice hymns. It's caring for the uncared for, looking for the lost, preaching to the unreached. I told you, the motto of our ministry is Reaching the Unreached, Teaching the Untaught, and we have added Touching the Untouched, because we have seen it's not enough just to give a book or a Bible. You have to give a love, you have to give a hug.
I mean, the character of our ministry has changed since we radically committed ourselves financially to the people in Albania and Kosovo, and we took up an offering worldwide, the biggest single offering we've ever received because it touched people's heart. These people that preach are doing something. I've said it too many times. I want to say again, "Do something somebody"! Now if you want to do something, if you want to make your mind up, if you want to make a commitment, I just want you to have the opportunity to indicate it to God, to yourself, to the people around you. I want you to stand to your feet right where you are. If that's your decision, and don't stand... You've been so good to me all you dear people in here. I really want to say thank you. I've enjoyed my time with you. But the best thing I can do for you is confront you with the truth.