Parading the Corpse

In his book Invitation to a Spiritual Revolution, Paul Earnhart wrote the following: It is impossible to estimate just how many of the Lord’s disciples today are destroying themselves because they lack either the humility or the courage to repent of sins against others and seek their forgiveness. The dark secret of their guilt rests like some ­massive stone in their hearts, stultifying worship and sucking the spiritual life out of them (Psalm 32.3-4) If such is the case with you, quit parading the corpse in worship assemblies.

The phrase that sticks out ­distinctively is “quit parading the corpse in worship assemblies.”

What does that mean? Every week people walk ritualistically into church buildings to practice a dead religion. That doesn’t mean the doctrine taught in those buildings is dead. It means that person’s faith is dead. It is worthless and lifeless.

They have a “form of godliness” but deny its power (2 Tim. 3:5). Their relationship with God is either ­damaged or completely non-existent. Their faith is proclaimed loudly and consistently with the words “I’m a Christian.” But their actions prove otherwise. They walk into the assemblies pretending to be alive when they are really dead.

How is that possible? Consider a few ways . . . Those who refuse to forgive. Matthew 5:23–24 says one should reconcile with his brother before he makes an offering. But too often brethren refuse to forgive one another and continue to worship. Jesus said the worship offered in that case isn’t acceptable. When one comes to worship and refuses to forgive his brother, he is parading his corpse.

Those who refuse to repent. When one refuses to acknowledge his or her sin, it causes great pain (Ps. 32:3–4). It causes groaning and agony. Sin also separates the sinner from God which means he is separated from true life (Is. 59:1–2). The only way to overcome is to acknowledge sin to God (Ps. 32:5; 1 Jn. 1:9). The one who refuses to repent and confess his sin is parading his corpse when he enters the assembly.

Those who have an inactive faith. Another term could be a passive faith. In James 2:14–26, it is made clear that real faith works. It is active. It sees a need and meets it. Real faith changes the way men behave. It makes the act different. It causes them to love different. It is seen in what they say and what they do. James said, “faith apart from works is dead” (v. 26). When a disciple claims to have faith but fails to be active, he is parading his corpse when he enters the assembly.

Those who do as little as possible. Disciples are instructed to seek the Kingdom of God first (Matt. 6:33). That means it has the highest priority. They will seek to attend the assemblies out of desire rather than compulsion. They will seek to teach out of love rather than obligation. They will study the word because of their hunger rather than their guilt. They don’t seek to do just enough to get by. If someone is trying to do as little as possible, he is parading the corpse when he comes to the assembly.

So what about you? Are you just parading your corpse? Or are you alive and with the Lord?