In times like this, with the decline and wars against the Church, the words of a hymn by Baylus B McKinney offers hope and renewal. The hymn challenges and reminds Christians what we should strive and contend for. The hymn calls us to make the Bible a centerpiece of our home, daily life, and teachings. The lyrics remind us that true revival begins at home, “Home where the Lord is an honored guest.” 

Jesus’ original purpose of coming on earth to build His Church was with a prayer that the gates of hell should not prevail against her. The wars against the Church, the bride of Jesus Christ, are in the unending flood of sensuality, secularism, and materialism. There are unseen and seen wars behind the global movement from religious affiliation and authority towards a less defined and more individual expression of religion and spirituality. Satan’s weapons in these wars are the love of money and addiction to pleasure. The unseen and seen wars raging against the Church, the bride of Jesus Christ, points to its decline and our minority status as a Christian nation that once sent missionaries to every part of the world. The Church has been battered and boxed into a spiritual and physical stupor. The principal focus of Satan, the enemy of the Church’s soul, is the Christian home shaped by marriage between a man and a woman. Christian marriage as a threefold miracle is a biological miracle by which a man and a woman become one flesh; it is a social miracle through which two families are grafted together; and it is a spiritual miracle in that the marriage relationship pictures the union of Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church (Eph 5:23-27, Gen 1:27, 2:24-25).

The apostles’ letters to the churches remind us of the importance of a Christian home to the Church’s health and growth. Priscilla and Aquila’s home was a church (Rom 16:3-5a). The house of Mary, the mother of John, was a praying center (Acts 12:12). Susanna Wesley’s home was not just a place of the family altar. It served as the first unit of care that offered love, care, and sharing and fostered communal living like a family. People can pray together, read the scriptures, eat together, and share resources just like the saints of old had things in common during their own time. It is a place to practice generosity and hospitality. 

Christian home remains ‘the first unit of care for such a time as the care of a mother who has just given birth, a young couple who have just married a family that may be struggling, people with emotional, spiritual, physical, or material needs and all the rest of them. It is also a place to minister to those who are bereaved and are grieving over loved ones that have been taken away from them. It is a place of support, solace, and comfort. However, unfortunately, the sad news is that the ultimate battle of good versus evil rages to this day. This invisible and self-made visible conflict ravages homes (Rev 20:10). As the homes and family units are the high-value target in Satan’s campaign and manipulations, the spiritual warfare of the unseen is declining the seen, the Church.

Today, unseen and seen wars raging in our hearts and homes. It is important to remember that the battle began at the dawn of creation, and although victory has been declared, the villain will fight until his final breath. What is the reason behind the war against home? The devil and its agents know very well that the coming revival is home-based, not Church- or camp-based. It is no longer strange that ‘the 21st Century church no longer represents Christ in the world because the Church has assumed a different personality.’ The Babylonian agenda is to give the Church a different personality and identity than Jesus intended. The people who belong to Jesus’ church community are committed to doing God’s will. Jesus in the Gospel talked about the importance of doing God’s will on many occasions. Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister, and mother” (Matt 12:50; Luk 8:21). A Christian home is a family whose members are committed to doing God’s will (Jn 3:16).

Today, home is no longer the worship center and training center it once was. The 21st-century home has become, for the most part, a place to sleep, watch TV, and work or play on the computer. Eating is done outside the home on the way to activities that divide the family rather than bring them together. We are at a time where ‘families live together under the same roof but do not know one another. This disintegration of the family has brought about the destruction of the home as God intended.’

The home model church is now grossly forsaken and redefined. Hence, ‘no longer a worship or training center that exemplifies God’s standard. A new model has evolved, one that is rebellious and conforms more to the ways of the world than to the commands of Christ. This new model of the Church dismisses the power of Christ to change lives. The Church is no longer like-minded in the character of Christ and His standards but seeks like-mindedness in the “worship of worship” rather than the worship of God.’

Today’s battered Church is even divided by their worship and neither united in Christ. The Church’s failure to maintain God’s example of family and home in its members has produced a weak, powerless 21st-century church and nations. The Church and its leadership are overtaken by people who have come to Church but have never come to Christ. The understanding that home and house churches are the future of the body of Christ calls Christians to arise and contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us join McKinney as we prayerfully sing:

  1. God give us Christian homes!
    Homes where the Bible is loved and taught,
    Homes where the Master’s will is sought,
    Homes crowned with beauty Your love has wrought;
    God give us Christian homes;
    God give us Christian homes!
  2. God give us Christian homes!
    Homes where the father is true and strong,
    Homes that are free from the blight of wrong,
    Homes that are joyous with love and song;
    God give us Christian homes;
    God give us Christian homes!
  3. God give us Christian homes!
    Homes where the mother, in caring quest,
    Strives to show others Your way is best,
    Homes where the Lord is an honored guest;
    God give us Christian homes;
    God give us Christian homes!
  4. God give us Christian homes!
    Homes where the children are led to know
    Christ in His beauty who loves them so,
    Homes where the altar fires burn and glow;
    God give us Christian homes;
    God give us Christian homes!