Five Accepted Varietals (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc. Merlot. Petite Syrah. Malbec.

Any oenophile would immediately recognize these as the five grapes comprising the classically accepted wine varietals that are legally allowed to be blended to make a true Bordeaux wine in France. The irony is that although Malbec is one of the accepted varietals, it is rarely blended in modern Bordeaux wines. In the mid 19th century, a blight known as the Phylloxera aphid obliterated much of the French grapes, particularly Malbec. Fortunately, healthy vines were exported to various other countries. Thus, Malbec gained a foothold in the New World, notably Argentina, where it has thrived and is currently its top wine that is produced and exported to the rest of the world. When a devastating frost destroyed many remaining French Malbec vines in the mid-20th century, the demise of Malbec in France was sealed. 

What is ironic is although it is very rare to find a modern French Bordeaux wine that includes the Malbec varietal, Bordeaux-style blends that include Malbec are common in other parts of the world, including the United States. Many wineries in California that specialize in Bordeaux-style blends make it a point to include all of these five classic grapes. To find a true Bordeaux-style wine, one needs to search in areas other than Bordeaux, where it all began and flourished for centuries.

Where does one find the true Church? It began in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, but this is no longer the epicenter of Christian faith. The United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and for many years, the Church flourished in this powerful nation. However, the number of Americans who currently identify as Christians is declining, down to 63%, when in 2007, a mere fifteen years ago, it was 78%. For many years, Christian Americans took the lead in sending missionaries throughout the world. Today, many missionary organizations aver that there are more committed Christians in the third world. In fact, some of these countries are actually sending missionaries to the United States and Western Europe, lamenting the increasing secularization of these formerly God-fearing countries. 

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)

The modern Church is, in many ways, very different from the original Church. Youth programs. Music ministries. Opulent buildings. The one constant is the Church is composed of believers in Jesus Christ who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is never limited by culture, geography, or ideology. Through the centuries, the centers of faith have changed but the call to faith remains unchanged. 

Christians are under attack, from hostile governments and an increasingly secularized social media and press. Where does one find the true Church? Wherever Christians take a stand for God and seek His face, the Church is found.

 Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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