Friday, July 24, 2015
I've preached and taught the Word of God for over forty years and have served as an ordained pastor for 38 years and yet, I really cannot understand why it is that some good church members just do not like to attend church. You will see them at other church functions but not too often for the worship services. I bet some of you know people who fall into this category and you may have just as hard a time as I understanding the real reason. If it seems to you that this issue bothers me more than it should, you may be right. Nevertheless, it may not bother me for the reasons you may suspect. I am mostly concerned with these folks' relationship with Christ. What do you think? Are they genuine Christians or not?
Those of you who know me know that I am a big San Antonio Spurs fan, yet an ex coworker friend of mine once said that I was not. He asked me if I go to their actual games and I replied that I seldom did. Once he heard that, he said that I was not a genuine Spurs fan. If his assertion was correct, then we can say that people that don't attend church are not true Christians. I not only think He's wrong, I pray that he is. To begin with, I know that, without a doubt, I love and root for the Spurs. Why not attend more games? The answer is simple. If I watch the game in the comfort of my own home, I don't have to fight a crowd, struggle to find parking, pay exorbitant prices for a burger and a Coke, worry about finding the nearest bathroom, not to mention the price of tickets which would put a definite strain on our tight budget. Watching the game in our living room, I can wear my comfy, and sometimes sloppy home clothes, eat and go to the bathroom when I want, and go to bed the minute the game is over. Did I mention that watching at home saves us some money too? Even after I explained all that to my friend, he still insisted that I was not a true Spurs fan. That being the case, Christians who don't attend church often, are going to have a hard time convincing some people that they are true Christians.
To be fair, there are many God loving folks who either cannot attend their worship services or else they may have other valid reasons why they don't. Nevertheless, for most hale, hearty, and able bodied church members, that is not the case. To be a church member and not attend church is unusual. It may not be as rare as teeth on a turkey, an honest thief, or wild animals that do their business in public bathrooms, but it generally makes little sense. If the opera was popular in our neck of the woods and my wife loved going to it, I would ask God to either give me the grace to accompany her or else help me to at least start liking it myself. If you love the Lord but do not necessarily love church, perhaps you may consider lifting that type of prayer to God yourself. If there were no benefits for you and your fellow brethren in attending church, this advice would not be in the Bible: "Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another
--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)
Memory verse for the week: (John 16:33) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome