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NOT GOING TO CHURCH

January 12, 2017

Text: “…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ball the more as you see the Day drawing near.”   Hebrews 10:25 

The word “church” evokes all kinds of feelings  when spoken.  It arouses all kinds of emotions among conversants. Some feel anger when they hear it. Yet to others it assures peace and comfort. One’s expectations regarding the church may be valid to him, but the real measure of a believer toward God and the church is only valid if it is scripturalNever impose your feelings about the church (both spiritual makeup and human makeup) beyond what the Word of God says.

Our attention is turned now to the practical question of those who may call themselves believers but do not attend church.  You will be told that church-goers are: liars, hypocrites, cheaters, back-stabbers, two-faced, womanizers, sanctimonious,  etc. Those who so accuse worshipers seem to carry with them a long litany of things whereby they want to belittle and berate Christians. It is assumed that their credentials to render judgment are impeccable, their righteousness above those whom they indict.

The standard of judgement cuts both ways! If “going to church” demonstrates the sins and deficiencies of faithful church attenders, then “not attending church” should expose the sins and guiltiness of non attendees. Right? Absolutely!   “For we must all appear before the judgment  seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”  II Corinthians 5:10 

What is revealed about the character of those who do not attend church?  Surely the character and misdeeds of these absentees are just as visible as they claim to behold in the lives of church-goers. Certainly God sees the sins of both types of men. But you, O LORD, know me;  you see me, and test my heart toward you.”  Jeremiah 12:3   And, oh yes!  But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23  

Perhaps the first thing to notice about those who forsake assembling with the saints is the shallowness of their spiritual lives. The spiritual parts of their lives are shriveling and dying. They neglect and starve their very souls. They have no spiritual vitality, and no interest for spiritual matters. Their souls remain juvenile in understanding spiritual concepts, morals,  and righteousness.  The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  I Corinthians 2:2  He may have had a glimmer of spiritual hope, but he let it be choked from him.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but   when the sun rose they were scorched. “  Matthew 13:5-6b  

Weakness can be observed in many areas of their character and beliefs. They lack the moral strength to defend and support the ideals and teachings that are the structure of their religious beliefs. In other words, they are wishy-washy. To drop out of church does not build faith, it starves faith and forces it to die of emaciation.  Such dropouts will never build or possess the spiritual health to profess why they believe in Jesus or to present reasonably a gospel lesson or sermon. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13  Neither can those who desert the kingdom produce any good thing to further the body of Christ, the church.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 

Divergence from the church wrecks righteous behavior and righteous obedience. Abandoning the church means that a person not only strays from knowing right from wrong, but that he betrays righteous behavior also.  He loses his spiritual course and deserts to the wrong destination!  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  Matthew 7:14  The church is the place where these things are taught from God and exhibited by Christians. It is written in the Prophets, And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me ” John 4:45 

Please forgive me for concluding with this (humorous) quote about  church attendance. “Be there…or be square.” Arthur Fonzarelli

REM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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