Table of Contents

Table of Contents II

Search This Blog

Monday, July 17, 2023

I Don't Go to Church Much Anymore

I suppose it could be said of many people, "I don't go to church much anymore."  I wonder why?  Old age with infirmity and ill health will certainly slow one down but I am thinking more now of the many who simply have quit attending church services not having any reason for doing so.  Their health is fine.  They have just quit going.

I know of one who said she rarely goes anymore who went on and said, "But I am as close to God as ever."  How does she know that?  How can she know it?  Did God tell her; did he whisper it in her ear?  Did she read it in scripture?  Or, did her emotions and they alone tell her this?  To ask is to answer.

Many people's faith does not rest on the ground of God's word but on their emotions, on what their feelings (they call it their heart) tells them.  Their conscience does not bother them because their heart tells them all is well.  However, the faith of the Bible rests on God's word and that alone.  "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10:17 NKJV)

Every person's prayer to God ought to be Father let me see myself as you see me.  Let me look through your eyes, which is in this case his word, so that I might see myself as I am and not as I think I am.  Let me cease measuring myself by my standard of measurement and accept with purity of heart whatever your word tells me about myself be it good or bad.

If God gives me a command and I habitually ignore it how can I say I love God and it’s okay with my soul?  "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some...for if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." (Heb. 10:24-25 NKJV—the reader would do well to read on through verse 31)  This passage is destructive of the idea that one can ignore church services and still be close to God.  "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." (1 John 5:3 NKJV)

Some may say, "That is just your interpretation."  That is pretty much the standard line that is being used today against any doctrine of the Bible that does not satisfy the one who wishes to ignore what it teaches.  It doesn't matter if a teaching is so clear a third grader could not misunderstand it if it does not satisfy the longing of the one who wishes to discard it.  It is "just your interpretation."  We have become a dishonest people.  We are dishonest with the scriptures, with God, and even with ourselves.

Many others have reached the point, and many more are headed that way, where they no longer make any claim to faith in Christianity and look with scorn on anything from the Bible.  While they still claim love as their own it will be love as they alone define it and they are not about to the let the book of God define it for them.  It will be defined by what they feel in their hearts.  But, here is the problem:

"The heart is deceitful above all things,  And desperately wicked;  Who can know it?  I, the Lord, search the heart,  I test the mind,  Even to give every man according to his ways,  According to the fruit of his doings." (Jer. 17:9-10 NKJV)

We will be judged by our ways and doings when put up against the word of God, not by our deceitful hearts.

“The word I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” (Jesus speaking, John 12:48 NKJV) 

We are going to be judged by the word of God, not by our inward feelings or emotions. 

 "But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell.  And great was its fall." (Matt. 7:26-27 NKJV)

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father in heaven."  (Matt. 7:21 NKJV)

"He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him." (Heb. 5:9 NKJV)

But, then, as stated earlier, in our society today “that is just your interpretation.”

The Bible does not teach we can be saved by perfect commandment keeping, we are saved by grace, but neither does it teach we are free to ignore God's commands and tell ourselves fantasy stories about how it is well with our soul.

[To download this article or print it out click here.]

No comments: