And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. – Hebrews 10: 24,25
For many Christians, going to church is awesome and has become part of our weekly routine. It’s the place to go to get the spiritual nourishment that we’ve been needing desperately all week. Life can be hectic and there’s so many worldly distractions that seem to take us off course. Going to church is that special time where we can get our life back on track.
A normal morning service consists of singing songs of praise. This is always followed by a group of men from the church passing the offering plate around to receive tithes from its members. A sermon is preached and the service ends with an altar call song and a prayer. That’s how it’s done in most churches these days and how it’s been for years.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. – Acts 2: 42
According to scripture, church should be a place to teach and learn Biblical doctrine, fellowship, observe the Lord’s supper, and prayer. Church of today appears to be following closely to the original church mentioned in the Book of Acts. But according to those scriptures, thousands of people were joining and their lives were being transformed. So why isn’t this happening in the churches today? I think the important answer is found in the scripture above:
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: – Hebrews 10: 24
A friend once said, “The message of Jesus is a simple one… LOVE. And that’s it!” Love has always been the purpose behind everything Jesus did. In fact, His teachings was that the church should be a ‘lighthouse’ in the community. It should reach out to people in need out of love and not push people away because they don’t fit into their agenda or social circle.
My friend continues about one of his negative church experiences, “…they have ridiculed and belittled people seeking help from them because of who gives money and who doesn’t.” Many churches focus on money and use it as a guideline of who to help in charitable situations. In some cases when a church helps, it’s out of self-recognition or because the needy person’s family is one of its tithe-paying members.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. – James 1: 27
There are a lot of churches that have become social clubs instead of a place to seek Jesus for salvation. Your ranking membership status is determined by how much money you pay in tithes and offerings every week. With it’s numerous ‘clicks’ and unqualified leaders (according to 1 Timothy 3: 1-13), people are taking notice. Some of them have been turned away because they don’t fit in.
The ugly side of church is that many have become just another business. Their marketing goal is to draw in customers (members) that have money (tithes) to spend. Members get special treatment because, as businesses does with customers, they know that they get more from them. This type of church is considered in the world just another organized religion.
“Good works within a community are done by churches that hold God on high, not the collection plate.” – a bumper sticker reads.
We need to get back to God’s plan for the church. Lives were changed in huge numbers in the early days according to the Book of Acts. We should study the New Testament again and learn what it means to be a church in the presence of God to a community that needs Him. Remember, the church is God’s hands, mouth, and feet in this world – the body of Christ. We are to be doing the things that Jesus Christ would do if He were here physically on Earth.
Church – it’s God’s business.
Visit our website: www.arednecksguide.com for more inspirational words, books, and cool stuff. A Redneck’s Guide… the simple way to share God’s Word.