Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'm Not There for You

Recently, I've seen a good number of articles and blog posts about why certain people are no longer going to church. Most of the reasons have to do with outside influence. Many are discouraged because they see hypocrites in the church. Many don't feel that others in the church are being "real," especially if they worship in what has become known as western traditional worship. Others forsake church because they don't feel the church meets their needs or the needs of their children and family. Still others are trying to get away from all tradition and not allow their faith to be put into a box of expectation which they feel the church represents. And, finally, some stop going to church because they are busy judging whether or not we (those of us who are there) are real or not in our faith.

I go to church. Ever since I was redeemed by the blood of Christ, I have gone to church. But, I'm not there for you.. I'm not there for me, either. I'm there for Him. He said not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. (Hebrews 10:25)

I go to church for God, not for you. I'm there out of obedience, even when I don't feel like it. And, yes, there are times I don't feel like it. Believe me, I've been a pastor's wife for more than 30 years, I've seen and heard it all and there have been times I did not want to go because of what people were doing/saying. But, I went even at those times because I didn't go for them.

It's good and right to not go to a church that preaches or teaches a false doctrine, but that can't be used as an excuse to forsake church altogether. Simply find a church that does teach and preach sound doctrine. They are out there. Make the doctrines of Truth your priority in finding a church, not what programs they may or may not have.

It's good and right to go to church out of simple obedience. There's power and strength in doing the right thing just for the sake of doing the right thing. Simple obedience can't be underestimated. In I Samuel 15, we read of King Saul's disobedience and God's rejection of him as king as a result. Samuel said to Saul, "To obey is better than sacrifice..." Read that account. We clearly see God's emphasis on obedience. Saul's reasoning behind his own rebellion was because he feared the people more than he listened to God, by his own admission. (verse 24)

Don't go for others. Don't go for yourself. Go for God. Go because He said to go. Go because the church is His vehicle to spread the gospel. (Matthew 16:18) Go because He has chosen the foolishness of preaching (the message preached) to save them that believe (I Corinthians 1:21).


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