This is a question that people ask me all the time. What is the point of attending a church service, outside of my own home, when I can sit comfortably, in my pajamas, and watch one of the “Mega-Churches” online?
To be honest with you, I myself used to have that same attitude. After all, I was praying; reading my Bible; and watched at least one sermon online throughout the week.
Today, I have a different belief and I now understand things much more clearly after giving myself up to Christ and actually learning and understanding His lessons while He was here with us and actually “reading” the Bible… TO UNDERSTAND!
- Meet-up with friends.
- To meet other “nice” people… a social function.
- A crowd above the “riff-raff.”
- Live our lives better… please God and make us more successful or make our families stronger… maybe for health reasons.
- Make our wives happy, as long as our buddies aren’t planning something far more interesting.
What are your reasons for coming? (Interaction)
Why Not Go?
- My only day off.
- Meeting friends for family barbeque.
- Good game on television.
- The only day I could get that hair appointment.
- I got too drunk last night.
You’ve heard me talk about the “demons” that we battle. I have told you how they never cease to “attack us,” attack our faith and our very being.
When you stay with God and walk with Christ, you don’t battle these demons alone. Moses told us this early on!
Deuteronomy 3:22 – “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
What if God was getting His hair done?
Turning Our Back
- On work – Someone else will get the job done.
- On our children – Something usually bad happens.
- On our spouse – Maybe they’ll stray from you.
- The prison guards – Jeffrey Epstein died 😉
So, what if God, turned His back on you? Could you
fight the demons yourself?
Christ died for the Church – Ephesians 5:25 – “Husbands, Love your wives, just as Christ Loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.”
Christ was the Church… I mean, what is Christianity? He gave up His life so we too, would have this opportunity Why did He die for us?
- To praise God and give thanks as He would.
- To share “The Word,” so, we ourselves, could share with others… be the light.
- To save us from ourselves, become holier, closer to God.
Learning, understanding and praising God – Colossians 3:16 – “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
The more we learn and follow, the more we praise God! Although we may read, we may not understand. Together, we will figure it all out.
Fellowship with others – Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
My understanding might not be yours and vice-versa, learn from one another sharing the word and praising God – getting it right…and having a good time in doing so!
Fellowship with Christ – Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
My favorite… imagine, Jesus among us! Pull-up an extra chair!
And when we do go to church, are we really there? Are we giving God our FULL attention?
What about our “sacrifices?” Do we actually make any today as they did in olden times? Do we give anything up, other than perhaps our time, to please God and pay-it-back for all He has done for us? …are they acceptable to God?
I’d have to say we’re a lot like they were. We have become exactly what God doesn’t want for us… for His Church! Listen how God spoke of “those” churches in the last testament of the Bible (Malachi 1:6-10)
6-8 – “‘A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ says the Lord Almighty.
‘It is you priests who show contempt for my name. But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ By offering defiled food on my altar. But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’
By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.’”
Malachi 3:6 – “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”
God doesn’t change. He is exactly the same today as He was in the old testament. You may say, “Yeah, but this is the new testament!” But no, God hasn’t changed… we have!
So, why then, does God ask us to do these things? Why does He want us to worship Him; give thanks every day; and keep live by His word?
Malachi 3:10 – “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’”
He will give us more blessings than we have the capacity or room for in our lives!
Counting our Blessings
- In the Middle East… people are being beheaded for Christ
North Korea – Hostile elements to be eradicated.
Afghanistan – Simply not permitted.
Somalia – High-value targets.
Libya – Face abuse and deadly violence.
Pakistan – Constant threat of mob attacks.
Sudan – Targeted for persecution.
Over 52 countries where the Bible is Illegal!
- In China they come early to “prepare” for service, so they get it right… I want Sunrise Chapel to be one of those places.
- Today in our own church… relationships formed; new friendships in our Lord… so many blessings!
- Putting God first – Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
- Clearly put… put God first and all things will follow!
- Give God your first/Make time for God!
- The Perfect Church… There is no such thing! We come to the church to be “perfected!”
Before Jesus left us, he gave us one last commandment!
Matthew 28:19-20 (last verse in Matthew) – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Here is a little story for you:
A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.
He wrote: “I’ve gone for 30 years now, and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time. The preachers are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”
This started a real controversy in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals.”
“But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”
- When you are DOWN to nothing, God is UP to something!
- Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible!
- Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment!
- Joel Olseen – Lakewood Church, Houston Texas 52,000!
- Francis Chan – Cornerstone Community Church, Simi Valley California 1,600.
- Sunrise Chapel – Pompano Beach Florida. 28
We have some work to do!
- Come to church – Bring someone along.
- Share your testimony – be the light Christ told you to be… give someone else a chance!
- Set time aside for God… every day! This is your sacrifice! … never turn your back on Him!
Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)!