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This story was recently sent to me via e-mail. Hope you enjoy it.
“A church-goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. ‘I’ve gone for 30 years now,’ he wrote, ‘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 and the pastors 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!’
“Over the years I have had conversations with people who say. ‘I can experience God fishing on a lake.’ ‘I can have an awesome time with God sitting in a deer stand.’ ‘I can experience God in my living room.’”
All of those statements are true. I myself have had awesome times with the Lord fishing or sitting around a campfire gazing at the stars or viewing a sunrise. Yet I have experienced awesome times with the Lord in church being surrounded by God’s people. God’s holy word states that being a part of a local church is important.
In Hebrews 10:25 God’s word says “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
If you are a Christian then you should not “give up meeting together”. The phrase “meeting together” means a “complete collection.” In other words, when a Christian decides not to attend the church they are a member of, that church is incomplete.
There are many reasons why Christian’s do not go to church. Some of the reasons Christians get out of the habit of going to church are:
• The pastor made me mad.
• Another member made me mad.
• Church service last too long.
• Church service is too short.
And on and on and on....
In my 20 plus years being a Christian, I have had the pleasure of being a member of three churches, including the church I have the privilege to pastor now. In each church nothing has been exactly perfect. Do you know why? The church is made up of people. All people including you and me are not perfect. Despite our imperfections, our Holy Lord and Savior Jesus Christ works through us for his kingdom and glory!
Not only are we charged to attend church, but we are also directed to encourage one another. The word encourage means to “call near or invite.” In other words, we are to let other Christians know they are not alone. Life can be tough and it is good to know we have others who will be there to encourage us in our journey. It is important going to church singing songs, praying and listening to a sermon (hopefully a good one). But going to church is much more than singing songs, praying, and listening to a sermon (hopefully a good one). It is about loving God, loving people and encouraging fellow believers on their journey. Whatever church you are a member of I hope you walk through those doors this Sunday.
If you do not have a church home, we invite you to join us at Ghent Baptist Church. Bible study starts at 9:45 a.m. Our worship service starts at 10:50 a.m. We also have a Wednesday night service called Oasis at 7 p.m. This is a contemporary service open to all people. May God’s richest blessings be yours this week! Love God and love people.
Brother Graham Reynolds is pastor of Ghent Baptist Church in Ghent, Ky.