THE TRAP OF LEAVING THE CHURCH
The greatest pandemic the world is experiencing is not a physical disease but a spiritual disease. Right now Christians have drifted from the Church in the largest numbers we have ever seen. Stats show 50% of Christians have not returned back to their Church since this last year. The is a terribly high number! In some churches the stats are even higher. Many left due to fear of the virus, and never returned because they got comfortable and complacent staying home.
I have seen other people leave churches due to an offense, often rooted in a refusal to submit to church authority, and they never thrive or flourish in their callings. Why? Their lack of honor created a stubborn, prideful attitude that removed them from the power of unity within the Body of Christ. Far too many have fallen into the trap of leaving church or not attending as often as they should.
Isolating believers is the goal of the enemy.
When a sheep is isolated from the herd, it has no protection. Have you noticed that Christians fall into sin when they have no accountability? This is why we absolutely need each other. When Christians abandon churches, not only do they lose their protection of accountability, but this also weakens the structure and foundation of the Body of Christ. The devil knows this all too well. There seems to be many Christians who think they don’t need to go to church, this idea couldn’t be further from the truth!
“You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.” (Hebrews 10:25 NCV)
It is apparent that people leaving churches became a problem in the early church and this is why it was addressed here. We are instructed not to miss church meetings even more now as it gets closer to the end. You may have heard it said before by professing Christians,
“I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian”
“I’m a Christian, but I don’t like organized religion”
We’ve all heard these excuses. The problem with these statements is that you never hear Peter, James, Paul or Timothy making statements like this. On the contrary, the entire New Testament is full of instructions for establishing the local church. The early church fathers spent their lives building the local church and many gave their lives for it. They knew how important this mission was and what it meant to God to build the church. These leaders were led by the Holy Spirit to give us protocols for everything from order in church services, appointing leaders and pastors in cities, qualifications of elders and deacons, and receiving offerings. They instruct us on dealing with sin within the church, the administration of spiritual gifts, and even how to pray. The list goes on and on.
It is vital you are I realize the Church is a:
Family - The family of God
Kingdom - There is leadership (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers - Ephesians 4:11)
We are a kingdom family! This is why scripture shows us that the early church and its members dove in with one focus and purpose to establish the church. They gave tremendous amounts of resources: time, finances, and abilities, freely to the church and its mission (Acts 2:42-45). Make it your aim to be as zealous about building God’s House as the early church leaders were. God said, “Rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored,” (Haggai 1:8).
David said, “But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God” (Psalm 52:8).
Stay plugged into your church, stay faithful! The devil’s agenda is to isolate you from your church, your pastor, your brothers, and sisters to devour you. Don’t fall into his trap. Be on guard beloved!
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