Back to church Part 2
Laziness is some of the worst kind of wickedness.
We, as a church, condemn drunkenness, but we tolerate laziness. Laziness is worse than drunkenness.
Too lazy to do something for the Lord. Too lazy to evangelize. Too lazy to read and pray. They are too lazy to pick up their feet to move unto the Lord and the mission .. they always want to sit in the pew and be nice to everybody and do nobody any harm. Put some money in the offering, and we don't think as those are wicked people. Jesus does. Jesus says laziness is wickedness.
"Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger." Proverbs 19:15 NASB1995
My version of this verse.
Those who are always idling will suffer a great deal. Those who sit on their hands to try and keep them warm will never be warm enough.
Sin is a pleasure. You need to Love God more than you love pleasure.
We need people Back2Church! Why? Because God wants them Back2Church. You making an effort to grow your Christian walk draws God's attention. God will not ignore those who diligently seek Him and seek His ways.
Text: "Seek the Lord, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the Lord's anger." Zephaniah 2:3 NASB1995
We sometimes are like a sloth. Slow to all the right and good things and fast to all the wrong things.
Our flesh is fighting. There's an internal and eternal fight ongoing. This fight is carnal.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Ephesians 6:12 NASB1995
So what's going on In your life now is not only about you. It's about you, yes. It's about your spouse. It's about your children. It's about the people in your church.
If evil thoughts and imaginations are nurtured and fed, they eventually lead to outward acts of sin. Our feet follow where our hearts, minds, and thoughts have already gone. God's Word warns us, "as he thinks within himself, so he is" (Prov 23:7). 7 For as he [a]thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, "Eat and drink!" But his heart is not with you.
Actions follow our thought process.
We're bombarded with so much information—almost believable stuff. But don't believe everything you hear out there. They start the fire of confusion with a few small sticks to get the big logs on fire with confusion. But you know, friends, we're supposed to burn for light and not for confusion.
What CAN you do?
Jesus liked to speak in parables. I want to talk in acronyms.
C - Compassion: as a church, we need compassion and love for others within the church and the community.
A - Aspiration: Aspire to greater spiritual heights and personal goals within the church. Don't be happy with the average. You don't want an average doctor to operate on you. Do you want the one who was the worst in his class or the best?
N - Network: There is a lot of value in building a network of like-minded believers who can support and uplift each other.
Feet That Are Swift in Running Into Mischief (Evil)
If evil thoughts and imaginations are nurtured and fed, they eventually lead to outward acts of sin. Our feet follow where our hearts, minds, and thoughts have already gone. God's Word warns us, "as he thinks within himself, so he is” (Prov 23:7). For those who buy into the idea that we are what we eat, imagine what we choose to fester our minds on and how that changes our hearts.
Jesus warns us that our actions depend upon our thoughts: “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt 12:34-37)
The Word of God makes it clear: we will be held accountable for every idle word, whether it slips out of our mouths or not. While it is true that we are “saved by grace”, it is also true that faith in Christ produces obedience.
What can I do on my way back2church?
Watch this video. It explains what we're supposed to be as a church.
Back2church isn't about coming out to the building but coming back to the Body of Believers and coming back to the Mission of the church. The Mission of the church isn't fundraisers, although we do them from time to time.
The Mission of the church isn't hospitality. However, we need to be hospitable.
The Mission of the church isn't the singing and the preaching, although we need that all.
The Mission of the church is People. Yep, souls.
Unfortunately, the church's Mission had moved to the background while we made it about things or stuff.
There are a couple of things of importance to consider on your way back2church.
The Value of Community: it's important to be part of a church community. It provides support, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.
We have a Biblical Mandate: Gathering together as believers. Children don't like church because we didn't train them to be part of the body of believers. They were like outsiders. Then they grow up and start the things of the world. There's no hope provided in the church. “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB1995
How about Personal Invitation: We really should invite friends and family to church. Personal invitations can be powerful.
Every Member has a role: Everyone as a member has a unique role within the church body. Identify your gifts and talents and find ways to contribute.
Volunteer Opportunities: There are various volunteer opportunities within the church, such as serving in ministries, helping with events, or participating in community outreach. You don't have to wait for something to happen, but make something happen.
Small Groups: We could participate in small groups or Sunday school classes where members can deepen their faith and build relationships.
Mentorship: Experienced members mentor newcomers, helping them integrate into the church community and understand their role. It's unlike what I heard before how new members are invited to a gossip club. Not Gospel Club. Gossip! We're not even a Gospel club where we pay fees to belong to this club. We're more than a club. We're a body.
Mission and Outreach: Our Mission as church is to serve the community and the world. Each member's involvement contributes to fulfilling that Mission.
Regular Attendance: through regular attendance, we stay connected and grow spiritually.
Prayer: pray for the church, its leaders, and fellow members. Prayer can foster a sense of unity and purpose. But people don't pray anymore. There's a cancer-destroying prayer.
Communication: helps to get the news out there.
Celebrate Contributions: Recognize and celebrate members' contributions to the church community. This can motivate others to become active participants.
Caring for One Another: Promote a culture of care and support within the church. Encourage members to look out for each other during joyful and challenging times.
Open Dialogue: let's Create opportunities for members to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement. You are heard and valued.
Lead by Example: Church leaders should set an example by being actively involved and demonstrating a commitment to the church's Mission.
Walk the talk. Not only talk the walk.
Like the men on the road to Emmaus.
The events on the road to Emmaus are discussed in Luke 24. In this final chapter of Luke’s Gospel, we read of two disciples (Cleopas and one unnamed) of Jesus who were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the day that Jesus rose from the dead. As they traveled, a man joined them—the resurrected Jesus, although they did not recognize Him. The man asked, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” (Luke 24:17).
After breaking bread, their eyes opened, and they realized the Lord had risen. Some here still do not recognize the Lord's resurrection. They also underestimate the Lord's promised return. There's a whole bunch of things we could do as believers. Just be.
Your brother in faith