|Rev. Timothy Stahlman, Contributing Writer|
JAMESTOWN, NY - If ever there was a plague that has swept through people who believe in Jesus, it would be a plague of chronic frivolous church absence. I say this out of love for God’s people and not out of an attempt to grow my congregation: You will not make it through these days of trial coming upon the world without a Bible-based house of worship.
Maybe you’ve been offended by a church or have some excuse of why you can’t be there. I have heard so many people say, “It’s too difficult with the kids” or “That’s my day I get things caught up around the house” or “That’s my day off” or some other thing like that. If you have the strength to be there you should be there. So many people say, “I haven’t found a church I like”. Well that’s not the issue. The question you should be asking yourself is “Have I found a church that preaches the uncompromised Word of God?” You’re not a consumer looking for the best deals when shopping for a church. You are looking for a place of integrity and purpose that won’t shy away from challenging doctrine. If your heart is sincere about knowing God then He will direct you and you will know when you are in the right place.
During a recent trip to California I visited a church. The pastor of the church was describing a story one of the church staff workers had told. This church staff worker was at the supermarket and bumped into a church member who hadn’t been seen in church for several weeks. When the staff member asked why the church member hadn’t been in church the person replied, “I’m mad at God and I’m mad at the church.” I absolutely loved the staff person’s response. She simply looked at the AWOL church member and said, “How’s that working out for you?” I love that! We need to ask ourselves that question. When you’re offended at the church over some petty thing you need to ask yourself, “How’s this working for me?” When you can spend hours in restaurants, movie theatres, and shopping malls and never go to church you need to ask yourself, “How’s this working for me?” Jesus isn’t at the shopping mall. He isn’t gathering at the movies. He is gathering with those that gather in His name. His blessings are where He is.
In Matthew 18:20 Jesus says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my Name there am I in the midst of them.” Jesus Christ meets with those who gather around his Name and with His truth. People are out on the golf course or taking their kids to the latest soccer or cheerleading event when they should be in church. But when troubles rear their head and bring a trial of sickness to your family, what will you do? Will you lay the golf club on them and hope it heals them? Will the Sunday soccer tournament be there to teach you how to use your faith to see you out of troubles? 1 Timothy 3:15 says that the House of God is “The Pillar and Ground of the truth.” You need solutions, not more problems. The answers to your life are found in a solid Bible teaching church.