Make time to worship in church

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 2, 2014

By Clyde Northrop

There was a story in Reader’s Digest about the pastor who was having a cup of coffee in the restaurant across the street from the church.

He was reading his paper when the fellow next to him noticed his clerical garb and asked what church he was with.

He pointed across the street to the Methodist Church and the fellow said, “Why that’s the church I go to myself.” The pastor perked up and said “That’s strange. I’ve been preaching there for five years and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you.”

The man responded, “Come on now, preacher. I didn’t say I was a fanatic.”

Healthy active people give multiple excuses for staying away from church. Missing fellowship with Christians is not a new phenomenon. We read in Hebrews 10:24 (NLT) “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”

Why does an able-bodied Christian think church is not important?

Is it that church is not potent?

Or is it that church requires: Time. Commitment to God’s family, willingness to forgive, struggling with imperfection, and depending on grace?

It has been said that if you should find the perfect church without one fault or smear, don’t join that church; you might spoil the atmosphere.

But since no perfect church exists, love the church we’re in. You and I and all of us could cause the tide to turn.

The story goes that the pastor many years ago was visiting a church member who refused to attend. He was invited into the sitting room warmed by a coal fire, like the one in the home where I was born.

The pastor renewed his invitation for his member to regularly attend church.

The man, as usual, declined, saying that he could worship God in his home just as well as he could in church.

The pastor became silent and took the hearth tongs and removed one lump of coal from the fire and placed it on the hearth. Then he renewed pleasant conversation.

In a few minutes his reluctant parishioner saw the lump of coal lose it’s red glow and grow cold on the hearth.

He smiled at his pastor and said, “I will return to services beginning this Sunday.”

God intends not only that you be encouraged by others in the congregation, but that you bring encouragement to all the others.

If you really believe that a healthy Christian should stay away from organized Christian assembly, prayerfully immerse yourself for a few days in the 10th chapter of Hebrews and find what God says about you not working within the Church, which He founded through His son, Christ Jesus.