Attending church for the wrong reasons!

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Excuses why people won't attend weekly!

 

Following Jesus For Wrong Reasons

We will now focus our attention on people who thought they were saved, but Jesus stated they were lost. Everywhere the Lord went, thousands followed Him. In John 6 we read the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 who were following Him for the wrong reason. Jesus charged them, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate loaves, and were filled" v26. Here we have people who were following Jesus for totally wrong reasons. They were only interested in a free meal. Jesus tried to correct this problem by saying, "I am the bread of life who came down out of heaven" v41. This was too much for them to accept. Yes, they viewed Jesus as a great teacher, but how could He claim to be divine? How could he have come down out of heaven? This they rejected. Jesus tried to teach them that the only reason they should follow him was not for bread, but because they believed He was the divine son of God. The end of this story is found in v66, "As a result of His words, many of Jesus disciples withdrew, and were not walking with him any more." 5000 left Jesus. Only about twelve remained. Today, if a minister caused a similar drop in church attendance, he would be fired on the spot. Yet Jesus deliberately repelled the 5000 because they were following Him for the wrong reasons. Unlike many religious leaders today, Jesus was interested in quality not numbers!

 

Attending For The Wrong Reasons

It is truly sad that modern churches use cheap gimmicks to get people to attend. The church service has been changed from heart-felt worship to Hollywood style entertainment complete with special effects. Churches that once focused on good Bible study classes, now compete against one-another like businesses for new members. In an attempt to increase numbers, they advertise pot-lucks, dinner theatres, bake sales, soup kitchens, bingo, camping trips, exercise classes and various support groups ... things which have nothing to do with religion or the Bible. If it brings in the numbers, they will do it. Yes, these churches are full every Sunday, but most members would quit if the "cake and ice cream" that initially attracted them were no longer offered. There are many people today who attend church because they are "bread seekers" rather than genuine Christ seekers. Is the reason why you attend with your church listed below?

26 Wrong Reasons to Attend With A Specific Local Church

They teach pre-martial sex or homosexuality is OK

Ethnic, language or race similarities

You really like the preacher: dynamic or handsome

Church building is large & beautiful

Support groups & exercise classes

Its where your parents attended

Its the church you got married in

Midweek daycare for your children

They have a popular TV program

Building is geographically convenient

Craft classes & lady’s tea afternoons

Family social evenings & youth groups

Monetary & food gifts for members

They run a 'Christian' public school

You agree with their political views

Summer camping retreats offered

You are dating one of their members

Opportunity for business contacts

Musical programs and dinner theaters

Bingo, raffles and bazaars

The people are friendly and loving

The church needs me

important or influential people attend

The services are exciting

Large (or small) number of members who attend

Only members get to use the Auditorium for weddings.

 

The ultimate excuse for not attending didn't work on Jesus!

Imagine that you asked the boss for the day off to attend your father's funeral, and he refused. You might consider him so unreasonable that you might quit on the spot. Of any excuse in all of society, the death of a parent is always accepted. It is the ultimate excuse! It works every time ... except on Jesus. One man actually used the death of his father as an excuse to put off becoming a Christian. Luke 9:59 says, "Jesus said to another, 'Follow Me,' but the man replied, `Permit me first to go and bury my father.' Then Jesus answered back, `Allow the (spiritually) dead to bury the (physically) dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God. "' Do you consider the Lord unreasonable for refusing to allow this man to bury his father? Jesus replied in other words, "If you are going to use the death of your father as an excuse to put off making me Lord of your life, then no, I will not allow you to bury your father." Jesus Himself attended funerals so He was not against funerals as such. This man was using the occasion as an excuse to delay becoming a Christian. Now, if Jesus didn't accept the "ultimate excuse" what do you think Jesus will say about your excuses when you forsake the assembly? The truth is that people who habitually forsake the assembly do not have Jesus as the Lord of their life. For Jesus to be our Lord we must obey Him in all things, not just those we choose.

12 Excuses why people forsake the assembly (Heb 10:25)

Too busy or tired with work or school

Weekly attendance is not important

Rather do some work around the house

Jesus doesn't expect me to attend

Rather go shopping or go to the cottage

Guests visiting for the weekend

Christ is important ...Not the church

Hard to form the habit of assembling

Would rather sleep in

Organized religion is corrupt

I must work every Sunday

Attendance causes family tension

 

A Lifetime Commitment

When we talk about lifetime commitment, we usually think about marriage. Yet the national divorce rate is 50% in spite of the fact that both parties have vowed to stay together, "for better or worse, till death do us part." What Jesus requires of His followers greatly exceeds the commitment of marriage. Many today have broken their spiritual vows!

Jesus talked with a man who wanted to break his commitment to God. Luke 9:61-62 records the conversation, "Another man said `I will follow you, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.' But Jesus replied 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." When you plow a field by hand, you must not look behind you or else you will create a zag in the furrow. This man was already following Jesus. His hand was already on the plow of the kingdom, but he looked back to his former life before he became a Christian. Notice that the man didn't say he wanted to quit following Jesus forever, only that he wanted to quit long enough to say goodbye to his family.

 

Evidence Jesus was a WOOD carpenter:

1.      The English Bible generally translates tekton as CARPENTER.

a.       Remember, tekton is a generic word for a constructor or builder and nothing more.

2.      Justin Martyr: “When Jesus came to the Jordan, therefore, being considered the son of Joseph the carpenter, and having no comeliness, as the Scriptures affirmed, He was thought to be a carpenter (for, when He was on earth He used to work as a carpenter, making ploughs and yokes, and thereby giving us symbolic lessons of the necessity of leading a just and active life)” (Justin, Dialogue 88)

a.       Justin calls Jesus a wood carpenter who built ploughs and yokes, both of which are needed for plowing soil in preparation for sewing the seed.

3.       If Jesus manufactured wooden yokes and plows for oxen in tilling the ground in preparation for planting seed, he was a first hand expert in these areas.

a.       Jesus understood first hand how to carve yoke to the perfect dimensions to ensure the two oxen work optimally together as one force.

b.       Jesus was an expert in getting oxen to plow strait furrows since he needed to understand the exact angle and pitch of the plow blade.

c.       Jesus understood directly that throwing seed on plowed ground would yield a higher crop output than sewing the seed on hard unplowed ground where the birds would easily eat the seed.

4.       It was very powerful for Him to say, “Take my yoke upon you” as a spiritual metaphor while holding an actual wooden yoke he made and sold for oxen.

a.       "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”" (Matthew 11:28–30)

5.       Jesus was an expert in how to make a plow turn strait furrows:

a.       "But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”" (Luke 9:62)

b.       If you look back while plowing you create a crooked zag in the furrow.

6.       Jesus understood, first hand, the parable of the sower and the parable of the tares.

 

Conclusion:

Being a Christian is a lifetime commitment. There are no excused for not attending church every Sunday. Be the good seed that lasts till death and brings forth 100 fold produce for God!  

 

Steve Rudd

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