25 May ARE YOU THE CHURCH OR JUST COMING?
People have confusion of what it means to be a member of a church or to come to church. That is why every weekend we see large numbers of people attending church, who we presume are Christians, and the most terrible thing is that almost every person who attends a church believes they are saved, forgetting a very precise teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, in fact, the most precious sermon ever taught.
Let us remember what Matthew 7:21-23 says: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and work many miracles in your name? 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.”
Jesus is speaking to people who believe they are saved, to people who claim to do miracles, who prophesy, who cast out demons, who claim to be Christians. What is the danger of believing to be a Christian, of attending a church, but really not being one? Well, verse 23 explains it clearly. One day we are going to be in the presence of God, and we could get our list of what we have done inside the church and it is possible that the Lord will say “I never knew you; get away from me, you evildoers”.
The danger is too great for two kinds of people. The first type of person is for those who are involved in the church, serving, doing things, serving in a ministry, teaching, or being a small group leader but not being saved.
The second group of people are those who think that just because they attend church, or have prayed a prayer of faith, is enough to say that they are saved. Well I don’t want to question anyone’s salvation, but if we go to church, if we give, but we are not being discipled, if we are not serving, if our lives have not been transformed, if we are not on a path of sanctification, if we see that our life is the same today as it was a few years ago, it means that nothing has happened in our life, it is just that we attend a church every Sunday. We attend when we have nothing else to do on Sunday, when there is no birthday to celebrate or a soccer game or sport to watch, or any other activity to attend.
Remember that Jesus’ commandment is according to what Matthew 28 says: 19 “Go and make disciples of all nations” This call is for all of us who have understood the problem of man, our condition (sinners separated from God), to understand who God is (holy and just), that we have repented of our sins, that we have believed in the sacrifice of Jesus and that we are on a path of growth in the knowledge of the scripture, a path of sanctification every day and that as disciples, we are prepared to go and make disciples, bringing them the good news.
A true disciple is someone who, after they have repented and put their faith in the perfect work of Jesus, are growing in the knowledge of the scriptures. That is, they attend a small group, they grow, they put the scriptures into practice, they understand that Jesus ordered them to be baptized, and as a step of obedience they are baptized, not to be saved, but to obey and glorify God. Baptism is the step of obedience where the person gives a testimony that he has repented of his sins and believed in the work of Jesus who died on the cross of Calvary and paid for our sins, and will walk in new life according to what Romans 6:4 says.
There are people who attend a Christian church, but do not want to have any relationship with other people in the church, they just attend and nothing more. There are those who say they do not attend church, because the church is full of hypocrites, or people have had some problem with another Christian and don’t want to talk to them anymore. How can they say they love God, whom they have not seen, and not love their brother, whom they know?
Serving or being involved in a ministry is no guarantee. I have seen people who after many years of attending church and serving, have realized that they are not saved.
If you are the kind of person who attends church, but doesn’t disciple, whose life has not been transformed, you’re not walking in sanctification, there’s hatred or resentment against your brother for something he did to you four or five years ago and you haven’t reconciled with him, it may be time to examine your heart. If you are the kind of person who only goes to church when he can, or who doesn’t go to church because you say you don’t need to relate to anyone, if you don’t want to meet with others, it may be time to examine your heart and turn to our Creator.
2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.”
TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION. 2 Peter 3:9 “But he is patient with us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
It’s one thing to go to church, it’s quite another to BE THE CHURCH. It is to be part of the body, a member of the body, with different gifts, to be used within the body and where there is a head – Jesus.