I Hear all sorts of reasons as to why people stop coming to church. “The Music is too loud/not like it was when I was a kid/too old fashioned,” “You Have Children’s Church/do not have something for the teens to do during service,” “What do you mean it’s not appropriate for my child to sit in your adult Sunday School Class?” “I don’t need Church to worship God,” and many other things beside this. Don’t get me wrong, there is no perfect church, people will fail you. I WILL fail you. It’s in our nature, we don’t like it, but sometimes, we fall back in to our flesh for a moment. Yet let me challenge you: if the reasons you stop attending a local congregation have more to do with your comfort zone than what Scripture says the Church should be (and very, very few arguments I’ve heard are), maybe stop and consider this: is the Church disturbing your idols?
We may not have statues we sacrifice to nowadays, but we definitely have things we’re willing to sacrifice time with God’s people for: sports, work, our kids, our lifestyles, and so many other things. Yet, Christian, this is what you gave your life to. We cannot call Jesus our Lord, and yet live like the world. We cannot call Jesus Lord, and make Him the first of many things we follow; He must be the ONLY one we follow, and everything else in our lives must conform to Him, or be removed from our lives. Any time we have “Jesus, and this” or “Jesus and that,” we’re steeped in idolatry and we’re abandoning our first love.
So I ask again, are your idols being disturbed? Examine yourself. Are you moved more by the opinion your children have of you, or the amount of bucks you’ve shot, or the weekend getaways you can do, or the overtime pay you can receive? Anything that gets in the way of God and doing what He says is an idol. And we need to either reprioritize our lives (if our idols have to do with human attention), or outright destroy them. Otherwise, we’re doing as ancient Israel did: worshipping idols, while showing up for the Temple Worship like nothing is wrong.
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d] with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.