Summary: There is a danger in going to church and leaving without truly having church in them. Church is not something you go to, serve or become a member of. That is not what church is. Church isn't somewhere you go, but something you are...seven days a week!
STOP GOING TO CHURCH
Scripture Reference: Psalm 92:12-15
Preached at Mount Zion Baptist Church on March 10, 2019
Delivered by Rev. John Daniel Johnson
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A couple of Summer’s ago, I was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Pike County, Alabama. During the Summer, while my girls were out of school for Summer Break, we’d often ride the ATV’s down the local convenience store and have lunch at the deli. Now at this time, I’d been the pastor of Ebenezer for nearly five years. While my little family was sitting at the table in the store having lunch, I overheard a couple of older men talking. They were talking about religion. As I listened to them, I almost had to laugh as they talked about a few of the churches in the area and some of the members of those churches. I had about as much as I could take of their criticism of the local churches. I asked the men if they went any of the local churches in the area. The first man replied, “Nope, there ain’t no good ones around here.” The other man replied, “Yes sir young man, I go to church at Ebenezer.” My face lit up and I begin to grin ear to ear. Then I replied, “I’ve been looking for a good church to go to in the community.” Then I asked, “Are you a deacon there?” He replied, “No.” I asked again, “Are you a teacher there, server there, in the choir there???” Again he replied, “No.” I even asked who the preacher was, it took him a minute, but stated one of the former preachers of the church who had sadly passed away nearly 6 years earlier. The Holy Spirit spoke boldness into me and I stated, “You belong to a church that you aren’t a deacon, a teacher, a choir member, or even serve in. You also attend a church that the preacher had been dead for six years.” It is time you “Stop Going to Church.”
The Biggest Danger—
There is a danger in going to church and leaving without having church in them. I want to tell you the LORD’s greatest will for mankind. I know that this statement may make some people happy, but the main concern for the LORD is not whether or not you attend church. Now that is a concern of the LORD, and we’ll discuss that topic more Wednesday Night, but that is not HIS main concern. His main concern is not whether you attend church, but if the church is in you! This morning I want to challenge you to STOP GOING TO CHURCH.
Church is not something you go to, attend or become a member of. It’s not like a country club that one pays their dues, visit a few times a year, become a member, and are considered faithful church members. No my friends. That is not what church is not somewhere you go, but something you are.
Now is attending a local congregation of believers important? Absolutely! I dare to say that if one believes that they can worship God without being a part of a local assembly is living outside the will of God and is trying to make the Bible conform to their religion.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good
works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is
the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the
more as you see the Day approaching.”
“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’
teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with
one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
This past week, I have a pastor friend who posted this saying on Facebook. The saying was, “Don't say you'll go to jail over your faith when you won't even go to church over it.” I was reading some of the comments people made about his post. One person wrote that she disagreed with the statement and stated that church attendance is not necessary and that God will not judge her because she won’t go. She then added, “I go to the Lord daily…right in my recliner.”
Church attendance is vital to stay faithful to the LORD, but there are simply far too many Christians out there who have this mistaken belief that church is just something that you go to for sixty minutes on Sunday morning (assuming the preacher doesn’t go over-time). The truth is—you don’t go to church; you are the church! The church isn’t a place; it’s people! Jesus said…