Summary: Where are the nine? Where are all of those for whom Christ has died for? Why is the Lord’s house not filled with adoring worshippers? Let me share five reasons for attending Church:
Title: "Why I Praise Him?"
Only one returned. There had been ten lepers cleansed of their leprosy, why is that only one returned to say thank you to Jesus? The statistic and question could be asked each Sunday as we await worshipers to return to Church on the Lord’s Day to give him praise. Where are the nine? Where are all of those for whom Christ has died for? Why is the Lord’s house not filled with adoring worshippers?
Before we address that question, let me begin this message with some thoughts on how that leprosy is similar in every way to the effect of sin in our lives.
How sin effects the sinner:
1. It demotes you.
"You will become the man you have despised."
The Jews despised the Samaritans, and the Samaritans despised the Jews. But in this leprous colony, both Jew and Samaritan were equally plagued and grouped together with the same disease. Sin is not a respecter of persons. Sin will make a rich man a poor man and a poor man a poorer man.
2. It enslaves you.
A leper had to live in a leper’s colony. He was accepted no where else.
3. It isolates you.
Family and friends can no longer be a part of your existence.
4. It humbles you.
A leper had to cry out "Unclean, unclean, I am unclean." These ten lepers cried out for mercy when Jesus approached them.
5. It will kill you.
Leprosy is cancer on the outside of your body. Slowly and painfully the skin falls off the body leaving one exposed to the elements and eventual death.
Now, for the heart of the message:
Why come should the nine have come back and given God praise?
If I could have preached to the nine lepers that did not return to Christ and thank him, the following is the message that I would have preached to them: Why return to Christ and give him praise?
1. Because of what he has done for you.
Actually, returning to Christ was not even out of the way for the lepers. Christ had told them to go and show themselves to the priest. Was not Christ himself a high priest after the order of Melchisedec?
I would also have reminded them of the first five points of this message! We owe Christ a great debt!
Certainly Christ went "out of his way" for us when he came to this earth to become the scapegoat for our sins! It is too much to ask that a person set aside time each week and attend the house of worship?
2. Because God expects it of you.
By a quick study of the text, it seems to imply that Christ caused his twelve disciples to stay put after sending the ten lepers away. He seems to have been waiting for these ten lepers to return.
God waits for the praise of his children. Just as the greeters of your Church stand outside the doors of the Church awaiting those who come each Sunday, Christ waits patiently for those for whom he has rescued to come to him with thanksgiving and praise.
3. It is least that you could do.
No one should have had to tell the nine lepers to turn around and go to Christ. Returning with praise should have been obvious. Attending Church on the Lordâs Day should be just as obvious!
4. It is most that you could do.
The leper, who did return in our text, did not put on a new set of clothes. He came still wearing his leprous rags. Christ did not require money. The gift of salvation can be purchased without money and price!
The greatest thing that you can do for the Lord, is for you to live your life adorned in the garment of praise!
5. Because there is so much more.
God will bless you with more, until you have become thankful for that with which he has already blessed you. It is true that the nine had been cleansed of their leprosy, but the leper who returned was also blessed by Christ declaring that he had been made whole. Heaven would become his inheritance by faith.
So many people only call upon the Lord when they are in their darkest moments of despair. For them, God is the spare tire. When all else fails, they pray.
God wants to be more than just a "Get out of Jail free" card. God has a "Community Chest" full of daily blessings.
Heaven itself is at the domain of those who have learned to praise him!