On Apostasy: Not Attending Church?

Recently, we are more frequently in contact with people who have become hopeless and avoid attending church. They’re turning their backs on many confusing, wrong, vapid messages and useless, phony doctrines.

Yes, there is something to the recent apostasy we see and the fulfillment of many prophecies. Remember what Jesus said in John 6:66, for instance.  Who will turn away? Who will continue to follow?

Consider the privilege of of being alive to witness to such things.

Then Jesus turned to the disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Luke 10:23-24.

We are a blessed generation, watchmen on the walls. And we are not being caught unaware.

But rather than drifting away from church, we should always be obedient to the charge given by the Apostle Paul:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb 10:24-25

Why is the search for true fellowship so fruitless? Why should we continue to associate with hypocrites? Why?

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.” Deuteronomy 25:17-18

Church Apostasy is rampant. Just watch TBN. In one sense we find ourselves alone in our understanding, alone in our perception of current events and attitudes. In another sense, we must be in contact with the family of God. Even when – perhaps especially when – it’s messy.

Jesus says:

“For I have come to turn ‘A man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me Luke 10:35-37

Who was Jesus talking about?

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Mt. 12: 48-50

Why “fellowship” in churches and with people who are “turning away?”

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Gal. 6:1

** NOTE: The word “caught” means to be “ensnared” …which is to be hopelessly entangled. Unable to free oneself.  In this instance “caught” does not mean “You’re busted! Ha, Ha!!”

So, attending services is not about what we get out of being there. Here’s a good rule of thumb:

“If I go, anything can happen. If I don’t go, for certain nothing will happen.”

What are we hoping for in our attending?  It’s not about confronting wrong.

We are a lamp on a stand that people come inside to see, a shining city on hill that attracts those out in the dark, cold wilderness.

We are prepared to answer to people who ask; we do not provoke. It is our “hope” we testify to. We don’t give an exegesis, proofs and show off our “Bible thumper” skills. We are compassionate and empathetic manifesting the love of Christ.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15

That verse is among the most misused, mischaracterized scriptures we know of…

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Ro. 10:14

That word “preacher” is not the usage we know. It is “Herald”.  Isn’t that something like be a lamp, being a shining city on a hill? “Here is Jesus, He’s the way…”

“Preacher” translated from “kēryssō”:

  • To be a herald, to officiate as a herald, to proclaim after the manner of a herald always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed, to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done.
  • It is used of the public (and private!) proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers

There is a component of our faith that requires sharing what we know. What an awful and glorious duty … and we are blessed to be serving in these days.

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