Faith & Insight: Are you turned off by church?
God said to his people they were to “remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” Is that Fourth Commandment really all that necessary today? One pastor told me 35 percent of his people were gone each Sunday. If they are God’s people, where are they? Is Sunday really a day of rest? Is it really the Lord’s day? Why should you go to church?
In Psalm 122 David wrote, “I was glad when they said to me; Let us go to the house of the Lord. Our feet have been standing in your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem — built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they be secure who love You. Peace be within your walls and security within your towers. For my brothers and companions sake I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek Your good.”
When King David wrote this psalm — he was invited to go to church by someone. David said, “I rejoiced with those who said to me; let us go to the house of the Lord.” Does that sound like someone who was turned off by church? David got excited because he was invited. Why was David fired up about the thing so many people are turned off by today? David couldn’t wait to get there. David gives six reasons to go to church in Psalm 122.
1. David liked being with God’s people. “That is where my tribe goes …” If you are one of God’s children you should want to be around believers who want to worship God. Loving God and loving God’s people go together.
2. David wanted to honor God. “To give thanks to the name of the Lord.” Showing up with other believers honors God. God notices your presence among believers who are giving thanks to him. There’s no one who doesn’t want the attention of God. God promises to draw near to you when you draw near to him.
3. David wanted to do what God asked him to do. “As was decreed for Israel.” God asked his people to not give up meeting together. God wants his people to gather together to worship him. That is the will of God.
4. David wanted peace for those who love God. “May those who love You have peace.” David wanted good things for God’s people. He wanted them to find peace at the house of God. God wants that for you today!
5. David wanted peace because God’s people were his family and friends. “For the sake of my family and friends.” David cared about the people he worshiped with. He cared about his family and friends.
6. David committed himself to the prosperity of the house of God. What you really care about is what you really become committed about. God is pleased when his people put worshipping him a priority in their lives.
Why not give church a chance in your life? Find a Bible believing church and go. Go with an open mind. Go expecting to hear from God. Go with the attitude to honor God. Go to please God. Go to meet with God.
Ben Fleming is the pastor of Silver Hills Community Church.