It’s obvious; the world has trouble with the church. For those who belong to the world, two messages prevail. The first is “Get what you can and keep it for yourself.” The second is like it, “Do what you want, when you want.” Of course these messages are contrary to the gospel; therefore, the world has trouble with the church.
Sadly, it often seems even Christians have trouble with the church. Two more statements bear witness to this. The first is, “I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian.” The second is like it; “I experience God in my own way.” Such statements are contrary to scripture. It’s for this reason I say even Christians have trouble with the church.
The difficulty is, the unchurched see little, if any appreciable difference in the way Christians live their lives. Too often, Christians, especially those who go it alone, fall into the trap of conforming their life to a pattern of societal norms rather than the biblical witness. We do what we want, when we want. We get as much as we can get and keep it for ourselves. It’s no wonder the world has trouble with the church.
All people are sinners and face temptations. Even the most devout and spiritual Christians need to be encouraged in their faith. Thinking you can remain faithful on your own is perhaps Satan’s most potent weapon. By ourselves, we are easy prey for the powers that defy God.
Peter exhorts the church, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” 1 Peter 2:16. The community of faith is the Christian’s sure defense against the tempter’s power. The very nature of being Christian means we worship together, live in fellowship and strengthen one another in faith.
Strengthen your Church, O Lord, that we may live in faith. Amen.