I will build My Church. Matthew 16:18
I want to write about hypocrites. I hear so many say that they do not go to church because it is full of hypocrites. Hypocrisy is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another or the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. I will agree that hypocrisy exists. I will also contend that this would be true within a church, but not the church because the church is "the called-out ones," the assembly of Believers, all sinners with hope. The church is a concentrated collection of Followers of Christ who sin. We all fall short. We come together to worship God, who shines the light on our sins so that we might repent.
I do believe that calling out others as hypocrites is in itself hypocritical. For whatever reason, one does not attend worship with other Believers is not because of a particular hypocrite. This gives God no credit for His goodness and grace. It is because Satan throws up blame bombs that are easy targets. We can only control our own relationship with Christ. He is worthy and working. Our focus should be on our personal walk with Christ, not another's.
When toes are stepped on, I understand that God uses others to make me aware of something. It hurts. I cannot hold my own court of eternal condemnation, though. I can and should seek what I am to learn in any given situation to improve my Father-child relationship.
When I think about why one does not attend worship, there are many excuses, and I must admit that I have had a few of them, too, over the years. For me, my sins, my hurts, whatever my excuses have been to not be in the House of the Lord, I realize that I'm truly only hurting myself and not giving God the glory for all he has done in my life.
Of course, it only matters if we have accepted Christ, to begin with. This is where the desire to overcome begins. Going back to John 3:16 assures us.
He is worthy of my praise. We can do this anywhere and all day long, and we should. There is something about that Name that should draw us together for His listening pleasure, not because of what we think or how we feel about particular situations, but because He alone is worthy!
This topic has been on my heart. I'm a sinner. I fail. I get back up, learn, and turn into the arms of the One who Is, Jesus Christ.
The Church ... The church consists of God's people. It is the assembly of believers in Jesus Christ. The physical buildings facilitate the fellowship, worship, and ministry of God's people, but it is not the church.
God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. Ephesians 1:22–23
Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the doors, and there are HIS people. Thank you, God, for the camaraderie of the group you have led me to be a part of!
Come as you are, where you are, with all your sin, suffering, hurt, and pain. Easter is here! A great place to start fresh as we grow in His Word.