Today’s article is directed toward people who are not Christian. God is calling through the good news of Jesus of Nazareth to accept the gift of salvation. Therefore, I am inviting you to come to a Christian church to accept Jesus as your lord and savior. I really do pray that you will go to any of the more than 200 Christian churches in Liberty County. I know you would be welcome at any of them.
Today’s article is also written for Christians who are not attending a church. God is calling you to join a congregation. When you become an active servant within the body of Christ, i.e. the church, you are better equipped to serve God and humanity.
If you do not want to be a Christian or go to church, I am sure you have a valid reason. In Acts 22:16, Ananias asked Saul (who eventually became the Apostle Paul), “And now what are you waiting for?” This question is what I pose to you: What are you waiting for?
I’ve heard many excuses, such as “I will do it later, when I am older.” This excuse shows no intent to draw closer to God. When you are 12, you are too young. At 20, you are too smart. At 30, you are too happy. At 40, you are too busy. At 50, you are too tired. At 60, you are too worried. When you are older than 70, you are too old! I have discovered that no matter what age we are, death comes unexpectedly. When death arrives, it is too late. Would you delay if you knew there was a bomb in your house? Of course not, so why are you waiting now?
Here’s another excuse: “I don’t know enough.” This shows that you understand the spiritual growth process, but your knowledge is limited because you have little or no faith. There are several biblical accounts where there was a spiritual conversion after only one lesson. The Ethiopian in Acts 8 and Apostle Paul are two of them. They did not know it all, but stepped out on faith in God to be guided by Him into the future. I have several theological degrees from reputable seminaries, but I still do not know it all. I discover new things about God every day! You know enough to begin growing in faith. So what are you waiting for?
How about this one: “I have to wait until I am living the Christian life.” If you buy this excuse, then you misunderstand the Christian life. No Christian acts like a mature Christian from the start anymore than a baby can solve quantum physics problems. The Christian life is about learning, practicing and transforming. You cannot be a Christian without Christ anymore than you can live the Christian life without Christ. Why is it that you are waiting?
Another excuse, “the church is filled with hypocrites,” may be true, but hypocrites are everywhere. They do not stop you from going to work, to a store, to a restaurant or to your place of recreation. I perceive that the choice is to spend a few years in the church with some hypocrites or spend eternity in hell with all of the hypocrites. To me, this is a “no-brainer” decision. Therefore, why let a few hypocrites stand between you and God?
So, what was it that is causing you to wait?
I know there are other excuses that I did not list. However, I hope you understand the point: There really are no valid excuses for not becoming a Christian or getting actively involved in a church. I pray that you will stop using excuses for waiting. I hope that you will be empowered by God to accept Christ as lord and savior then become active in a church. God — through Christ, the Holy Spirit and the many Christian churches — stands ready to help you. Get up! Go to church! Earnestly begin your walk with God today!
May the love, grace and mercy of God the father, the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ the son and the most awesome power of the Holy Spirit go with you now and forevermore. Amen!
Wright is the senior pastor of Hinesville First United Methodist Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.