Church Corner: Not “Ready”?
Published 10:47 am Thursday, January 4, 2018
A few weeks ago, I was speaking to a gentleman about our church. I invited
him to be my guest next Sunday to which he replied, “I’ll come when I get ready.”
Get ready? Ready for what? As it turns out, this guy along with several people feel
that they are not yet worthy enough to enter God’s House on Sunday. Although if
truth be told, the church house is not really God’s House. It’s a building. That’s all
it ever has been, that’s all it ever will be. We, are the house of God
“However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the
prophet says: “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of
house will you build for me?says the Lord. Or where will my resting place
be? Has not my hand made all these things?’-Acts 7:48-50
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit
dwells in your midst? -1 st Corinthians 3:16
There are several people who feel that they need to “get their lives together
first” before they ever come to church. That means different things to different
people. Some people feel they have sin in their lives they must first get rid of
before enjoying a Sunday morning service. Some people feel that they need to
work on their own personal issues themselves before worshipping with a
congregation on the Lord’s Day. There are others, who just for whatever reason,
don’t feel “ready”.
If you share this sentiment, allow me to lovingly say to you, that you got
things backwards. Waiting to “get your life together” before going to church is like
waiting for the fever to break before going to the doctor. Common sense tells you
that going to the doctor and getting some antibiotics is what will help the fever and
the infection that is causing it, go away. That same common sense should tell you
that it is by going to church and seeing the “Great Physician”, that you get your life
together. I’ll let you in on a little secret; nowhere in the Bible does it say God
expects you to have it all together anyways. He wants you to depend on Him,
always. Not on your own understanding or ability.
If you have got sin in your life, church is where you learn how to truly
repent, leave that destructive lifestyle behind, and find true freedom. Something
powerful happens when we gather together to worship. The presence of God
manifests in a special way. Whatever personal issues you may be working through
will be brought to healing in His presence. Not only that, our brothers and sisters in
Christ can help us work through these issues.
Now, I understand that there is another side to this conversation. Perhaps as
you are reading this you are thinking to yourself, “It’s because of judgmental
church people, that I feel like I have to get my life together first before coming to
church!” I am sad to admit that some people have been made to feel as though they
HAVE to get their lives together before darkening the door of a church. If that
describes your experience with church, I apologize. I know that had to be hurtful
and even damaging to your faith.
To expect anyone to clean themselves up and get their lives together before
coming to church is a complete contradiction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At
Resurrection River, we will welcome you as you are. WE WANT TO HELP YOU
BECOME MORE LIKE CHRIST, NOT MORE LIKE US. If we had to have it all
together, put down every sin, have already worked through all personal issues
before coming to church, then I myself should not go to church. I have my share of
all of those.
Church is a place full of people in desperate need of a savior, whether those
people admit they need a savior or not. Church is where you will or at least should,
encounter grace that doesn’t say “You are bad because ______!”, but instead
declares, “Jesus paid it all…” I understand this religious and judgmental spirit has
caused you to feel like you have to get your life together, to “get ready” before
coming to church. That’s backwards. You don’t have to have it “all together”. You
just have to surrender to the Savior. You’re already “ready”, just as you are.