I can’t understand people who don’t have a love for the church—who aren’t eager for every opportunity to worship together with other like-minded believers. I can’t understand people who go to church on Saturday nights so they don’t “mess up” their Sundays. Why are they so eager to get away from the church? Where else would they rather be?
hat’s changed. The contemporary emphasis in evangelicalism is a believer’s personal relationship to Christ. Individual faith is the pervasive theme, and rarely is there any discussion of how believers are supposed to fit into the church.
When was the last time you read a tract or heard a gospel presentation that ends with a discussion of the believer’s relationship to the church? At best there is a very low emphasis on church involvement, church membership, and being a part of the family of God in the visible, gathered household of saints.
And in the massive effort to make salvation personal, the church has been left behind and overlooked to the detriment of many souls. Too many people today tend to be ecclesiastical consumers. They’re only interested in what they can get out of their church, and they bounce from congregation to congregation as their whims and interests change. They don’t have any particular commitment or loyalty to a specific assembly of saints.
In fact, they have little to no attachment to the church at all, and are under no obligation for regular attendance—if they make it, they make it; if not, it’s no big deal.
There was a time when coming to Christ meant coming to His church. As far back as the New Testament, salvation brought you into union with the visible, gathered Body of Christ (cf. Acts 2:47). Becoming a Christian meant entering into fellowship with the people of God.
Personally Pastor/Teacher/Expositor Charles e Whisnant has a group of people at Rivers of Joy that love the fellowship of the local church