I am reading, hearing and seeing more and more topical sermons, studies and programs on why so many are not attending church. They all have lists, numbers, statistical findings on…. excuses.
- There are long time church members staying home.
- Families bouncing from church to church.
- Young people discouraged and looking elsewhere, even the world.
- Visitors that don’t return. All searching, hungry, looking.
Why? I have not found the answer in any list I have seen. That is because the lists are based on excuses. The writers all focus on excuses, not the reason. The reason hits too close to home. Many of them are the cause. There is only One reason. He is missing.
This is not new. John wrote of churches in His day that were found lacking, where He was missing. Only two were positive, Smyrna and Philadelphia…. 28-1/2% of the churches in his day were found faithful.
Sadly, too many of our churches in America today are becoming more like the other 71-1/2% written about in Revelation. This is the message John needed churches to hear and why God had it recorded. It is how churches are held to accountability. Many churches are a combination of more than one of the ones John wrote to; how tragic.
- Rev 2:1-7 Ephesus churches that have forsaken God as their first love
- Rev 2:12-17 Pergamum churches that need to repent
- Rev 2:18-29 Thyatira churches with false teachers/teachings
- Rev 3:1-6 Sardis churches have fallen asleep, simply exist, there is no visible life
- Rev 3:14-22 Laodicea churches that are luke warm, fence straddlers, tolerate sin to keep peace
If only the flocks had shepherds (pastors, teachers, leaders) that pointed to The Great Shepherd and led in Worship.
People are looking for worship. Only worship fills that nagging empty void. It was a place in us created by God for communion with Him, and Him alone. And the void that was created by the fall of man can ONLY be filled by restoration of communion with God. Consecrated, sanctified and humbled by the great I AM, we can approach with our hearts now humble and reverent in worship of Him. That is the hunger everyone is yearning to be sated.
There is a time and place for praise and rejoicing for all He has done. But, only after we have worshiped who He IS, the Great I AM, can we know how to praise Him fully. How can you adequately praise someOne you don’t know who He is? You must truly, reverently and in all humbleness, bow your heart before Him. El Shaddai, El Elyon…. Lord God Almighty, The Most High God.
We have a generation that feels they have worshipped God because they have “praised” Him. Through all the good feelings and emotional highs, the theatrics, lightings, gesturing and posturing they leave service fulfilled. It lasts until they get to the restaurant and everyone starts grumbling. Diluted by the world being brought in to God’s house, most have never been in a House of Worship. They will try and recharge themselves throughout the week by putting on praise songs, motivational speakers, and try to shout, clap and dance. Yet they feel empty shortly there after. They do not know how to worship the Great I AM, so their praise is as unfulfilling. They put the proverbial cart before the horse and find no success in moving towards God. Time and place, Ecclesiastes 3.
Families move from church to church searching trying different programs. Youth become delusion and leave. The elderly become more and more hungry for real worship they once knew. There is one reason – no place to Worship, no reverence, no humbling, no teaching of El Shaddai, El Elyon. All the praising of what He has done can never replace who He is, the Great I Am.