Make Up Your Mind. Why Come to Church?

By Pr Ay Nee Ng

Two children around the age of 4 were talking with each other. One of them asked the other, “Are you related to anyone famous?” The other little chap responded: “I don’t want to brag, but I heard Dad calling God his father”.

Who is your heavenly Father? In April 2016, I received the following article from a very dear friend who passed away a month later. Paul Geh accepted Jesus Christ into his life at a late age of 60. What took him so long was his involvement with freemasonry, which he later renounced. He spent nearly 20 good years to building his faith and loving God. These years brought many changes in his life, his dear wife and his family. Years of rebuilding and restoration!

Why Go to Church?

If you’re spiritually alive, you’re going to love this!
If you’re spiritually dead, you won’t want to read it.
If you’re spiritually curious, there is still hope!

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper & complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. ‘I’ve gone for 30 years  now,’ he wrote, ‘& in that time I have heard something like  3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time & the preachers & priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.’

This started a real controversy in the ‘Letters to the Editor’s column. Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: “I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu fora single one of those meals. But I do know this:  They all nourished me & gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”

Folks, when you are down to nothing, God is up to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical and spiritual nourishment! If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all!

B. I. B. L. E. simply means: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth! There is a need to know more about the Bible, the Word of God. It has to be read! We are to be instructed and corrected by the Word; there are promises of hope and a future in His Word.

Where Do We Go to Be Taught the Word of God?
Some go to spiritual conferences, life groups, friends, and the Church. The more you put the Word of God inside, the more you want to give outside, that is, to serve others. Church is such a place where we can serve and praise God. Your local church is important to your well-being. If I were to ask you, “What is work to you?” What would your answer be? Maybe it will be like this:

  • It is bread and butter to me.
  • It gives me a sense of achievement.
  • I need to work or else boredom is kill me!

What about God? Without Him in our lives, our bread and butter fade away and our achievements become wall plaques in our homes and offices. Like the little boy who says that his family is related to someone famous because his dad calls God his Father, do we also know this famous God? Do we have that kind of relationship? Where can we find it? The answer is the Church—church-going believers!

Why Do You Come to Church?
What is the sole purpose for coming to church? Do we realize it is for building God’s kingdom and growing strong? Are there many reasons we come to church?

Do we come because we need fellowship and friendship?
Do we come because someone said so?
Do we come seeking to find happiness and fulfilment in life?
Do we come seeking to find some answers to lots of questions in our life?
Do we come to find faults with the pastors and the church or to put a charm on the church?
Do we come to find God?

What Do God’s People Think About Church?
Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.
– Dwight L. Moody

The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God.
– C.S. Lewis

Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults.
– John Calvin

What Is Church About?

1. The Church is more than an institution. Church is about souls seeking for truth! It is about people, not a building. It is made up of people that are alive; some seeking, others lost, and the majority in need. You and I make up the Church. “But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope” (Heb. 3:6).

2. The true Church can never fail for it is based upon the Rock. It is life giving. “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). “Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-22).

3. Church is about building us up together. It is where we grow, nourishing and supporting each other and receiving fresh direction, correction and instruction on living in this world. “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” Eph. 2:22).

4. Church is about encouraging each other and having fellowship with one another. “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:25).

5. The Church is the flock of Jesus Christ. Our lives are based on what Jesus Christ has done for us. His blood was shed; Jesus paid the price of death for our sins and His resurrection of life gave us all hope as He conquered death. In Him we have eternal life. “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).

So Why Come to Church?
Regular church attendance is extremely valuable. Church, it is very important and should be practiced by anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. A Christ-follower needs to regularly attend church. Not counting the times that you might miss for vacation, sickness or a particular work commitment, you should be in church. Hebrews 10:25 speaks on this, saying: “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near”. It is a necessity! We can’t do without it!

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to persevere in many areas. One of the most vital ones is, as Hebrews 10:25 points out, being in fellowship with other believers, not with non-believers, but other believers. We are not given any background information on why some believers had abandoned fellowship with other believers, as in the habit of some. Perhaps they feared persecution, or perhaps they were offended by Gentile worshippers. Perhaps they simply didn’t recognize the significance and necessity of fellowship for growth in their Christian walk.

Church isn’t something that you and I do individually but collectively. To be a follower of Christ isn’t just about what you do by yourself; it is also about what you do together with other people. We are what the Bible calls the “family of God”. A family is, by its very nature, inter-dependent. We aren’t independent of each other. Being part of a local church means you’re inter-dependent with other people in your church.

There are strong reasons why you should come to church regularly. The sole reason to come to church is to seek God. His love compels us to want more of Him so that we are transformed in His likeness. The purpose isn’t to stay in the status quo but to be changed forever for building His kingdom.

Having been trained in the Jewish religious law, the Apostle Paul had been an angry and violent man toward those who followed Christ (Acts 9:1-2). After being transformed by Christ, the tangled wreckage of his angry past was transformed into the love of Christ for others (2 Cor. 5:14-17). (Dennis Fisher, Our Daily Bread, 1 May, 2016).

Do our lives reflect changes since we accepted the Lord? How about since we started coming to church?

Christ love compels us. “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on, we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to God through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:14-17).

So why come to church? In short, we come to church:
1. Because Jesus does it and the Bible tells us so. As new born babies in Christ, we follow His example;
2. For our very existence and for vital growth in our spiritual walk with God. It is a necessity so we can be healthy and alive;
3. To gain understanding on our salvation, which is our strength and a song in our lives;
4. To have fellowship together, which offers support and encouragement to each other (Heb. 10:25);
5. To help each other to successfully persevere in difficult times (Heb. 10:36);
6. To spur one another on toward love and good works (Heb. 10:24);
7. To hang on to hope when life gets crazy (Heb. 10:23);
8. To move forward till our Lord Jesus Christ’s return—The Day—offering the love, support and assurance each one of us needs.

That’s why we come to SGC. We are a family of God, stoking, poking and plodding each one on to the finish race. We are a called a cell church, that is, a church where, in the life groups, each of us is mentored, built and encouraged to move on in faith and wholeheartedly serve others in the church. It is about having commitment whether we have work, studies, or other commitments. Weare committed to come to church and grow together to build God’s kingdom. Wondering why you aren’t growing now? Think about it.

Coming to the church is about discipleship, mentoring, and service with love and commitment! I want to see you every Sunday ready to serve because the Church isn’t about yourself as an individual but all of us. It isn’t about what we each can get from it but what we can give. It is a safe place for you to mature in your giftings.

Lord, bless Sydney Gateway Church that we can all grow to the next level of faith, stoking, praying and encouraging one another to the finish line, and draw the crowds in that they too may be saved.
Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen