The Southeast is known as the Bible belt. Churches are everywhere, but most are filled with empty seats. Seventy-five percent of all who live around us attend none of them. This is largely a reflection of churches not adjusting their approach to more effectively reaching out to this ever changing culture. Gone are the days that people just show up at church, but we must go to them.
After a three year break from the pulpit, I understand the value of the local church more than ever before. I’ve seen firsthand the effect it has on those around us. Every believer needs a church home. A place they can belong and a place they can become all that God created them to be. Here are some reasons I still believe in the church today.
#1: Jesus Is The Answer. Two thousand years later, Jesus is still the answer to this life and the life to come. Whether a person is 7 or 77, Jesus is still the key to hope. Without Jesus the storms of life will continue to overwhelm you. Without Jesus, the grave will always be something to be feared. Without Jesus, life just simply isn’t worth living. The church still has the greatest gift ever given to man and His name is Jesus. Sharing Jesus with those around us should always be the most important thing on the agenda. “For God so love the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
#2: God’s Word Never Changes. In a world full of empty promises, God’s word can still be trusted. From Genesis to Revelation we discover words of life. Despite it being the dustiest book in most homes, it remains the greatest book ever written. The Bible has answers to all of life’s biggest questions. God’s word sheds light in a dark world. Every word is God breathed and useful for guiding us all in the way we should go.
#3: People Are Desperate. People are hungrier than ever for the truth and a hope that will last. Many have lost their jobs, their family, and watched their earthly dreams go up in smoke. People are desperate for what the church has to offer. Eternal love, grace, forgiveness, truth, and a life they just can’t have apart from Jesus Christ. The church must find ways to get God’s message to the people. This requires getting outside the church walls, loving people on their front porch, and sharing Jesus with a lost and hurting world.
#4: It’s Never Too Late. This world will use you, abuse you, and throw you to the curve to die. Jesus waits with open arms for those who feel worthless, unlovable, and like life just can’t change. We serve a God who is in the business of turning hearts around and taking people places they never dreamed possible. (2 Corinthians 5:17) “If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation.” Jesus didn’t come to condemn this world, but to resurrect souls that were once were dead. It’s never too late to change and we must see everyone person we pass through God’s eyes.
#5: God Is Still God. Man did not create the church. God created the church as a place where believers can come together to be encouraged, challenged, and together a part of something much bigger than ourselves. Many don’t realize that when they take part in a church they are part of an eternal operation. We are God’s hands, feet, and mouth piece in a world He still loves dearly. God created the church, God is for the church, and God will bless the church when it’s operating in a way that brings Him glory.