Why Is God’s House Emptier Today Than Yesterday? (Part 1)
“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.“
As the missionaries go out into the “bush” or foreign field, we back at home are faced with the dilemma with ever declining church membership and attendance. Even in local church sanctioned ministries we are still affected with the decline of church attendance and slumping worship service participation. We, as conservative Christians, have noticed that even the contemporary non-traditional churches aren’t exempt from this epidemic. Seeing these trends, we must conclude that it isn’t the presentation but the message itself. We further conclude that since the gospel message is the power of God unto salvation, then it must be the hearts and minds of mankind.
I believe that our text, above, will shed some light upon the subject and make us aware of the condition of man’s hearts. I find five things that clue us into the conditions as to why people began declining to attend:
“Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them:I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
This week I will cover the five excuses that people present when they object to attending the house of God and how to overcome them with scripture.
- There Is No Knowledge Of How Quickly Things Are Changing
- They Are Too Busy With Business & Work
- They Have Personal Matter That Are More Important
- They Make An Idol Of Their Families
- They All Have Misplaced Priorities
Join us as we learn “Why Is God’s House Emptier Today Than Yesterday?”
I. There Is No Knowledge Of How Quickly Things Are Changing
Last week I spoke to a young man that made a mockery of my church attendance. He was inferring that since the world is so bad, that nothing would change this world and church attendance was no good. I said that “Yes, your right!!!” Puzzled he looked at me and said “right about what”? I said “this world is going down the drain and very quickly and there is nothing that anyone, on this planet, can do about.” I said “However, the church will not even change anything but the God that we worship inside the church can change it, if we ask Him to in His house.” That opened the door to speaking about current events; which led to a presentation of the gospel. He didn’t trust church but he understood the gospel and where I came from and where I was going.
In our text, we see that the bible says “A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.” The bible tells us one important clue with five words: “For All Things Are Now Ready.” The bible tells us that all things were ready at that time and the people that were bidden or invited to the supper were surprised caught off guard when they quickly appeared.
Today many people are taken off guard when they see the world changing. Don’t believe me? Look back in time 20 years. What has changed? How has crime evolved? Has respect from children to elders improved? Has it become easier to make a living? Has violence increased or decreased? If you’re honest and keep up with current events you will see that all of these events have become increasingly worse. What does all of this mean?
People Are Afraid To Trust Because Society Has Become So Bad
No one trusts anyone because we have seen in the news that people that seemly are trustworthy have dirty and nasty evil sides and that frightens people. Especially with active shooter situations in densely populated places, to include houses of worship, people are high alert.
How do we combat this obstacle? I usually ask people if they attend work, goto the grocery store or take their children to school or sporting events. Usually the answer that I receive is yes, we do those things. I find that people will do things that are important to them or that are priorities. Our job is to ensure that we let the world know that Jesus is a priority! He will only become a priority once we make Him that way in our lives and present Him in a way that people see Him that way.
The signs are everywhere that tell us that Jesus is coming soon. There are things in this world now that indicate the end of time is coming very soon. The question today is are you alerting this world of how quickly things are changing? You don’t have to scare the life out of them but it is urgent and important that we tell them that things are changing. This week as we discuss this issue we will learn new and exciting techniques to compel them to come into God’s house. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.