Why Is God’s House Emptier Today Than Yesterday? (Part 4)
“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 Matters 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?”
IV. They Make An Idol Of Their Families
In my experience with dealing with people, I have learned that many people build idols in their own home with the ones that we love. Yes, people will make idols of their families. I have seen this happen in three ways:
- Worship Family Time – Members of a family will make plans and schedule life events during church time with the thought of “We have to have a strong family in order to have a strong country.” When we purposefully withdraw our families from church in order to accommodate family time, we teach our children that church isn’t important.
- Worship Family Events – Families will spend time at games, events, outings and multiple special events instead of attending the house of God. For example, I know a family that will miss church from April to August on Wednesday & Sunday nights due to softball & baseball for their children. I will not say whether this is bad or good but I have noticed that this family will begin to drink and adopt worldly habits when out of church. Is this time away from church a bad influence? You decide.
- Withdrawing From Church Completely – While they have a completely logical reason to withdraw, they may do more harm than good. People withdraw from church because they have been hurt and/or mistreated. So what do they do? Leave church and attempt to have their own church.
These reasons make family members idols and make the family an idol which is their primary focus and makes God a back burner god. When we divert out attention away from our number on priority we will lose perspective and not give God His proper glory. Tomorrow, we will cover the last aspect of why people are making God’s house emptier today than yesterday. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.