I have not always pastored churches. During the time that I was in seminary I simply taught Sunday school and assisted in the evangelism ministries of a local church. In the rough and toughness of those years I learned a new appreciation for the sheep that I would pastor. I worked odd hours at a grocery store to get by. I do not remember missing any church in those years, and I do not remember wanting to miss church during any of those years. I have never been tempted to move my membership to “Bedside Baptist.”
I do not mind the label “legalist.” I have been called it before and will probably be slandered with it again; therefore, allow me to boldly proclaim that church attendance is a significant measurement of your spiritual health and maturity. If you are missing church then you are missing out. The Bible warns us against missing church (Hebrews 10:25). I find many Christians who were once burning brightly for the Lord barely have a flickering candle to offer. They apologetically glance to the sunset and proclaim what faithful church growers they USED to be. They now frequently and habitually attend “Bedside Baptist.”
This “church” offers all the comforts of home at home. It may offer a TV sermon, or it may not. It is a poor, pitiful, and unbiblical alternative to the fellowship of the saints. Please do not get me wrong. Just because someone is in church every time the doors are open is no fail proof test that they are saved. I find it so sad that people that never go to church claim to have fellowship with my Jesus. Luke 4:16 tells us it was Jesus’ custom to be in the synagogue. Our Lord did not skip out on church. So, why should we? Beloved, if your “faith” will not get you out of bed, what makes you think that it will get you out of hell? A “Christianity” that costs nothing will gain you nothing. “Cheap grace” and “easy believism” is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We had better stop being delayers and start being disciples. A so-called Christianity that does not demand that you carry a cross is not the true Gospel.
“Bedside Baptist” is full every Sunday. In it you can sacrifice to the gods of idleness, laziness, and irresponsibility. Let me give you an invitation. Come back to church. You are not allowed to love Jesus and hate church. The church is the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5). You cannot claim a relationship with the Groom and despise the bride. Vacate Bedside Baptist and return to the church where the Bible is faithful proclaimed. Stop avoiding people. Stop avoiding conviction. Come back. You will be glad you did. Jesus misses you and you are missing out.