Today's Christian Religion practices are a two-edged sword. For those who live worldly lives throughout the week, the "local church" provides a place of refuge to dutifully outwardly express one's so-called faith. Equally, these manmade institutions with all their traditions and practices provide the religious minded person, the one's claiming to know Christ, a place to invest themselves in doing good things for God. Each week these two groups of people meet to either clear their conscious of the guilt of sin or serve in programs and positions to gain favorable places in the church structure. These participants share in weekly rituals that satisfy their own particular desires as they pertain to being what they consider it means to be a Christian. After the typical three or four songs, saying a short "hello how are you doing" with a hug or handshake, announcements, a well-constructed sermon (hopefully), and a closing prayer, everyone heads for their cars to venture into another week of routine life in this world. And the beat goes on week after week.
I asked myself the question, what would Jesus say if we stopped attending these institutionalized weekly gatherings? Would He say, "When I needed people in the seats of my local churches you did not come. When I needed worship team members you were not there to perform. When I needed eloquent sermons, you did not deliver. When I needed money to pay bills My institutions have to make right you did not give. And so on. I do not believe Christ would say that at all. In fact, I do not think these are the things that matter for the true Christian when it comes to serving the kingdom of heaven. Yet, think of how many people would be frustrated unto anger if the people stopped feeding into these manmade institutions that lead people into a false sense of security when it comes to one's salvation. Jesus taught His disciples that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Today it could be because they are too busy living out fruitless religious lives in the name of Christianity! But Sunday is a Holy day, isn't it? No more Holy than was the Sabbath when Jesus taught that in the kingdom of heaven is just another day to do the will of the Father.
What will Jesus will say when He does return? "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-40). None of this has to do with whether or not we attended some local church or not!
On the other hand, "Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ And they too will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then the King will answer, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46). Many will argue, "Did we not serve in your worship team? Did we not sit in your church seats each week? Did we not preach eloquent messages to your people each week?" I wonder if He will tell these religious people to depart from Him because they chose to live religious lives instead of serving the kingdom of heaven by doing the will of the Father!
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