“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18 (KJV)
What Can Keep People from Church
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
Daily the Christian must prepare himself to ward off the wiles, or tricks, the devil has for us. His stratagem is to do all he can to keep us from obeying God. One of the areas he prompts us to be disobedient in is in attending church. We cannot blame all of our disobedience on him. Our own pride, laziness, and sinful nature also keep us out of the house of God. Some of the popular excuses in keeping many out of church are:
Church “hopping”: Church attendance is a must for Christian growth. God has raised up a pastor of a local church to minister to your needs. When you miss church, you miss what God had for you that day. When you are a member of a church and go to this church today and another one next week, your “hopping” around keeps you from attending the church God has for you.
Discontentment: If God originally pointed you to that church to join and attend, you need to stay there until He tells you to move! “I’m not happy with the preacher,” or “That church is too cold” are not excuses not to attend. The main question should be, “Does God want me to attend there?”
Hurt feelings: All churches are made up of humans. All humans are sinners; therefore there is no perfect church! People will accidently, or purposely say the wrong things at times. Everyone gets their feelings hurt sometimes. I am sure you have hurt others feelings. Again, the question should be, “Did God call me here?” If He did, hurt feelings are not a legitimate reason to leave a church.
Sin: When people are purposely sinning against God, they most often do not want to be reminded of it. Where will they be reminded of it? In church. However, in order to get one’s freedom back from the control of sin, one should be hearing the Word of God, not avoiding it.
Conviction: When the Holy Spirit of God speaks to them about their sin, instead of obeying that small voice, they avoid it by keeping out of church. Sometimes they even join another church, where watered-down preaching does not remind them of what God has already spoken to them about.
Lack of understanding of the things of God. Since they do not read their Bible and do not know what it teaches, when they hear hard, convicting preaching from the Bible they stay far away from strong doctrine. Ignorance of the Word of God keeps many from attending a strong, Bible-believing church.
Legitimate reasons, such as sickness, vacations, or work . Sometimes good excuses keep people from attending church for a week or so. That is understandable and happens. However, because they miss, it is easier to miss twice; then three times; then it is not long until they look back and realize they have not been in church for months. Breaking a routine of consistent church attendance is a subtle way of missing church.
Pride: “No one shook my hand”. “They are such an unfriendly church;” or “No one is going to tell me what to do.” These thoughts and others reflect that the sin of pride is involved. The sin of pride keeps many out of church.
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
“ To some people, religious freedom means the choice of churches, which they may stay away from.” — York Trade Compositor