We welcome you. But we can't just stop there. we have a job to do.
WE MUST CHANGE OUR PERCEPTION.
Walk into any church, and I guarantee you will find loving people. Everyone's a Christian. But what does it actually mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to actually follow Christ? That is where you will start to get different answers. You see, our perception of church is a building. To most it is a place where we meet on Sundays to fulfil our Christian role. It is done out of routine - a check off the list. We can't wait for service to end, so we can go eat Swiss Chalet. To others, this is all they know and perhaps they have a great heart behind it all, but it's nothing more than a meeting or a few programs during the week. In both cases we are not tapping into the true walk with Christ that He desires. This needs to change.
DON'T MISUNDERSTAND MY WORDS HERE, THIS IS WHERE we NEED TO PAY ATTENTION.
In the Bible, the church is not referred to as a building - It is referred to as a group of people. When you ask someone what church they go to, they will usually respond to the location or name of a building, which isn't a problem at all. But this is where we might have started our backwards view of what "Church" actually is. The Church is not a physical location, but as I said earlier, it is referred to as a group of people - Those people being: Christians - the Body of Christ.
We are the Church! You, me, us & all other believers. What my point is, we shouldn't be stuck in the mentality of "going to church". When we allow Christ to take us deeper with Him, soon we will realize that instead of going to church at a building.... it will be The Church coming together in a building.
The Great Commission
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We Need and must share our faith.
As followers of Christ, we have been called to something big. When we received the Holy Spirit & Eternal Gift of Salvation through believing in Christ, it was never meant to be hidden. When you look throughout all of the New Testament, you will see nothing but stories & instances of the disciples sharing their faith. They were on a mission to spread The Gospel, they accepted the importance of the Great Commission.
Fast forward 2000 years to today. Have you read the Bible, you see how we compare? We are not trying to discourage anyone - but rather encourage you to go deeper in your faith. Jesus commands his followers to deny themselves & take up their crosses daily. To deny ourselves, Christ is asking us to forsake our own desires and live for what matters; His purpose. Jesus was pretty clear when He laid out his purpose for his disciples to carry out. We were called to The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), and if we chose to ignore this command, we have missed the point in who Christ has called us to be.
There is so much more depth to our faith than some of us are living, and we need to respond to the great commission that Christ laid out, because it is what He has commanded us to do. We need to pray for our persecuted brothers & sisters in Christ throughout the world, we need to pray for our nations, and to take the words of the Bible seriously - for the sake of the world. Your family/ friends/ neighbours, need to hear the message of The Gospel! Without them having the opportunity to hear about Christ, they already stand condemned before Christ. Eternally separated, forever. This is serious stuff.
Where do we begin?
The Majority of us need to - actually - start living for christ.
You / us / we need to wake up if living as a Christian is nothing more than a Sunday thing. I say that with all due respect. But I say this because it is true! How can we say we say we are following Christ, if we are not living the way Christ intended us to? We are fooling ourselves if we believe that being a Christian just amounts to singing songs and hearing sermons on Sundays. That is the lie some have come to live! - We live our lives the way we feel like, and then we sprinkle a bit of Jesus on Sundays - so we're good. But the truth is that the Christian life is a supernatural life. It is anything but ordinary, and far from boring. When we live for Christ, and pray for His desires to be our own, we will then be able to see how much of a need there is for The Gospel & God will begin to use us in ways we've never imagined... all for one purpose; His glory.
When Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave us the Holy Spirit. He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us as we live out our Christian lives so we could boldly preach The Gospel and have whatever other signs that may follow from it. All throughout the New Testament we see stories of trials & persecution due to preaching The Gospel, but also the POWER of the Holy Spirit that intervenes at these moments.
We sometimes wonder why nothing or very little is happening in our Churches, maybe it is God quietly working in the background, maybe not - but I am convinced that most of the problem is of our own. We have evolved into a generation of Christians who do not prioritize the sharing of The Gospel. If we are honest with ourselves, we may realize that God isn't first in our life. We as a western nation have become way too consumed with our own lives and our trust is in what we can see & do for ourselves. If we aren't proclaiming The Gospel and if we aren't living by the Spirit, why would God's spirit need to be at work amongst us? That is perhaps part of the reason why much is not happening in the life of our churches. But it doesn't have to be that way. It all starts with us! It's time we take a stand of obedience & truly seek God.
Everyone is at different stage in their faith, and that is totally acceptable - it's reality. Everyone's lives are different and God works through peoples lives in different ways. Whatever your current situation is, or how difficult of sin you are currently experiencing, there is always God's grace and promise of life extended to us. No one is perfect, and we never will be! You are not alone! We all have this problem! But there is a call to action that Christ has laid out for his followers, and we have to make a decision to follow it or not. But remember this, the church is not a place meant for people to appear as perfect, but rather a place for us - broken people - to encounter God, to learn, be edified, and encouraged in our faith as we walk towards sanctification... all for the Glory of God.