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lest they should be put out

Perhaps even sadder than those who refused to consider the evidence for Christ, are those who Joh speaks of in the next verses. In John 12:42-43 we read of many who did believe in Jesus but refused to follow Him.

They did this because they were motivated by fear of what they would lose. They had grown up as a part of the Jewish synagogue. It had been a part of the very fabric of their lives. They knew that Jesus was the Christ, but they also knew that following Him meant that they would be thrown out of the synagogue.

So, rather than following the Savior, and following what they knew to be right, they stayed where they were. They stayed where they were comfortable. They stayed where they didn’t have Jesus Christ.

Sometimes following Jesus calls us to leave behind that which is familiar, and that which is comfortable. Sometimes it means losing relationships and a community. But it will always be worth it. Who is more important in your life; people, or God?

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Although He Had Done Many Signs

It is not uncommon to hear somebody say that if they received a sign from God they would believe, or maybe to wish for a sign from God telling them what they should do. Perhaps you have felt that way yourself, or maybe even feel that way right now.

It is interesting to note that here in John 12:36-40 we learn that Jesus had performed many signs in the presence of these people who were now at Jerusalem for the feast. These were religious people, people who on some level wanted to please God. Yet, when faced with an abundance of miraculous proof that Jesus is the Christ, they refused to believe.

John comments that this is a fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah. It is interesting to note that this is not the only occasion in which this particular prophecy is said to be fulfilled. That tells us that the prophecy wasn’t about a singular event, but rather a frame of mind. There are many today who fulfill this prophecy because they have no desire to even consider the evidence that is before them.

The question that each of us must answer is whether we are willing to open our eyes and see what God has said.

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Five Reasons to Come to Church

Five Reasons to Come to Church

 

How long has it been since you have been to church? Friend, that’s too long! There are several reasons why you may not be going as often as you could. Maybe you’ve just gotten busy. Maybe you just don’t see the value. Maybe something has been said or done that turned you away. Whatever the case may be, please consider these five reasons you may want to make plans to attend this Sunday:

Because You Want To

That’s right, you want to. We all have those occasions where we know we should go somewhere, but we don’t feel like it. Yet, after having gotten out of the house and gone, we’re glad that we did. Sometimes that’s the way it is with church. It is an opportunity to gather with other people who are focused on doing good, and everything that is right. It is an opportunity to encourage and be encouraged. It is an opportunity to bring your prayers before the God of Heaven and Earth. It is an opportunity to pause and reflect on what really matters in life. It is an opportunity to show your thankfulness and love for God.

You may not feel like going to church, but do it anyway. You’ll be glad you did. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’” (Psalm 122:1)

Because Jesus Invited You

Jesus is amazing. And He has done some amazing things for you. He left Heaven and came to earth to be poor, ridiculed, mocked, tortured, and mercilessly killed; all so that you could be in Heaven with Him (John 1:10-12). He left us an example and showed us how to live an abundant life here on Earth (1 Peter 2:21; John 10:10). In Heaven He now stands at the right hand of God, pleading on your behalf (Romans 8:34).

He thinks the church is special. He died for it (Ephesians 5:25). He built it (Matthew 16:18). He wants you to be a part of it (Revelation 22:17). When you think about all the awesome things Jesus has done for you, it is worth considering that maybe there is something to the church you might have missed. It is also worth considering that since Jesus has done all those things, it’s the least we can do to accept his invitation as a sign of gratitude.

Because A Friend Invited You

Christians have amazing blessings to be excited about. So, it should come as no surprise when somebody invites you to church. They want to share the wealth. When Philip found Jesus, the first thing he did was go tell somebody he cared about (John 1:45). If a friend has invited you, it is because they care. If not, then consider this that very invitation.

Because Your Soul Needs It

The pressures of life are real. The struggle is real. God knows what you are going through, and He cares. That is part of the reason why He asks us to go to church. It is an opportunity to take a step back from the grind of life and see things from an eternal perspective. It is an opportunity to drink deeply from the water of life and learn valuable information from Scripture.

Have you ever taken a drink of water when you didn’t feel particularly thirsty, only to find that when you tasted the water you couldn’t get enough? Your body needed water, but you didn’t realize it. Our souls can be the same way with God’s Word. You may not notice anything missing in your life, but your soul still craves to be fed from Scripture.

Because You Learn More About God

We can know certain things about God by observing the world around us (Romans 1:20). We can tell that He is powerful, that He is thoughtful, and that He cares about His creation. Beyond that, we can know very little unless He tells us. What does He want? Will we see Him again? What happens after we die? What can we expect from Him? All these questions can only be answered by studying what God has revealed about Himself in Scripture. Going to church is a great opportunity to study those things together and to learn things you might not learn on your own.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are lots of great reasons to go to church, but you’ll never know what you’re missing until you do.