People sometimes ask, “Can’t I be a Christian by myself? Just pray to God out on the lake or under a tree?” Yes, you can pray to God anywhere, anytime. But, NO, you cannot be a Christian “by yourself.” There is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian! The Bible teaches that we need the community of faith. We need the house of God. We need to encourage one another, bless one another, and edify one another. We need the church to be blessed and to be a blessing.
People sometimes say they do not go to church because they don’t get much from it. I would ask then, what are you giving to it? People who give greatly are the ones who also receive greatly. The house of God is not a spiritual McDonalds where we walk up to the counter and put in our order, “Lord, I’ll take three blessings, two encouragements, and a frosty.” Should we simply sit in church, get our spiritual food and then walk out? The prevailing attitude seems to be, if the McChurch has something for me I’ll come back, otherwise I’m going down to Chick-Fil-A Church. This is an unscriptural, consumerist attitude towards the church! I challenge you to find the house of God, get in the house of God, and sacrifice for the house of God. Come back to the place of promise. That is what Abraham does in Genesis 13:1-4. “Then Abram went up…to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been, to the site where he had built the altar. And Abram worshiped the Lord there.”
Our God is very gracious and patient. When we stray from the walk of faith and disobey, we can come back to Bethel, back to the house of God, back to the place of blessing and God will restore. But that restoration will not cancel out the consequences of our sin. We will still reap what we have sown. So let us serve God with a zeal that recognizes the consequences of our actions.
An excerpt from Dr. Keathley’s sermon series entitled: “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Lessons from the life of Abraham”