Church op­tions are not why you’re sep­a­rated from Christ

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

I’m ad­mit­tedly a fairly in­de­pen­dent per­son, and I just can’t see my­self join­ing a church. I want to be free to run my own life and set my own sched­ule. And any­way, if I want to, I can al­ways watch a church ser­vice on tele­vi­sion. What’s wrong with do­ing that?

I’m grate­ful many churches to­day make their ser­vices avail­able through ra­dio or tele­vi­sion. As a re­sult, peo­ple who can’t oth­er­wise at­tend their church be­cause of sick­ness or age are still able to share in its min­istry. Ad­mit­tedly, they miss the op­por­tu­nity to see their friends or get ac­quainted with new peo­ple — but it still can be a great spir­i­tual help to them.

But age or sick­ness isn’t your prob­lem — and I hope you’ll stop and con­sider what your prob­lem re­ally is. Yes, we all have dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties, and per­haps you’re more of an in­de­pen­dent spirit than most. But don’t use this as an ex­cuse to ig­nore God, or to keep him at arm’s length (so to speak) from you. Frankly, al­most noth­ing is more spir­i­tu­ally dan­ger­ous than your com­ment that you want to run your own life — be­cause it means you don’t have any room for God.

In other words, the is­sue you face isn’t just church; the is­sue you face is Je­sus Christ, and what place he should have in your life. He left Heaven’s glory for one rea­son: to make it pos­si­ble for us to be for­given and saved. He did this by sac­ri­fic­ing his life for us on the cross. God loves you that much!

As Christ­mas ap­proaches this year, I pray that you will open your heart to Je­sus Christ, and sub­mit your life to his con­trol. God’s prom­ise is true: “Sub­mit your­selves, then, to God ... and he will come near to you” (James 4:7-8).

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