Why Are So Many In Church Today (Sunday)?

Just wanted to post a quick note of a thought that coursed through my mind this morning.  Here it is.

As I make my way around town today, I notice churches filled to the brim with people.  I wonder why so many are in church today?  Why would so many be in church when there are so many lost people in the world?  Why would any Christian go to church, especially those who believe in some sort of eternal conscious torment for those who die as unbelievers, knowing that even one person around them today might die and go to an unending hell?  How could you, Christian, bear this on your conscience?  When I was at the church building for so many years, we (I) taught that we are to love unbelievers and to bring them the Gospel of Christ before it is too late.  Anything short of loving them and sharing the Gospel was about as uncaring as anyone could be.  Not only that, but we (I) would lay heavy guilt upon Christians by saying things like, “If you pass up an opportunity to share the Gospel, and that person dies without Christ, his/her blood could be on your hands.  You may be their only opportunity to hear about Christ!”

If any of this is true, and Christian, you don’t want to be a hypocrite, I suggest you quit going to church and spend your time on Sundays going out into all the world to preach the Gospel.  Better yet, since there are so many billions of people in the world without Christ, you should be not only willing, but enthusiastic about quitting your job, giving up your home, and spend every moment of the rest of your life evangelizing the lost.  Time is of the essence, after all, and you are God’s only hope to save SOME!  Get busy, Christian, the lost’s lives depend upon you!

If this is too much for you, check out more of the articles on this blog on Christian Universalism or the site links on the right side of the page for more info.  Your life may never be the same if you do!  You may become closer to God than you ever thought possible if you do!  I dare you to take the chance! 

In Christ’s love,

Craig

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12 Comments

Filed under God's Love, Universal salvation

12 responses to “Why Are So Many In Church Today (Sunday)?

  1. DMoll AMoll

    I understand your reasoning, but for the typical church goer your argumentation seems to be out of balance. Read your text with the understanding of a Calvinist etc. and I am sure you understand what I mean. Keep your focus on Gods Love etc and let others live their religion my friend. Press on 🙂

    Gesendet von meinem ASUS MeMO Pad

    Valley of Visi

    • Thanks Dirk! Does not even the Calvinist believe they must go out and evangelize? I understand the sovereignty issue and the election issue, but all the time I was a Calvinist, we at least talked about doing evangelism. We may not have REALLY cared about the results (God will save those He will save regardless of our effort) but we at least made some sort of attempts at it. But, you are right, it is much better to focus on God’s love (of all His creation especially those who bear His image!) and sharing that love with love rather than endless quarrels and confrontations that never seem to change anyone’s mind! After all, the command given to us was not to go out and save people, but to love God with all we are and love our neighbor as our self. If we would even do that, the Holy Spirit would fill our mouths with words He would use to change hearts and minds no matter where they are at in life and what religion they ascribe to. It is still hard, at times, to not want to jump in the fray, so to speak, and say things that are out of the box for the average church-goer! It takes time and much distance to alter the course of a big ship on the open seas. Thanks for keeping hold of my wheel and helping to change my course! Love on, my friend!

  2. I first have to apologize for my lack of electronic awareness my friend. I just replied on my tablet, thinking you would receive my message as an email and not as a public post. Anyway, now you replied already and I realized where I posted my rather private concerns. Actually what I had in mind, was that a lot of Christians (especially covenant theology) believe that it is their God-given duty to gather on a Sunday to worship, learn and evangelize the ones that they may have invited to hear and see the gospel … A lot of Christians you and I know of believe that. Further we just don’t know if some people may hear the Gospel and become spiritual babes on a Sunday. Again, I understand where you coming from, and I’m with you my friend. But I also humbly realize my spiritual short-sightedness when it comes to certain things like pertaining the day etc. Or as brother Paul once said: “To no one owe anything, except to be loving one another, for he who is loving another has fulfilled law” (CLV – Romans 13:8). “… Who are you who are judging Another’s domestic? To his own Master he is standing or falling. Now he will be made to stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One indeed, is deciding for one day rather than another day, yet one is deciding for every day. Let each one be fully assured in his own mind. He who is disposed to the day, is disposed to it to the Lord; and he who is eating, is eating to the Lord, for he is thanking God. And he who is not eating, to the Lord is not eating, and is thanking God. For not one of us is living to himself, and not one is dying to himself. For both, if we should be living, to the Lord are we living, and if we should be dying, to the Lord are we dying. Then, both if we should be living and if we should be dying, we are the Lord’s. For for this Christ died and lives, that He should be Lord of the dead as well as of the living. Now why are you judging your brother? Or why are you also scorning your brother? For all of us shall be presented at the dais of God, for it is written: ‘Living am I, the Lord is saying, For to Me shall bow every knee, And every tongue shall be acclaiming God!’ Consequently, then, each of us shall be giving account concerning himself to God. By no means, then, should we still be judging one another, but rather decide this, not to place a stumbling block for a brother, or a snare …” (CLV Romans 14). “He should be Lord of the dead as well as of the living” indeed! Wonderful isn’t it 🙂

    • Thank you for the explanation. As iron sharpens iron, so you hhave again sharpened me. It is still to easy to point out the splinter in the eye of “church-goers” and miss the plank of hypocrisy in my own. In pointing out their hypocrisy, I have realized I, too, am hypocritical in areas of my life! The only cure for hypocrisy (all sin} is to practice love more! It is hard to be sinning when one is humbly loving and caring for others. Unity in the body will not come through being right in doctrine but by loving God and loving others and esteeming them more highly than ourselves. Thanks for your rudder correction, if I could stay with my previous ship analogy! Love on!

      Craig

  3. Dirk

    I like your rudder ship analogy. It reminded me about how brother James talked about the tongue as being a rudder, and brother Paul used a tough ship analogy as well. I think the one where he referred to his own love-ministry (Corinthians) in comparison to other so-called church leaders as a “slave rower in the lower bottom of a galley ship” is quite impressive. Press on my friend and thank you for your humble (inspiring) attitude 🙂

  4. Mike

    Brother Craig,
    I first read your comments a few years ago when I found your musings on New Covenant Theology. At the time I attempted to reach out to you as a person who had been blessed to come to this correct interpretation of the law and its relationship to the new believer. In particular, I sought to encourage you as a brother who I believed had perhaps been hurt through past experiences by those who should have been built up by.

    A few weeks ago I stumbled across your new site here. Unlike the last time when I read a hopeful looking to teach others and to be encouraged I was shocked and disappointed to see your straying from the clear teaching of the Word of God. Reading this, your most recent post, I see a level of cynicism that has not only overshadowed any understanding of what those who proclaim the name of Christ were doing in church on Easter, but more importantly your cynicism has sadly devolved into biblical error.

    You say that you were a Calvinist (I much prefer the term Doctrines of Grace) and that you held to the orthodox teaching regarding eternal life and death and I don’t doubt that you did, but your caricature of those beliefs make it appear as if you did not. The first principle of the Doctrines of Grace is that God is Sovereign. “Church attendance” is modeled in the New Testament, commanded by God in Scripture, and is the proscribed means by which believers, who are likened to sheep, are shepherded (cared for, fed, and disciplined). Having been strengthened and prepared for ministry, believers are then charged by our Lord Jesus Himself to “make disciples”.

    Does this always happen? No. Do the actions of Christians sometimes belie the coldness of our hearts? Sadly they do. While your experience and mine might be one where these truths were not faithfully proclaimed and followed it doesn’t change the truth of God’s Word or its direction to us. At the same time attendance in a fellowship of believers when directed by God through His word doesn’t indicate hypocrisy. Did Gideon play the hypocrite when he sent away those who came to fight the Midianites and drank water the wrong way? It may have seen like he didn’t really care to win in the upcoming battle, but it was because he wanted to win that he obeyed and that we as believers must lovingly obey as well.

    Brother, I say these things to you out of a heart of humility. I was recently blessed in listening to some messages regarding the suffering of Jesus and the events leading up to it. The Apostle Peter’s denial of His friend and master was not a sign of his lack of desire or, as some would have it, his foolishness, but rather a direct result of his reliance on himself absent the power of God. When warned by Jesus that he would deny Him, he didn’t plead for strength, but instead made well-meaning, but powerless promises. I needed to hear that. My struggles against temptation and resultant sin are in vain without the strength of the Holy Spirit and I recognize that.

    With this needed reminder I then read your blog and I was a presented a powerful reminder of my need for God’s strength in matters of sound doctrine. Your pedigree is one that most I know would hold in high regard and yet you have forsaken the way of truth. Your universalist claims not only destroy the impetus for an obedient witness to the lost, but they trample upon the sovereign work of our Lord Jesus in His suffering and dying for His elect.

    Again, I call you to heed not my words, but the words of Scripture and in His strength let’s follow Him and not deny Him. I am praying that God will restore you like Peter will turn again “and strengthen your brothers”.

    In Christ,
    Mike Schilling
    (702) 812-0759

    • My response will be forthcoming. Thanks for your response to my article and just for your info, my confession of faith is simply, Jesus is Lord!

      In Christ’s Love,
      Craig

    • Mike,
      I appreciate you contacting me and you have given me a lot to think about. I spent all night thinking about what you said, reading and re-reading your comment and pondering my response or possible responses to what you wrote. After taking many notes, writing down many questions, and re-thinking how to respond, this is where I am at currently. Are you seeking answers to your questions, not only posed in your comment but questions concerning what Christian Universalists believe? I will be happy to help you understand what I believe and why and would be willing to spend the time necessary to dispel any myths and answer any challenges to my current beliefs that you may pose to me from the Scriptures and to the best of my limited ability. I have been and always will be willing to help those who are sincerely seeking God’s truth with an open heart and mind (like a Berean!) or who are sincerely seeking to understand why brothers may differ in their beliefs yet still be brothers in the Lord. However, if these situations or positions I just stated do not fit you, and, without mincing words, you are merely seeking to “correct” my doctrine (rather than reasoning together as brothers) because you have the truth and I do not, it may be best for both of us to move on.

      I am not looking to disappoint you nor am I seeking your approval of what I believe. It is unfortunate that you have been shocked and disappointed by my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, but that is your business not mine. I am also not caring about any “pedigree” as you put it, because serving my Lord and sharing Christ and His salvation with others (the Greater Hope as some call it, God’s love, etc) that they too may be saved in this life is very important to me, even though misguidedly you do not think so. I am so proud and privileged to serve the GOD that not only can save His image bearers, but saves every last one of them to the praise of His glorious grace! The beliefs that I have left behind, if you will, are from my vantage point, a God who is restricted to only saving part of those He created and now believing in a God who is defined as LOVE, showing that love through His grace and sovereignty and power. The same love that will one day melt every heart of stone, and so overpower even the vilest of sinners with His love that not one created soul will be willing to do anything but bow before Him in wonderful praise and honor and glory to Him! Lastly, I choose to look charitably on your accusations that I do not follow God but deny Him. I am sure, in your heart of humility, you certainly did not mean to imply that my profession of faith in GOd and Jesus and the Spirit is a false profession and that I am in fact denying the very God I love and serve and praise for my salvation. God has no need to restore me because I have never departed the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Thankfully, even in my most desperate times, and my deepest despair that the Body of Christ is seldom seen in most IC’s, I have never forsaken Him nor Him me. Since you really do not “know” me or my heart, I choose to look the other way and disregard your misstatements of facts concerning my belief in God and my love for Him.

      Should you be seeking to reason together, I stand ready to devote time to helping you understand (rather than mis-characterize) what I believe the Bible says regarding many topics (doctrines), but if not, I pray that God’s blessings will be upon you and your family and that He will continue to pour His truth into you.

      In Christ’s unfathomable love,

      Craig

      P.S. Yes, at times I can be cynical and it comes through in my writing. But, though others may see it as cynicism, I view it as sadness of the way things are, praying and hoping for the soon return of Christ. Also, in my desire to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, I am never seeking to hurt others, but also not to be trampled over by others as well. My desire is merely to draw stark attention to the way Jesus is being slandered in the IC today, enough so as to maybe see some change in it before I go home to be with the Lord. I can say this, I appreciate the illumination of my “cynicism” so as to always remember to keep my attitude in check as much as I can without sinning against others. I, like you, fail miserably in many areas, but thank you for pointing this out as I will continue to work in this area. Blessings to you!

      • Mike

        Good morning,

        Brother Craig, thanks for your welcoming of me to this discussion. I must say that as a person who enjoys the study of the Scripture and as one that is thankful (and wary) of the benefits of the information on the web I came to your blog site. After years of reading websites and even comments to postings my comment on your site was the very first I have ever made. Thanks for “not rushing” me. I lead a jam packed life and as such will doubtlessly fail to keep up with your postings as least in a timely manner.

        I have gone back and started at the March 2013 posts and am through July. I was glad to read this: “Don’t write me off because, according to your theology, I am a universalist heretic. Come and reason with me, honestly, openly, and humbly. Don’t come trying to prove your point, but come trying to understand why I now believe what I believe, and I will do the same for you” (May 16, 2013). I’m coming to you in this requested and God honoring way and trust you will do so as well.”

        I must say that many of your asides find us in agreement. I don’t believe in the rapture, follow a pastor over Scripture, look to feeling over Scripture, see the dangers of denominationalism, etc., etc. I feel that much of the argument set forth in favor of universalism has been against arguments that I wouldn’t make using proof texts that we would agree are no proof at all. I will in time look to set forth my understanding of God’s Word on eternity, but first I look to understand your perspective.

        You wrote, “should you be seeking to reason together, I stand ready to devote time to helping you understand (rather than mis-characterize) what I believe…” I accept the offer and offer the same. I am as I said reading your postings to catch-up. I ask that you would please listen to this sermon and give me your feedback. I believe that you won’t be able to discount the genuineness of the speaker and the desire of his heart, even if you find it wrong: http://www.desiringgod.org/conference-messages/universalism-and-the-reality-of-eternal-punishment-the-biblical-basis-of-the-doctrine-of-eternal-punishment#

        May the Lord in His power and by His Spirit enlighten and guide us into all truth…your brother, Mike

      • Dear Mike,

        I have read this article from Ferguson 3 times through, and each time I have read it I come up with the same questions/issues. The disagreement on hell seems to pivot on several key issues as I see it. 1). What is the definition of the term eternal (aion/aionios in the Greek), 2) What is the definition of punishment (typically kolasis in the Greek), 3) The definition of the term “hell” translated in modern Bible versions stemming mainly from two words, the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Gehenna, 4) What takes place immediately after this life and in the age(s) to come.

        Also, I question why he doesn’t address modern scholarship (that was easily available in 1990 when this article or speech was given) that addresses my concerns stated above. As I have studied Christian/Evangelical Unviersalism I have never had the occasion to read Schleiermacher since there are so many other resources from earlier than his time that are convincing, in my opinion, and reference back to icons of the faith after the apostles’ time such as Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzen, and others. I do not understand what Schleiermacher’s theology was since it was only touched on very briefly in seminary and philosophy classes. I will have to look into his theology as I have time. Also, some of the more influential universalists today did not even merit a mention, people like Gary Amirault, Gerry Beauchemin, Thomas Talbott, Robin Parry, and others. Most of the texts he puts forth in this article I have or will treat in my ongoing book review of Hell Under Fire. I admit my review does not go into great exegetical depth, and at times is “cynical” and even snarky, but it goes into far more depth than any of the authors in the book do. I am hoping to revise major portions of it, update it using more in-depth exegetical tools, and turn it into a book. Big hopes, little time and energy! We shall see!

        Anyway, these are my initial observations and concerns. I guess to summarize things to this point, Ferguson has in no way offered me any evidence to persuade me against universal salvation. But, as in his chapter in Hell Under Fire, as well as the other authors in it, they are lacking serious consideration because of the assumptions they make and the disregard for the current (which are not really current since they have been around since the 100’s AD) scholarship/beliefs of Christian universalists. They assume that everyone shares their definitions of key words and that their interpretation is correct and other interpretations are flat wrong. I understand this because I tend to be that way in my beliefs too, though I am trying to drop as many presuppositions and preconceptions as possible, and come to the text of Scripture anew and fresh, just like I was a new believer again.

        I look forward to our ongoing conversation about this topic.

        In Christ,
        Craig

  5. Dirk

    Brother Craig,
    I am afraid you are wasting your time on this one. You already wrote about the hope that is in you (1Pet3:15) on your blog. Mr. Mike Schilling did not engage in any of the previous conversations, did he? At least I can’t see a healthy biblical “one man sharpens another” attitude in his post. To me Mr. Mike Schilling is a one of many religious (blinded) people with a certain biblical (Calvinistic?) zeal for the truth, but not according to knowledge (love). Like many other so called Christians in the course of redemptive history, he too seems to be blinded by dogmatism and traditions. He prays for restoration but he is not willing to truly understand where you coming from. Basically it’s the same old story. The Pharisees where acting in a similar fashion. They too thought they give glory to God … Therefore I am afraid that Mr. Mike Schilling will only trample on the true gospel pearls you are sharing with Gods ecclesia. So let the blind continue leading the blind. One day Mr. Mike Schilling will understand. But I am glad he is at least calling you his brother in Christ. Maybe God will open his eyes in this aion (dispensation). My prayer for him. Press on brother Craig and remember that God is sovereign LOVE – and Gods LOVE wins! 🙂

    • Dirk,
      Thanks for your comment as well. Time, I guess, will tell whether or not I am ( or have) wasted my time. I will say, from past experience, especially with the Calvinist (doctrines of grace) “camp” it does not bode well for charitable reasoning together from the Scriptures. Dogmatism and traditions are slippery slopes to make a stand on. Dogmatism (certitude) that says that there is only one way to understand God’s Word amd the certitude that one is right and everyone else is wrong leads to disaster. Again, I agree that at this point, since I have not heard back yet from Mike (not rushing you Mike, really!) it does not seem to bode well for charity, unity, and love. But, I have faith that God will bring to pass all things to His glory. I look forward to every eventuality, whether, ongoing dialog or not! Thanks for your support and blessings to you and the family! You, too brother, press on in the faith! Talk to you soon!

      Love in CHrist,

      Craig

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