Another Scientific Reason To Go To Church

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According to Harvard University Professor Tyler VanderWeele’s study on church attendance, people who attend church Continue reading

Some may not like it. I thought it was hilarious

Funniest video I’ve seen in a long time:

Not Ashamed of the Gospel: Funny video

Stop doubting and believe: John 20:24-29

Doubting Thomas

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

-John 20:24-29

Missing Sunday Meeting

It’s Sunday and the disciples have assembled together. The disciples had met the Sunday before but Thomas wasn’t with them. Thomas wasn’t there when Jesus appeared to them. The disciples shared the good news of Jesus’ resurrection but Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)

Too bad Thomas missed that meeting. Had he made it, he would have experienced the bodily presence of Jesus and believed a week early. His doubt would have been erased and his faith would have been increased. But because Thomas missed that last meeting his doubt endured.

You know, if you think about it, something similar happened when Jesus appeared to the 500 after the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:6 tells us there were 500 present when Jesus commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised… …in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4-5)

Yet in Acts 1:15 it appears that only 120 of them listened and obeyed Jesus’ words. That’s huge! That means 380 missed the meeting in the upper room described in Acts 1:15. That also means 380 missed out on the blessing of the Holy Spirit. 120 had tongues of fire on their heads and spoke powerfully in foreign languages they didn’t know. 120 were used to save the souls of 3,000 people. (Acts chapter 2) 380 were left out–because they missed the meeting.

Verse 24 of John 20 says that Thomas was also known as Didymus. Didymus means twin in the Greek, so who’s twin is he?

He’s the twin of you and he’s the twin of me.

Have you ever missed a meeting with the Lord? I know I have. Missing meetings means missing out. Missing out on experiencing fellowship with the body of Christ. Missing out on believing. Missing out on increased faith. Had Thomas made it to the first meeting he would have seen Jesus and believed. His doubt would have been erased and his faith would have been increased!

That’s what happens to us when we make meetings.

Because Thomas missed the last meeting his doubt endured. It’s the same with you and the same with me. When we miss meetings, when we miss hearing the word of God whatever doubts we have endure.

No doubt Thomas and the 380 had their reasons for missing. They worked hard all week so they were too tired, or they didn’t care for someone who they knew would be attending that meeting, or there was a good game on TV that morning. But whatever their reason, when they missed the meeting they missed out on experiencing the presence of Jesus in a unique way. They missed out on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. They missed out on a tremendous blessing.

Oh twin of doubting Thomas, don’t you see that Thomas didn’t believe until he touched Jesus? Don’t you see it’s the same for you today? You won’t  believe until you touch Him.

So touch him. Study Jesus’ life in the scriptures. Encounter Jesus with His believers. Do these things and you too will believe! Like Thomas, you too will find yourself responding to him, saying, “My Lord and my God!”

You’ll never regret it, I promise you!

Make the meeting.

Go to church.

References:

Bible Gateway

Jon Courson Sermon, 4/10/2011

The image is of the painting Doubting Thomas by Caravaggio circa 1600, Wikimedia.org, Public Domain

Congregate!

The latest results of a study from the University of Michigan revealed that college students have a 40% lower capacity to empathize with the feelings of others, as compared to college students 20 and 30 years ago. 14,000 college students participated in the study from 1979 to 2009. (Read more at US News & World Report)

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)

Isolation destroys us. Isolation is associated with depression, suicide, poor mental health, and addiction. Isolation from the body of Christ destroys us spiritually. Could it be that the corresponding decline in church attendance in the U.S. is the cause of the reduced capacity to empathize with others?

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. (John 3:16) When that reality becomes a part of me, a part of you, a part of us, we rejoice at the opportunity to go to church. To fellowship with God over at His house becomes something we love to do. And spending time with Him, we become more like Him.

And He empathizes. He loves people.

He loves you.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Go to church.