A certain parishioner, who had previously been attending services regularly, suddenly stopped coming to church. After some weeks, the minister decided to visit the absent member. It was a chilly evening and the minister found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit the man welcomed him in, led him to a big chair by the fireplace and waited. The minister made himself comfortable and said nothing. In grave silence he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.
After some minutes, he took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow, but then its fire was no more and it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. But as the minister rose to leave, the host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for your fiery sermon. I shall be at church this Sunday.”
One of the many biblical signs indicating we are near the rapture of the church is: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (II Thessalonians 2:3). Many Bible scholars agree that the “falling away” is indicative of people losing heart for the church. It is when people become more interested in sensual things and lose focus on eternity.
Jesus described it this way: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:12-13). Today, many do not see the importance of regular church attendance. They go to church only when they feel like it or there is a special occasion.
I read where members of Northend Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Seattle received a special announcement in the mail, listing the many things that would be done for them at church on the following “No excuse to stay home Sunday.” According to the pastor, cots would be available for those who say Sunday is their only day to sleep-in. Eye drops would be supplied for those who have red eyes from watching the late Saturday night TV shows. There would be steel helmets for those who say the roof would cave in if they entered the church, blankets for those who think the church is too cold, fans for those who say it is too hot, scorecards for any wishing to list the hypocrites present, TV dinners for all who can’t go to church because they must cook dinner. Finally, the sanctuary would be decorated with Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for all who have never seen the church without them. The pastor used every incentive possible to cause people to be interested in church. It’d be interesting to know if it worked.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.