The subject of leaving a church is quite complicated. I most often hear it brought up among our young people, followed by explanations of why they want to leave.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears," ().
The above verse is quite touching. It describes the painful reality of our times, which is often disguised under pretexts and excuses.
"I'm leaving this church. I do not want to be part of it anymore. I do not like it anymore. It can't hold my attention. The girls or boys here are not true believers. The pastors or workers are not talented. Somewhere else is better!"
These may have a point. The church is full of sinners, and the workers are only humans, but are these the real reasons we leave a church? Are these not simply excuses for a different truth? One that could be summed up as, "I'm leaving this church because it's not what I want."
Dear reader, let us ponder the purpose for which we joined the church. If our goal was to be the center of attention, to be comfortable, to stay stagnant in our character, then that in itself is a problem. If we threaten to leave the church simply to intimidate others to fulfill our ideas of what the church should look like, or because the truths and principles held by the church go against the comforts of our lives and demand change of character, then again we have a serious problem.
We should never seek to make the church conform to us, for we cannot change God's principles. We should enter the church with reverence and a humble spirit to speak to God and listen to what He wants to say to us, not to tell God what to do. The church is also a place where we can get help—both from Above and from our earthly brethren.
"By the pride of human wisdom, by contempt for the influence of the Holy Spirit, and by disrelish for the truths of God's word, many who profess to be Christians, and who feel competent to teach others, will be led to turn away from the requirements of God.[...] The apostle does not here refer to the openly irreligious, but to the professing Christians who make inclination their guide, and thus become enslaved by self. Such are willing to listen to those doctrines only that do not rebuke their sins or condemn their pleasure-loving course. They are offended by the plain words of the faithful servants of Christ and choose teachers who praise and flatter them. And among professing ministers there are those who preach the opinions of men instead of the word of God," Acts of the Apostles , p. 504.
"Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah," ().
A small remnant, a small and comparatively insignificant number, we are. But to God we are everything. I invite you to be part of the remnant number. I appeal to you to be a member that strives to be a blessing to all, to help, pray, and share the burdens of others not add to them. Do not put your pride in first place. Allow God to take the helm of your life. The truth is here; do not separate from it to seek pleasures and comfort. Choose wisely. Do not leave because sometimes your thoughts are not in harmony with the pure principles of truth. We cannot change these principles, but God can change our thoughts!
"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein,".
The disciples dreamed of the Kingdom of God here on Earth, thinking that Jesus would perform a miracle and become an earthly king and everyone would be afraid of Him. They fought for the highest position in that supposed kingdom. Likewise, we also misunderstand some aspects today, but we should dig deeper with the trust and humility of a child. Only then will we understand how the kingdom will be received!
As we delve deeper into the new year, let us consider: "What will I accomplish this year?" "How close or far am I to God?" "What disturbs me the most about the year I just left behind?" "What will influence my choices this year?" "Who will I choose today?"
Through the blood that spills from the cross, we are connected with God. Choose Him and be a part of His church family here in this world.
God bless you.
Your brother in Christ,