Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
I was in Rural King this morning at Crystal River. Two men were standing close to me talking. I normally don’t listen to the conversations of others, mainly because I can’t hear very well and secondly because I simply don’t care what they’re talking about. I did hear one ask, “Do you know how to figure the number of square yards in a twelve foot circle?” The other one said, “Not a clue.”
Being the helpful person I am, when it’s convenient, I said, “Pi, R square over nine.” They looked at me like, “How do you know that?” Finally, one asked, “What does that mean?” I went on to explain Pi is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter which is 3.14159. Multiply that times 36 which is the radius of your circle squared, divided by nine because there are nine square feet in a square yard. After another few seconds of blank looks I borrowed a pen from a sales clerk and figured it for them on a box top.
I thought everyone knew that! Actually, it’s about the only thing I remember from what seemed like thirty years of algebra, but, don’t tell them that.
Somewhere or sometime along the way, most of us have determined, all our minds work differently. We hear about the researching of the left brain-right brain theory, or the type A and B personalities and even the political left and right. We don’t all absorb information equally. We reason as differently as we look and a part of our reasoning is a fault most of us have and that is to assume many things.
There are some things we assume everyone knows! As Christians, we assume everyone knows about the saving power of Jesus. We assume everyone knows the Bible is God’s Holy Word, written by men, inspired by God. We assume everyone knows the Bible is the perfect and true guide for our lives. It tells us how to live and how to die. We assume everyone knows where we came from and where we are going and most importantly, how to gain eternity as God instructed in the Bible.
The United States of America has less than five% of the world’s population. Yet, we have 95% of the “God called preachers.” Surely everyone has heard a salvation sermon by now! Wrong! The Word is not getting out because many Christians think their mission participation is giving their tithes and offerings and evangelism is someone else’s job.
We assume everyone knows where a church is located and feels welcome in that church. We assume all Christians have asked all their neighbors, co-workers, friends and relatives to go to church with them. No, this is not intended to be a joke!
All these assumptions are dead wrong. Many churches do not make visitors feel welcome. Many may as well hang a sign on the front door stating, “Members Only.”
When I was an industrial arts teacher, I taught in a wood shop and a computer lab. I sometimes referred to those facilities as “My shop,” or “My computer lab.” I knew very well those rooms, buildings and equipment were not mine; they belonged to the taxpayers. I was responsible for them and had to maintain the equipment; perhaps that’s the reason for the “ownership” misconception. Many times, church members take an ownership attitude about the church, and that’s not all bad as long as they/we never forget what, or more specifically Who, the church is all about.
Colossians 1:16-17 “ For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
Articles and books have been written, sermons have been preached by the thousands on the importance and value of outreach by churches. It is our commandment (Matthew 28: 18-19), directly from Jesus to build up the church. We are saved by grace through faith, (Ephesians 2:8) but the scripture also tells us that our works are a declaration and demonstration of our faith (James 2: 17).
Christianity by many church attenders is treated as a big secret. The church people’s actions scream, “We don’t want you here. Go somewhere else. Our church is big enough.” OK, maybe that’s a little over the top, but you get the point.
Many churches claim to be friendly, and they are; to each other. Make sure you’re friendly to your guests. Pastors, train your flock how to treat guests and invite others to church. This “ain’t” rocket science. The very first book I’d suggest to church members is not the Bible. It is “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” a self-help book written by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. It was originally written for people in business but applies elsewhere, especially in the church. Perhaps one could read the two books together.
My daddy said, “You can’t give away a smile; it will always be given back to you.” Just treat people the way you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed.
Christianity is really very simple; either you believe it or you don’t. The evidence of the reality of God and the Bible is a subject I attempt to emphasize in these articles but even more in the YouTube videos. Those videos are titled “Sunday morning with Bro. Van # 1.” (2-23)
Keep in mind, the whole world does not know Jesus and it is our privilege and responsibility to share God’s word.