Why Do People Go To Church?
Usually people start out going to church because they believe in God. When the believing grows cold and the flame of faith dies out attendance does also. Without heart involvement, people have to have other reasons to come and sing songs about things they don’t believe and sit and listen to a “lecture” on something they don’t think is relevant.
Religion obliges those that have grown cold and have offered people other things other than the original reason they came, which is to get to know the true and living God.
The heartfelt reason people go to church is because they want to experience the presence of God. Deep down on the inside of every church attendee there is the longing to see the God of the Bible manifest Himself. Sad to say, the reason many have stopped or never have attended church is because they have never experienced nor heard of those attending church experiencing the God of the Bible.
Many talk about what God can do, but when was the last time you saw the sick healed (supernaturally) or a sinner come into the church and run up to the altar to be saved?
1 Kings 18:22-39 (MSG) Then Elijah said, “I’m the only prophet of GOD left in Israel; and there are four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. Let the Baal prophets bring up two oxen; let them pick one, butcher it, and lay it out on an altar on firewood—but don’t ignite it. I’ll take the other ox, cut it up, and lay it on the wood. But neither will I light the fire. Then you pray to your gods and I’ll pray to GOD. The god who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God.” All the people agreed: “A good plan—do it!” Elijah told the Baal prophets, “Choose your ox and prepare it. You go first, you’re the majority. Then pray to your god, but don’t light the fire.”
So they took the ox he had given them, prepared it for the altar, then prayed to Baal. They prayed all morning long, “O Baal, answer us!” But nothing happened—not so much as a whisper of breeze. Desperate, they jumped and stomped on the altar they had made. By noon, Elijah had started making fun of them, taunting, “Call a little louder—he is a god, after all. Maybe he’s off meditating somewhere or other, or maybe he’s gotten involved in a project, or maybe he’s on vacation. You don’t suppose he’s overslept, do you, and needs to be waked up?” They prayed louder and louder, cutting themselves with swords and knives—a ritual common to them—until they were covered with blood. This went on until well past noon. They used every religious trick and strategy they knew to make something happen on the altar, but nothing happened—not so much as a whisper, not a flicker of response.
Then Elijah told the people, “Enough of that—it’s my turn. Gather around.” And they gathered. He then put the altar back together for by now it was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes of Jacob, the same Jacob to whom GOD had said, “From now on your name is Israel.” He built the stones into the altar in honor of GOD. Then Elijah dug a fairly wide trench around the altar. He laid firewood on the altar, cut up the ox, put it on the wood, and said, “Fill four buckets with water and drench both the ox and the firewood.” Then he said, “Do it again,” and they did it. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. The altar was drenched and the trench was filled with water.
When it was time for the sacrifice to be offered, Elijah the prophet came up and prayed, “O GOD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make it known right now that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I’m doing what I’m doing under your orders. Answer me, GOD; O answer me and reveal to this people that you are GOD, the true God, and that you are giving these people another chance at repentance.” Immediately the fire of GOD fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench. All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, “GOD is the true God! GOD is the true God!”
Where is the God of Elijah?
What do you need in your Church to have the true presence of God – signs and wonders – miracles – liberty! It all starts with Faith and Obedience.