The clean soul with a clean conscience loves church. David writes in Psalm 26:6-7: 6
I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord, proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds. O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.
Those who have been forgiven of their sins through faith in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection want to be at church every Sunday. They love to sing. They love to evangelize their children, their grandchildren, and their neighbors. They look forward to Sunday because they have experienced the cleansing power of God. The believer does not determine to attend church because the pastor called him five times, because the children’s pastor provided his kids with a ‘wow’ experience full of green slime, or because the music was stirring. While not bad, those things do not explain the believer’s motivation. The believer attends church because he has been forgiven of his sins and dwells with Jesus. She knows that God does not remember the, “sins of my youth or my transgressions” because she is covered by the God’s “steadfast” love (Ps 25:7). Those who love Jesus cannot help but love God’s church, because God writes his covenant upon the hearts of his people (Jer. 31:33). The believer’s DNA is fundamentally changed at conversation. From that point on, she possesses an undeniable bias for the things of God. She loves his house.
The church should pursue sheep that wonder from the loving boundaries of truth, but people ultimately stay because they love Jesus. They also leave church because they have not been washed clean from their sins. The woman who slowly drifts from church, finding antique shopping to be more engaging evidences that she has never been saved. The church must love people well, encouraging, admonishing and meeting needs. But the church does not have to plead with people to attend church any more than woman should have to plead with her fiance to love her.
Sadly, some churches do not value the life changing power of the gospel. They are filled with pastors, elders, deacons, powerful leaders, and gossips who make a wreck of the faith through bad preaching, immoral living and harsh words. Christians may leave these dysfunctional assemblies for these churches resemble the “assembly of evildoers” that the Christian should hate (Ps. 26:5). But those who love Jesus will leave the hypocritical church intent upon finding an authentic assembly of believers. Trying to keep believer from church is like trying to keep a hungry lion from red meat. He’s getting to church for he loves the habitation of God’s house.
How about you; do you love church?