Those who think that simply going to church and going through a little ritual will bring them closer to God are in for a big surprise. Because the easiest place to get a hardened heart is in the church. As I have said before, the same sun that softens the wax hardens the clay.
As the Word of God goes out, some people are impacted by it, some people are changed by it, and others are hardened by it, because they have no intention of believing it. Continual exposure to God's Word is actually doing more harm than good. And in the very place where they could be transformed, they will be worse off than ever.
Am I saying that some people shouldn't go to church? Yes . . . if they have no intention of applying what they are hearing. We can see miracles and hear truth, but if we don't have a desire to apply it, then our hearts can get hardened.
Someone who is living a double life like Judas Iscariot will experience an increasingly hardened heart. Judas walked and talked with Jesus for three-and-a-half years. He was hand-chosen by the Lord. He had heard Christ give His greatest sermons. Judas heard the Sermon on the Mount and the Olivet Discourse with his own ears. He saw Lazarus raised from the dead. He saw blind men receive their sight. He saw deaf men receive their hearing. Judas saw miracle after miracle, yet his heart grew harder.
And even though Jesus knew what would take place, Judas, of his own volition, deliberately betrayed the Lord, reminding us that the foreknowledge of God does not change the responsibility of man.
So the answer is not to stop going to church; it is to go with a desire to know God.
Summary sentence: Are you listening for truth when you go to church?
Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.