For the last three weeks we’ve been looking at reasons to go to church and be taught. This week I want to encourage you to go to church to find Christ.
Although we can read about Christ in the Bible, it is often by hearing preaching about Christ that we are stimulated to flee to him. We see numerous examples of this in the New Testament beginning with John the Baptist: ‘The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)’. John is preaching the same message about Jesus the following day and this time his words are not without effect: ‘The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus’ (John 1:35-37). The preaching of John the Baptist results in people following Jesus.
Another example is found in Paul: ‘Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me’ (2 Corinthians 2:12). Paul preached the gospel of Christ and finds people responding as God brings them to Christ through his preaching.
Numerous examples can also be found in church history of how preaching has led people to Christ. One extraordinary example is told of the Puritan preacher John Flavel: ‘Luke Short was a farmer in New England who attained his hundredth year in exceptional vigour though without having sought peace with God. One day as he sat in his fields reflecting upon his long life, he recalled a sermon he had heard in Dartmouth as a boy before he sailed to America. The horror of dying under the curse of God was impressed upon him as he meditated on the words he had heard so long ago and he was converted to Christ – eighty-five years after hearing John Flavel preach.’ Going to church and hearing a preacher can benefit you even eight decades later by driving you to Jesus.
Now I’m not suggesting that God doesn’t use any other means of bringing about the conversions of the lost. People are driven to Jesus in all kinds of ways. But God reveals to us again and again that he has a particular love for using preaching to win souls and we should be eager to benefit from this powerful instrument of God by attending our local church.
Do you go to church to be driven to Jesus?