Life is simply not worth living without God, and it is very difficult without family. Remove both, and you have existence, not life. One might say that he avoids church and gatherings because he does not want to die, but we must ask in return, “What are you living for?” Whatever the response, it will not convince many (other than non-Christians!) that it is worthwhile.
This is the first post in a two-part series on church and health by Rob Golding, Pastor of First Artesia CRC.
Imay be a day late and a dollar short, but I have heard many people say that they are going to avoid certain gatherings due to the chance that they might get sick. They are immunocompromised. Recently, I received an email indicating that a family member will not be at my grandmother’s 103rd birthday because a friend staying with the family member is very susceptible to disease. Without seeking to castigate this family member (this person is acting in the best interest of a friend), how should we think about such things?
It is one thing to avoid gatherings temporarily when we are temporarily compromised. A woman at our church is avoiding our gatherings while she receives chemo infusions because they drastically reduce her ability to fight infection. She has the blessing of the pastor and the elders. Especially because she says she will be in the front row the day her system is up and running. But what about those who will be compromised indefinitely?
Well, for Christians, this seems to be a no-brainer. For the Christian, there is nothing better than being in the presence of the Lord, with His people, hearing His word, and singing His praises. Indeed, this is a foretaste of heaven that non-Christians cannot and do not enjoy (which is why they would not like heaven if they were to go!). I do not think it is a stretch to say that every single Christian would say that their second-best blessing—after being with God and His people—is family.
So, if Christians avoid family gatherings and church because to do so makes them vulnerable to death, we should ask them, “What are you living for?”