In his first letter to his dear son in the faith Timothy, the aged apostle Paul counseled the young pastor to warn his congregation of straying into a materialistic and worldly life. In a graphic statement he strongly asserted that a person who professes Christ but lives for pleasure is dead while they live! (5:6) Indeed, the Church is filled with people who are dead to Christ and alive to sin, though they are called to be dead to sin and alive to Christ. (Rom. 6:11) Thus, the living dead in Christ roam our country, seeking without finding, because they do not seek the One who died for them.

    My grandfather always said, “It takes three to thrive: Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night!” As Christians we so often want to believe that Church doesn’t matter, but it really does. The Bible says that the Church is the Body of Christ, and that believers are individual parts, together making up the whole, under the Head
which is Christ. We are called together, to be together as one unified and healthy Body; but when a person abstains from fellowship, the Body suffers loss and is no longer whole.

    When an able believer sinfully chooses his will over the will of God, the Church loses strength. When an able believer sinfully seeks his own pleasure above the desires of Christ, the Body of Christ suffers vital loss. When an able believer disobediently chooses to stay home when the church doors are open, God’s work is hindered both in our church and in that home; and that Christian is dead while they live.

    I challenge YOU- Where are you when the church doors are open? Where are you on Wednesdays when your church is praying? Where are you when we are supporting missions? Where are you when your church is reaching out to the lost? I challenge you to think about your decisions.  As Paul proclaimed to the living dead Christians of his day, so I declare to you now: “Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Eph. 5:14 NIV)

    The Bible commands us, do “not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another...” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT) Choose this day to serve the Lord. Stop wandering as one dead while they live. Get rooted in the Body and learn to thrive!