Biblical Q&A: Why Are people leaving the church?

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[God’s Warrior asks] One question that I have is, why are we as Christians pushing people out of the Church? Is it because of our doctrine? Are we like the Pharisees, who want to be seen in public?


Thank you for your question

Answer

I will start with your last question first: Are we like the Pharisees, who want to be seen in public?

If some churches are like the Pharisees then that would put the church in a dangerous situation [Matthew 23]. Being a Pharisee means that you don’t belong to God, they were self-centered, loved praises from men, loved money, and taught man-made tradition that contradicted the Scriptures. Basically, that would constitute a false church or a liberal one. A false church will not necessarily push people away from a church building but will be pushed away from the truth of God, Jesus Christ.

Is it because of our doctrine?

The Truth of Scripture will either bring a person closer to Jesus Christ or will push them away. It depends on the person’s heart. A heart that is hardened will not allow the Holy Spirit to come in, but a heart that has softened, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, will gladly open his heart to Jesus. 

2 Corinthians 2:15-16

15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life. Who is adequate for these things?

Some churches could be doing something wrong, meaning they have drifted away from Christ and are starting to become more like the world [liberal ideology] and the power of Jesus in that church will not be active because of their departure from the truth.

Revelation 2:2-5          

2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3 I know that you have persevered and endured hardships for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent

[The church of Ephesus] The believers were well versed [knowledgeable] with Scripture and even exposed false teachers, but the love that they used to have in the time of Paul, started to die and Jesus was trying to warn them to kindle [to ignite the passion for Christ they once had] or else the church would be dispersed [die off]. 

There could be many other reasons why people are leaving the churches, but Jesus did say that the gates of hell will not prevail [Matthew 16:17-19] as to destroy their [faith in Jesus Christ]. At the end of all things [appearing at the judgment seat of Christ], many who profess Jesus will be found out if their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. 

Another reason would be according to 2 Timothy 4:2-4 which says, 2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. 4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine refers to a time that will be close to Christ’s return. It will become more wicked, people will abandon and exchange the Truth for the lie. 

but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. These people who are leaving the churches who preach the truth are driven by their flesh, wanting to hear teachings that will satisfy [the itch] their sinful lifestyles. 

False doctrine [a church that does not preach against sin] and one’s sinful desires for material gain will be one of the strongest motivators for abandoning the truth found in Scripture.

In the end, people will reap what they have sown. Those who preached the truth to bring people to God’s kingdom will have treasures in heaven. Those who mislead people away from Christ for personal gain, eternal darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

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