Normally, I don’t like to even consider hypothetical questions. It usually doesn’t do a whole lot of good and cannot be answered in a satisfactory way. In spite of this, I still want to pose a hypothetical “what if” question to you.
How would you feel if the church disappeared?
If you showed up at the church building and it had disappeared; how would you feel about it? Would you be upset? Would you wonder what happened? Would you feel disappointed? Would you even notice? Would life change drastically for you or would life go on like normal?
I am convinced that some of you would be devastated? You would feel hurt and lost because your closest friends and spiritual family was suddenly missing. I am also convinced that some, who consider themselves members, would not even notice. The church could disappear for weeks or months and its disappearance would have no noticeable effect on them. Life for them has not included the church as a prominent influence for them for long enough that its absence would not be felt.
Why is this such an important question for us to consider?
This is important because it helps us see and evaluate how we value our church and our participation in it. If the Lord’s church is important to you it should be evident based on your participation and attendance. On the other hand, if the church is not as important to you as other events in life, whatever those events are, its disappearance would likely not even show up on your list of important things in life.
James words in chapter 2:24-26 remind us that faith is more than following rules; more than just saying you believe in something, it is action. James poses the question, “what if a brother or sister showed up at your doorstep needing food or clothing?” How would you handle it? Would you say I am praying for you and send them away empty? Your answer will help you see how important your faith and church really is to you.
Consider it this way! If you husband, wife, parents, or kids suddenly disappeared it would take you a little while to notice (probably not very long) but once you did notice, life would change drastically. You would spring into action and nothing would stand in your way. You would call the police; you would call everyone you could think of in an attempt to find them. You would lose sleep, miss work, skip recreational activities; you would go to any extreme just to locate them. Nothing in your life would matter until you found them because that’s your family; that is your loved ones, your family. I know this is true because it is exactly how I would react.
Now, after considering that hypothetical question, ask yourself again, “how would you feel if the church was suddenly gone?” Your honest answer will tell you the truth about your feelings for the Lord and his church. It should help you decide if you need to restructure your life to be in keeping with your faith.