1 John 2:19 “These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.”
There are times when it’s more than necessary and appropriate to leave a church, such as if the leadership becomes corrupt or heretical. For the most part, however, when people leave a church it’s most often because of the following:
1- They become offended with someone; they refuse to forgive and as a result they become entangled in the root of bitterness. They leave the church offended, find another one and leave that one offended as well. Everywhere they go, they find something or someone to target; they don’t have quiet spirits; they’re always going from place to place, mad and angry.
2- They turn back to sin; they will then seek out a church which will not confront their hypocrisy. These people will start out right and then dive headlong into temptation. The church which preaches holiness and right living will never be a comfortable place for these people so they look for a fellowship that “preaches love”. In other words, a church which will allow them to prophesy, sing and preach the Word while they’re shacked up, boozed up and drugged up.
3- They aren’t given a position of authority; they want to be seen by men for their gifts rather than character and godly fruit. These people crave attention; they want to be known as “prophets” and “apostles” and unless you “recognize” their gifts, they’ll soon become detached and leave. They’re self-seekers and want to be the authority in others’ lives yet refuse to submit to authority themselves.
4- God calls them out; in such cases, as seen in Acts 6, the local church will release them and affirm their call. These people are called out by the Holy Spirit to start a new work and the church as a corporate whole affirms this call on their lives. They are in good relationship with the church they’re called out of.
Revival House Fellowship is blessed to have, for the most part, a growing body of Believers who continue to grow and go in the Things of God. We’ve had our share of hoppers, those who turn back to sin and offended people but we have a group of sold out, dedicated and solid brothers and sisters who continue to not only come on Sundays but fellowship all through the week… just as family should!
Are YOU considering leaving YOUR church fellowship? Ask yourself if you fit into any of the categories I’ve listed. Are you angry with someone? Then forgive them! Are you in sin? Repent! Are you power hungry? Humble yourself! Are you being called out? Set a meeting with your leadership and explain your heart!
The worst thing you can do – something which shows your character and fruit is rotten to the core – is to simply abandon your church, it’s leadership and the brothers and sisters. In doing that, if you ever return, people are human… they aren’t going to trust you immediately and nor should they! If my parents abandoned me I’d be suspicious of anything they said afterwards! Why? Because while forgiveness is immediate… trust is not! Don’t pay attention to these Greasy Hyper Grace preachers who tell you otherwise. Trust IS earned… like it or not! If I abandoned someone I wouldn’t expect them to trust me until I showed fruit meet for repentance.
This evening, regardless of what church you attend… think about the consequences of treating your brothers and sisters like throw-aways! Broken trust and broken relationships aren’t easy to mend! Humble yourself, think about what you’re doing before you do it and realize that 99% of church issues aren’t about “them”… it’s about YOUR heart attitude!
Jesus loves the local church… and so should you! You can’t love the Head (Jesus) if you hate the Body!