From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My neighbor is constantly after me to go to church with her. She tells me that all people are sinners and that we should try to be better people. I am not comfortable going to church and being told how bad I am when I try to live a good life. Many people who go to that church live more sinful lives than I do. Who is right? -- C.D.
A: Thousands of people have entered churches without knowing Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Churchgoing may not necessarily be accompanied by a change in lifestyle.
It's hard to admit, but we are all sinners by birth, sinners by choice, and sinners by practice. The good news is that God has made a way for us to be saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), and this is the glorious gift to people in a fallen world. The difference between Heaven and earth is that Jesus Christ left Heaven's glory and came to this sin-infested earth for one reason: to make our eternal salvation possible.
Going to church isn't something that necessarily makes us better people. God ordained the church as a place where we can be fed, nourished, and developed into maturity; where we can feast on the Word of God and fellowship with one another. The Lord designed the church to proclaim His truths, and this will always reveal sin in us. For true believers, this keeps us close to God because we know that without Him, we fall short; we cannot live in a way that pleases Him.
God's grace is a reality that everyone can access. Christ died for all sinners (2 Corinthians 5:15). When we have this relationship with Christ, we will have a natural desire to find a Bible-believing church where saved sinners come together as the "household of God" (1Timothy 3:15, ESV).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2019 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.