Some people come to church without any faith. They have a verbal acquiescence of Jesus as Lord but no true faith in Him as Lord. They see themselves as good people who do what is morally right but do not believe in an active God. They are deist who attend church regularly.
These people come to church faithfully. They give and serve. They may even be considered some of the best people within the church. They are often positive on the church's mission. They are often agreeable with mission activity and outreach efforts. They want their children and grandchildren to be baptized members who come to church religiously.
Yet, these people do not truly believe in the Bible. They do not believe in any of the miracles. They do not believe in the absolutes of right and wrong. They think that God helps those who help themselves and they are not sure about Him helping even when they help themselves. They see their own lives as thinly hopeful for salvation for they have chosen the parts of the Bible they like or don't like. Their god is powerless to provide them with anything they need. He is a figurehead for the reason they attend church.
Were these people always like this? Did they lose their faith because of tragic circumstances in their lives? Did they pray to God fervently without receiving the answer they believed they must have? Did they decide that He was not such a loving, all-powerful and knowing God if He didn't answer them in their darkest hour?
I don't know. I only know that they are now faithless in church. I know that they do not believe God can do anything for them. They do not believe He is behind anything that happens to them. They do not believe He will bring about anything good for them. They do not believe that they can pray with any confidence that God will answer.
Church has become their social outlet. It is where they see their friends. They can always get along with everyone there with a little pretending to have faith. A few words of "God will take care of you" to another seals their acceptance into the larger group of people called the church. Few expect that these folks have no faith. They are still thinly hoping for some things to happen but have no faith in God to cause them.
Those who are faithless in church cannot see what faith is. They have done what has been expected verbally for they have said, "Jesus is Lord." They have done what has been expected physically for they have been baptized. They have done what has been expected to be a good Christian because they have served, given and attended the church's highest claims of faithfulness. Yet, they do not know Jesus at all. He is merely someone others speak of. They aren't sure that He ever existed and are very sure that He doesn't exist now.
Some day they will die and church members will attend their funerals. No one will suspect that they never knew the Lord. Words will be said of their trip to heaven and how we shall all see them there. There friends will go the their families and tell them, "He is in a better place."
It won't be true.
I wonder how many are pretending though in church. I wonder how many funerals I have done for people who didn't go to heaven. I believed they did but my belief isn't what's important.
Are you faithless in church? Is this your story?
Micah 6:8 (ESV)
8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?