Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Important Truth

This was in my daily devotion today.  It just struck me as too good to be lost between the pages of a book.  Every Christian should be confronted by this trusth regularly.

"At the beginning of the fourth century, the church historian Nicephorus informs us, the entire Christian congregation at Nicomedia in Asia Minor was suddenly attacked on the orders of the emperor Maximian.  They had been instructed to sacrifice to the gods, but instead were celebrating the joyous Christmas festival.  Their attackers quickly surrounded and burned the church, killing more than a thousand worshipers,

These were indeed hard, sad times.  It is still a sad situation when a Christian is unable to gather with his brothers in his church without the threat of persecution.  Yet it is incomparably sadder — and more dangerous — when Christians possess a beautiful church where they are free to gather peaceably and unhindered and they either abandon or falsify God’s Word.  A church in which man’s delusion and wit are proclaimed instead of Holy Scripture is nothing but and open gate to hell, a butchering table of Satan, a house of plagues to the soul.  Whoever enters such a church of unbelievers and enemies of Christ would have done better to come into a den of robbers and murderers, for there only his mortal body would have been killed, In a church of unbelievers, it is his immortal soul that is slain.  There are also churches in which the Word of God is indeed read aloud, but it is either taught only in part or interpreted falsely.  Here soul are led on dangerous detours and Satan sows handfuls of poisonous weeds next to the good seed of the Scriptures, tempting the hearts of the hearers, Christ Himself said of such churches, “‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers” (Matthew 21:13).   A person would be better advised to read the Word of God alone at home, even in tears of loneliness, that to attend such a church."

God Grant It, Daily Devotions from C.F.W. Walther, Trans. By Gerhard P. Grabenhofer, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 2006, p. 218-219.