Tuesday, August 2, 2022
“For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess” (Acts 19:37 KJV).
Do even the “heathen” attend church? Yes, according to today’s Scripture, they do!
Many years back, a dear brother in Christ was recounting a few of his “adventures” in ministry. When he would travel to neighborhoods and knock on doors to distribute Gospel literature and talk to the residents, he would encounter many “smart-aleck” people. They were sassy or captious, asking him, “Where do the heathen go?” After all, what about these who had not heard about Jesus Christ? Would they be sent to Hell too? (This was nothing but a flimsy excuse or futile escape for those who had heard the Gospel but refused to believe it. Shifting the focus to “those who have not heard about Christ” allows those who have heard about Christ to ignore their own dreadful eternal plight!) My friend would reply with a smile, “Why, the heathen go to supermarkets and department stores!” Yea, the heathen also go to church!
One prevailing, eternally fatal myth is the belief that going to church or joining a church automatically makes people Christians. “I am a Christian because I grew up in church.” Conversely, (another eternally fatal myth) when they cease church service attendance or church membership, they are no longer Christians. “I used to be a Christian, but then I left the church.” These notions, although in the hearts and minds of sincere people, are sincerely wrong. If the Bible is correct, and we think it is, “heathen” (pagan idolaters) have “churches.” Today’s Scripture once more: “For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.” (While found in our King James Bible, unfortunately, “churches” is dropped from almost all modern English translations here.)
The English word “church” is taken from the medieval Greek “kurikon,” itself from “kuriakon,” with “kurios” meaning “lord, master.” Therefore, in its purest sense, “church” actually means “belonging to the Lord.” Yet, it has been used loosely to refer to anything related to religion, and today’s Scripture is an example. Indeed, “heathen” or non-Christians attend church….