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John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, wrote “Worship, the Ultimate Priority” a number of years ago. His message is timeless, and remains in print. Little did I know that as I prepped to teach my class at church (in person!) that I would find a key purpose of the Left’s demand that churches cease in-person services explicitly laid out in a story told for decades. MacArthur recounts …
“A pastor went to see a man who didn’t attend church very faithfully. The man was sitting before a fire, watching the warm glow of the coals. It was a cold winter day, but the coals were red hot, and the fire was warm. The pastor pleaded with the man to be more faithful in meeting with the people of God, but the man didn’t seem to be getting the message.
So the pastor took the tongs beside the fireplace, pulled open the screen, and reached in and began to separate all the coals. When none of the coals was touching the others, he stood and watched in silence. In a matter of moments, they were all cold. “That’s what’s happening in your life,” he told the man. “As soon as you isolate yourself from God’s people, the fire goes out.”
-MacArthur, John. Worship (p. 144). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
This is exactly what we are seeing. Many churches that have been filled with lukewarm Christians will never recover from the lockdowns. Their coals have gone out. Without the regular company of believers, those who have not fully committed themselves to God find themselves weakened and may never come back.
I don’t think many of the radical Left have read MacArthur’s book or heard that illustration from the pulpit, but the result is the same. Their rabid hatred makes them celebrate when those who believe differently are harmed. If divine authority is belittled, so much the better. Little do they understand that they are culpable in eternal harms. But the Father of Lies is happy to use his useful idiots to do his work.
Churches need to rapidly realize that the pandemic is over. If someone is ill, they should stay home. Otherwise, they should not forsake the assembling together (Hebrews 10:23-25). It is an essential part of keeping the flame of faith burning.
Ted Noel MD posts on social media as DoctorTed or @VidZette.
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Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it.
When I left a nice, corporate career in 2017, I did so knowing I wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But what we do at NOQ Report to deliver the truth and fight the progressive mainstream media narrative that has plagued this nation is too important for me to sacrifice it for the sake of wealth. We know we’ll never make a ton of money this way, and we’re okay with that.
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Things have become harder with the coronavirus lockdowns. Both ad money and donations that have kept us afloat for a while have dropped dramatically. We thought we could weather the storm, but the so-called “surge” or “2nd-wave” that mainstream media and Democrats are pushing has put our prospects in jeopardy. In short, we are now in desperate need of financial assistance.
The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We need approximately $11,500 to stay afloat for the rest of 2020, but more would be wonderful and any amount that brings us closer to our goal is greatly appreciated.
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