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Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Testament Corrupted?

It has been claimed by many people that the New Testament has been corrupted. The opponents of the authenticity and reliability of the New Testament as it currently stands cite that the many translations and versions as the grounds for the belief of the corruption of the New Testament. These same people also charge that the original New Testament is lost. Therefore, the modern translations of the New Testament can not be exact copies of the original New Testament, since the original in their minds do not exist. So these people believe that the modern New Testament versions and translations are nothing more than further corruptions of a fraudulent text.
As proof of such corruption, one of the many examples they present is the fact that some modern English translations and versions have removed the word “begotten” from John 3:16. Opponents of the New Testament point to this removal as proof that the word “begotten” was previously added and was now correctly removed. This “proof” is an mistaken understanding of the intent of the translators of the New Testament and why they deemed it necessary to remove the word “begotten” from John 3:16. The reason why some modern translators removed the word “begotten” from John 3:16 was not because it did not previously exist and was added, it was removed because the translators assumed that the reader of the scripture would assume that if God had a son, he would have to be of natural birth in order for him to exist in the natural world, which what the word “begotten” means. So this removal did not change the concept of God having a Son, naturally born, as many of the opponents of the New Testament would have people to believe.

It is true that the original New Testament texts were lost to decay, but what many opponents of the New Testament fail to recognize that many copies of the original New Testament were made before the originals were lost, about 24 thousand copies or more to be exact and more are being found every few years. No other religious or classical writings even come close to the number of copies made of its texts in comparison to the number of copies made of original New Testament texts. Secondly, the process by which the copies were made: If an error was found during the copying process, the proposed copy was destroyed. Another copy was made to replace the copy that was destroyed. This process was preserving the continuity and consistency of the original New Testament documents over time. This process was adopted from the Jewish community, remember the first Christians were originally Jews, so it not surprising that Jewish Christians kept the document preservation traditions of their Jewish only neighbors when making copies of their documents.  Thirdly, many of the written works of the 2nd century church fathers were also preserved in very much the same manner. From these church fathers are about 800 or more direct quotes from the original Apostles of Jesus, the Christ. Through these quotes alone can the New Testament be completely reassembled, and that without the use of the 24 thousand plus copies of the New Testament. A theologian named, Sir David Dalrymple some time ago took up the challenge of the reassembly of the New Testament and successfully did exactly that. He reassembled the New Testament as we have it today without deviations or alteration. He proved the charge of corruption of the New Testament false. He also proved that the New Testament remained consistently unchanged, even after the original New Testament was lost to decay.

Here are some statements by other theologians about the corruption of the New Testament:
From Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (Mohammed’s cousin and one of his companions) ... Islam's premiere commentator:
(a) “They corrupt the word” means “they alter or change its meaning”,yet no one is able to change even a single word from any Book of God. The meaning is that they interpret the word wrongly.”From: Kitaab (the book of) Al-Tawheed, Baab (chapter) Qawlu AllahTa'ala, Bal Huwa Qur'aanun Majeed, fi lawhin Mahfooth
(b) “The word “Tahrif” [corruption] signifies to change a thing from its original nature; and there is no man who could corrupt a single word of what proceeds from God, so that the Jews and Christians could corrupt only by misrepresenting the meanings of the word of God.'' From: Imam Muhammad Isma'il al-Bukhari in Dictionary of Islam, T.P.Hughes, Kazi Publications, Inc, 3023-27 West BelmontAvenue, Chicago Il. 60618, 1994, p.62Al-Razi (Egyptian, 7thc.)

One of the most famous Muslim scholars, called "the Eman of Muslim Emams"”How could there be any alteration in the Book whose words' sharpness has reached a great level of circulation in the East and in the West? ... For no change can occur in a book that is well circulated among men. Every wise man can see that the alteration of the Bible was impossible for it was well circulated among men of different faith and backgrounds."From: p.327 of his Third Volume Ali Tabari (Arabian, 7thc.)

Tabari wrote a semi-official defence of Islam against the Jews and Christians while he was at Baghdad during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph Mutawakkil (AD 847-861). At no time did he charge them with corrupting their Scriptures. Instead he says concerning the first religious book in history: ”... the first one which came into existence, is the Torah, which is in the hands of the People of the Book.” He goes on to say, “As to the Gospel which is in the hands of the Christians, the greater part of it is the history of the Christ, His birth and His life.” From: Tabari, The Book of Religion and Empire, p.51He thus openly acknowledged that the authentic Torah and Gospel remained in the hands of the Jews and the Christians, and when speaking of them, he outlined the contents of the Old and New Testaments. His only charge against the Jews and Christians was that they did not always understand or accept the true meaning of their teachings, and he often quoted the Old and New Testaments to make his point.
Fakhruddin Razi (Persian, 1149-1209) -- Sunni theologian Razi ... on the authority of Ibn Abbas, a nephew of Muhammed:"The Jews and early Christians were suspected of altering the text of the Taurat and Injil; but in the opinion of eminent doctors and theologians it was not practicable thus to corrupt the text, because those Scriptures were generally known and widely circulated, having been handed down from generation to generation."

Muhammad Abduh Sayyid Ahmad Khan (Indian, 1817-1898) Prominent Muslim modernist whose influence on Islamic thought and policy shaped/defined Muslim responses to modernism in the latter half of the 19thc ”As far as the text of the Bible is concerned, it has not been altered. No attempt was made to present a diverging text as the authentic one.”From: M.H.Ananikian, “The Reforms and Religious Ideas of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan”, The Moslem World 14 (1934) p.61

Muhammad â€کAbduh (Egyptian, 1849-1905) Reformer and pioneer of Islamic modernism and nationalism”... the charge of corruption of the Biblical texts makes no sense at all. It would not have been possible for Jews and Christians every where to agree on changing the text. Even if those in Arabia had done it, the difference between their book and those of their brothers, let us say in Syria and Europe, would have been obvious.”From: Jacques Jomier, “Jesus, The Life of the Messiah”, C.L.S., Madras, 1974, p.216

Ibn Muniyah”Ibn Mazar and Ibn Hatim state, in the commentary known as the Tafsir Durr-I-Mansur, that they have it on the authority of Ibn Muniyah, that the Taurat (i.e. the books of Moses), and the Injil (i.e. the Gospels), are in the same state of purity in which they were sent down from heaven, and that no alterations had been made in them, but that the Jews were wont to deceive the people by unsound arguments, and by wresting the sense of Scripture ... Shah Waliyu ‘Illah (in his commentary, the Fauzul â€کl-Kabir), and also Ibn ‘Abbas, support the same view.” From: T.P.Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, Kazi Publications, Inc, 3023-27 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago Il. 60618, 1994, p.62

Dr. Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub (Lebanese, 1938-present) Professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion at Temple Univ. (USA)(a) “Contrary to the general Islamic view, the Qur'an does not accuse Jews and Christians of altering the text of their scriptures, but rather of altering the truth which those scriptures contain. The people do this by concealing some of the sacred texts, by misapplying their precepts, or by altering words from their right position.”From: “Uzayr in the Qur'an and Muslim Tradition” in “Studies in Islamic and Judaic Traditions”,ed.

W.M.Brenner and S.D.Ricks, The University of Denver, 1986, p.5 (b) “... both the Hebrew Bible and the N.T. took their final form long before the rise of Islam. The Qur'an speaks of both the Torah and the Gospel as in them is guidance and light. It calls on the two faith-communities to judge by what God had revealed in their Scriptures. It also speaks that both Jews and Christians altered words from their right places and had forgotten some of what God had revealed for them. This does not mean distorting, adding, and deleting of the Scriptures. Therefore, Qur'anic references to tahrif, or alteration, are more to interpretation rather than changing the texts.”

From: May 15, 2008 e-mail to author. The Egyptian scholar, Muhammad 'Abduh, acknowledges that the charge of corruption of the Biblical texts makes no sense at all. “It would not have been possible for Jews and Christians everywhere to agree on changing the text. Even if those in Arabia had done it, the difference between their book and those of their brothers, let us say in Syria and Europe, would have been obvious.”In regard to the four Gospel accounts of the New Testament, he adds:"We believe that these Gospel accounts are the true Gospel."

Mawlawi Muhammad Sa'id, a former inspector of schools in Punjab, writes: ”... as God says in the beginning of the Qur'an: “And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful.” (2:4, 5) ”Some Muslims imagine that the Injil is corrupted. But as far as corruption is concerned, not even one among all the verses of the Qur'an mentions that the Injil or the Tawrat is corrupted. In the concerned passages it is written that the Jews - yes the Jews, not the Christians - alter the meaning of the passages from the Tawrat while they are explaining them. At least the Christians are completely exonerated from this charge. Hence the Injil is not corrupted and the Tawrat is not corrupted. For it does not necessarily follow that these Scriptures are corrupt because of the wrong opinion of some uninformed persons.”

Sayyid Ahmad Husayn Shawkat Mirthi has written: ”The ordinary Muslim people acknowledge that the Injil is the Word of God. Yet they also believe through hearsay (taqlidi 'aqida) that the Injil is corrupted, even though they cannot indicate what passage was corrupted, when it was corrupted, and who corrupted it. Is there any religious community in this world whose lot is so miserable that they would shred their heavenly Book with their own hands, and then, after restlessly patching it with sackcloth, they must throw dust in the eyes of the people? True, some religious communities change the meaning (tahrif-i ma'nawi) of their Scriptures. To say that God has taken the Injil and the Tawrat into heaven and has abrogated them is to defame and slander God. It is to pour ridicule not only upon the Qur'an but upon all the Books. Abrogation always arises because of error. Laws of earthly kingdoms are abrogated because experience has proved that they are harmful. But God makes no mistake, nor does He lack experience.”

Writes Mawlawi Chirag ud-Din: "The Qur'an commands us to believe and to honour the previous Scriptures and Apostles. According to Surah (Nisa): “O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime.” (4:136) ”When, therefore, it is commanded to believe in these Holy Scriptures, why consider the study of these Scriptures reprehensible? For when the order to believe the Qur'an and the Holy Scriptures is one and the same, how can one conclude that reading the Qur'an is a meritorious act, but that reading the Holy Scriptures is a punishable offence? ”

More recently, the Muslim scholar Mahmoud Ayoub, while discussing various Muslim commentaries on the Quranic claim that Jews call Ezra "the son of God", of tahrif which concurs with the opinion of Abduh and others noted above: ”Contrary to the general Islamic view, the Qur'an does not accuse Jews and Christians of altering the text of their scriptures, but rather of altering the truth which those scriptures contain. The people do this by concealing some of the sacred texts, by misapplying their precepts, or by "altering words from their right position" (4:26; 5:13, 41; see also 2:75). However, this refers more to interpretation than to actual addition or deletion of words from the sacred books.”

Fr. Jacques Jomier graphically portrays the issue which provoked the thoughts of Mahmoud Ayoub and Adil Ozdemir: ”The problem of the authenticity of our scriptures is a difficult one, but it is one of the most important points on which light needs to be shed. No serious discussion with Muslims is possible as long as we do not agree on the authenticity of the text of the Bible and the Gospels.
At a meeting between Muslims and Christians in Tripoli, Libya, in 1976, Fr. Landry of the White Fathers solemnly made two requests in the course of a masterly conference. First of all, in the name of Christians, he asked forgiveness for all our unjust treatment of Muslims in the past; he then asked firmly for Muslims to take the text of our scriptures seriously. The first request prompted indescribable emotion and much embracing; the second met with total indifference and fell on deaf ears”

Prof. Abdullah Saeed, PhDA significant point of tension between today’s Muslims and the ‘People of the Book’ (Jews and Christians) is the common Muslim belief that the Jewish and Christian scriptures that exist today are corrupted and cannot be relied upon in any matters of faith, religion or law. Although this is a popular view, most classical scholars of the Qur’an were far more cautious in their understanding of Qur’anic texts on this issue. This article explores the Qur’an’s references to distortion of scriptural meaning and text, and the views of scholars, particularly Tabari, Qurtubi, Razi, Ibn Taymiyya and Qutb. Qur’anic words such as tahrif are popularly accepted today as referring to deliberate distortion of scripture; however, classical scholars have interpreted the Qur’an’s references in a number of different ways. Almost all suggested that distortion occurred mainly through interpretation and not in the text itself. Although the Qur’an refers to tahrif (distortion), it also exhibits the utmost respect for previous scriptures. Early Muslims adopted a narrow view of scripture, partly because of the nature of the Qur’an, and also in response to the more established religions of Judaism and Christianity, to assert the ‘purity’ of the Qur’an and Islam. Saeed notes that the Jewish and Christian scriptures that exist today are, according to most scholars, largely unchanged since the time of Muhammad and should be respected now as they were then. From: his article "The Charge of Distortion of Jewish and Christian Scriptures", in the 2002 Publication: The Muslim World. Vol. 92http://www.abdullahsaeed.org/article/charge-distortion-jewish-and-christian-scriptures

Source for all quotes: www.netmuslims.com, posted by the Asif on the thread titled Muslim scholars say "no tanrif" of the Bible.

Now many of these quotes are from Muslim scholars who do not agree with the popular idea that Christians and Jews altered the Law and the Gospel. But what was revealed here today is such corruption of the New Testament did not exist in the early church. From which all modern translations that are worth their salt is taken from. In fact some of these notable Muslim scholars state that it was impossible to do because if some did attempt to change the Gospel the error would have been discovered and corrections would have been made. Why? Because of the widespread use and copying of the original New Testament corruption of the New Testament was impossible.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Don't Be Late For the Wedding Party!

In Mathew 22, we have a parable of a king that made a marraige for his son. He sent servants to everyone he thought worthy to invite. They disreguarded the invite and mistreated the servants, some of which they slew. This made the king angry and he sent his armies and burnt up their villiages. He then commanded other servants to go out and invite anyone to the wedding party. So the wedding party was full of guests. The King looked out among the crowd and saw a person who did not have a wedding garment on. He commanded the servants to bind that person and cast him out of the wedding party.

I looked at this and realized that the king was God. Who had sent servants to preach the word of the comming messiah, But the people that heard killed and disreguarded them. God therefore allowed Armies to take thier villages and into Captivity. After the time of their Captivity was fulfilled He sent other servants but this time he invited anyone to the wedding party. I had to stop there. The preaching of the Gospel is the invite to the wedding party. You see in American traditions the wedding Party happens after the wedding, but in Biblical times the wedding party preceeded the wedding itself. Then the message rang clear. People are missing the wedding party! Because saints are not inviting people to be saved. People are missing the wedding party, beacuse they are not dressed in the wedding garment.

Some will show up at the wedding party without their wedding garment on. These are folks that think that because they attended church, or was a good moral person that they will partake of the wedding party. Some will come with their own moral beliefs about God that God did not declare of himself through his servants. These people don't have their wedding garment on.

What is the wedding garment: It is listed in Ephesians Chapter 6. We Call it the armor of God. What the sad thing is that some believers have taken their helmet off, they believe God can save, but not them. Some have taken off the loins of truth, the are not honest but believe that god can save them, Some have put down the shield of faith, they just do not believe that God can do nothing for them, except being saved. The list goes on.

Are you one of these types of believers? Don't miss the wedding party because you don't have your wedding garment on.

The Call of Discipleship

There is a time where a person who is a believer in Christ endeavors to improve his walk with the Lord. That yearning to be a better Christian than he once was is God bred. Some believers mistake that yearning as a call to the ministry. What that yearning is the call to discipleship. There is a difference between being a believer and being a disciple. A believer is someone who has come into the knowledge of the saving power of Christ. He is a witness of the transformation from within to those who may have not yet accepted the Lord as their personal savior. On the other hand a disciple is a believer that has taken the next step in his or her spiritual growth. That person has determined to commit his or her way of living to a lifestyle that Christ taught in the Gospel and what His apostles taught in their actions and letters to church. Too many believers are running with visions of granduer in the ministry and failing woefully. Causing more damage than what the enemies of the cross could hope for. Before any believer can venture out into a designated ministry of the church, that person must realize that he must become a student and ardent follower of Christ. He must become an disciple. Let us look at what are the requirements of being a disciple in Christ.

The prequisites of discipleship:
1) A person must have experienced the saving power of Christ and be saved.
2) A person must have a desire to deepen his life walk with the Lord Christ.
3) A person must surrender his bond with earthly attachements and sumbit himself to the obedience of the Law of Christ.

The price of discipleship:
1) A disciple must pick up his "cross" and follow Jesus. The cross symbolizing the burden of his life and salvation of his soul.
2) A disciple is committed to the work of the Lord. 
3) A disciple is willing to lose all to gain Christ. Jesus advises that if a individual chooses to become his disciple, that person needs to consider the price.

The young rich ruler that came to Jesus seeking how he may obtain eternal life. Jesus instructed him to keep the comandments to which the young rich ruler replied that he has kept the commandments from his youth. Jesus then responded if he was perfect sell what you had and follow Him. The young rich ruler went away sorrowful because he had obtained great possessions. The young rich ruler could not make the switch. He was tied down to too many riches. This was a concern to the disciples that followed Jesus in so much that Peter inquired that the have made the switch. They have left all and came to follow him. Jesus then lays out what is on the other side of the switch. Houses, land, family, etc. a hundered fold times over in this life and in the life to come. However he also said that this will come with a bit of persecution. So if a person is willing to pay the price, lose all to gain Christ he will gain all again.

So How does one become a Disciple? (do not skip the steps)
1) Get saved, born again, accept Jesus as your personal Lord and savior.
2) Commit yourself to the work of the Lord in a church or ministry in study and participation.
3) Each candidate for discipleship after being observed and showing the commitment to the teachings of Christ through the ministry or the church must be water baptised.

 Once a believer grows into discipleship, the door to ministry opens wide and according to your gifts room will be made for you. There is no short cuts,  each of the above steps must be observed.  There are many followers of Christ, but not many disciples for many are called but few are chosen. Yet if you have been in church for awhile and yearn to do more for God through Christ, become a disciple.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Curse of Canaan

It has been taught that the reason that black people are cursed because of their ancestral father Canaan. However, upon further review and study, I had found that assumption is not true. However just to state a thing as not true does not make it not true. Edvidence in the bible points to misinterpretation of the issue.

Why do people believe that black people are cursed in the first place? People look around and see the plight of black people in america and determine that no matter how you try to uplift a race of people they will remain where they are socialeconmically. When people ask certain religious leaders about why this is they point to the story of the curse Noah placed upon Cannaan. They cite that canaan is the father of all cursed people and black people decended from Canaan. What is worse is that they cite the bible for validation of this belief. When the bible does not state the decendancy of the black race came from Canaan. In fact the Bible states that Ham is the father of all Africans. Yes Canaan was one of the sons of Ham, but Canaan did not settle in Africa. Canaan removed himself from his fathers house and dominion and started a separate lineage in what was called Canaan land. This is the same land that God promised to Israel and called it the Promise Land. Israel conquested the Land and subjugated its inhabitants.

Now Ham had other sons: Egypt, Cush, ect. All remained on the contenent we know as Africa. None of Ham's other sons were cursed by Noah, only Canaan. Now someone must of thought that since Canaan was cursed all of Ham's sons were cursed. Impossible, the other sons were born after the cursed was placed on Canaan. If Noah wanted to curse Ham he would have done so directly. Noah did not curse Ham. Even Ham took away Canaan's birthright for the offense he pepurtrated upon his grandfather. How do I know this? Well when genealogies are wrote in the Bible the oldest son always takes the first position in the listing. When one examines the lineage of Ham, they find that Canaan, Hams oldest son is not given the first position in the linage. Canaan is placed in the last place. This rendering of the lineage of Ham is signifcant, If we examine the other lineages associated with the text we find that the oldest son is named first and the other children may not be mentioned at all. It is in a few cases that the other sons are mentioned,and that they are mentioned in the order of their birth. We find that it is the first son, the oldest son holds the first listing positiion in the fathers lineages. We findng that Canaan was listed last only signifies the Ham was not pleased with Canaan's action against his grandfather. He took from him the valuable and cherished birthright and gave it to the next born son.

What did Canaan do? This is up to speculation. Many have come up with many things but can not support it because the Bible does not give us the details that would support their conjecture on what did Canaan do?. Let us think what did actually happen, base on what the bible does tell us. In our examination we need to include the events that happen prior to the cursing of Canaan and the events after. Event number 1: Noah has triplets Shem, Ham and Japeth. Event number two: God calls Noah to build an ark and commands him to warn about the impending flood. Event number 3: God calls all the animals of the earth and eight souls that makes up Noahs family to the ark. Event Number 4: The earth is flooded, during this time Ham has a son and names him Canaan Event Number 5: After many days the flood waters subsided and the Ark rests on a mountain side. All leave the ark. Event number 6: Noah performs the first sacrificail offerring after the flood and God makes convenant with mankind through Noah. Event number 7: Noah plants a new vineyard and drinks of the fruits of his labor. He gets drunk. Event number 8: Canaan finds Noah in his drunken state and transports him to his tent. Canaan strips his grandfather of everything he has, his clothes, his tools his seeds and leaves him naked in the tent. Event number 9: Ham comes looking for Canaan and thinks he is in the tent with his grandfather and he goes to inspect only to find his father naked on the floor of the tent. Event number 10: Ham ashamed of looking upon his fathers naked body tells his other two brothers and they took a blanket into the tent walking backwards and covered the nakeness of the thier fathers body. Event number 11: When Noah came to himself, he looked around and knew that his youngest Son, Canaan had done to him and specifically Cursed Canaan. Event number 12: Ham was notified that Canaan had done this deed to his grandfather He took away his birthright. Event number 13: Canaan took one of his sisters or sisters in Law for a wife and migrated to what was to become the Land of Canaan. This is the only logical and biblical explaination of what happed and what Canaan do?

The curse of Canaan is not exclusive to the black race but any child of any age or race that dishonors. their father. Many children are living in the curse of Canaan, because they have dishonored the father of their youth. They have taken, stolen and moved away from their father and are under the dellusion that they will be blessed in their endeavours. The bible says and comands that all children must honor their father and mother that long life would be awarded to them. How can you honor God the father, who is invisible and you don't see and not honor the father who you do see.

I wrote this with no scripture refferences because I desire that you search out the story line mentioned in this blog for yourself and do not take my word for it. However, for those who are lost to where to look I encourage you to read Genesis chapters 4-10, Mathew 24, and the letters of Peter. You will find references to the blog you just read.

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Why Do We Need To Go To Church?

I was teaching a Sunday school class of children one day and very young teenage girl asked this question: Why do I need to come to church? My response to her was that she may learn what the call of God on her life is. I turned to the rest of the class and told them that because of Jesus every child has a call of God on all their lives. Some will learn what that call is, some don't learn what that call of God on their lives is. The scripture I used was the same one Peter used when God poured out his Spirit upon all flesh on the day of Pentecost. I also quoted the prophet Joel. Then I further explained that John the Baptist proclaimed about the coming messiah in his messages as he who will baptize with fire. That fire that John, the Baptist spoke of, is the Holy Spirit, that the messiah Jesus, the Christ, received at his water baptism. This is the same Holy Spirit that the Apostles were the first to receive that initial baptism of the Holy Spirit through Jesus, the Christ, empowering them to preach the Gospel throughout the world. Then, I said to the entire youth class, "The devil wants you to be distracted and inattentive, this way you will never find out what God in Christ called you to be. This is why the Church exists, to promote the knowledge of God through Christ. This is why every person needs to come to church."
 The problem is people think that Church is just a social activity which really does not have a role in the real world, except that of taking peoples money and giving it all to the Pastor. It is sad that this view has been espoused promoted by people who are not real servants of the Lord but scam artist looking to exploit the masses using Christ and a Church as their cloak.
 The church's value is in the building of individual lives and families in the will and order of God according to the Gospel of Christ.
 The church's importance in society is that it provides service to the hopeless, comfort to the discouraged and provision, as it is able to do it, to those who are needy.
 The church's purpose is to maintain the testimony of the saving power of Christ as a light to a dark and lost society, in the hope that its witness concerning Christ will save some.
 The church's strength does not only come from God but also from its members who have identified themselves apart of the local church body.
 People will never know this, if they don't come to church and learn what their call in God's work is. The Bible states: "My People perish for the lack of knowledge" This is Satan's goal: To get people to not hear the Gospel; To discourage them from coming to church and get them spiritually out on a island all by themselves so that he may steal from them what God has provided for them in Christ, which includes the call of God on the life of the believer and the reward for obedience to the call of God by the believer.
 When God called Abram, he went in obedience to Gods directive even though he did not know where he was going, for he knew that if God promised him something it was as sure as money in the bank that it will come to pass. He took God's promise and believed it and consequently obeyed it. Today people can not take the promise of God and walk by faith to receive the rewards of obedience to it. Why? The reason is that people want the reward first then suggest that they will obey God thereafter. God knows that people will not obey HIM. So the reward of the promises of God is of faith first, obedience second. Again people will not know this if they do not come to church and learn what the call of God on their lives is.
So there is a blessing awaiting those who come to church, not just to fill a pew. A blessing for those who come to church to find what Christ wants them to do for his glory.  That is why we all need to go to church.   Without that knowledge, life can become meaningless and purposeless.
So come to church, find your purpose in God, in Christ for the glory of God.   See what blessings God will perform in your life.