God’s open church is waiting for you

Published 12:06 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

When I was a child, there wasn’t a Bible study, prayer meeting or Sunday school and service that I didn’t attend. Although our parents wasn’t church goers, they made sure we (the children), went to church. It wasn’t until later years that Momma became a minister, after we were nearly grown.

There was one thing I remember about church when I was growing up, and that was, it seemed as though the doors were always open. No, I mean literally open. There was no key or locked building, it was just open to come in, at any given day or time.  I can remember arriving at church very early and the door wasn’t locked, and no one was there. Not like today, the churches of old didn’t have much that a burglar would want. All that was inside were the wood carved benches, podium and an old worn down piano that had some bad keys. Most of the other instruments that were used, such as the tambourine or a guitar, were normally brought to church by the members who owned them.

Yes, church has gone far from being that. Today, if they weren’t locked up, there would be many valuable items coming up missing. Although church cannot be left open today, as in the past, at least we know that the concept is still the same. And that is to draw and win as many souls as possible to Christ.

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But if you ever pass through the town of Ferriday, you can still have that same effect of church, as the days of old.  Right in the middle of the two lights on the main street, you will see an open church. It is signified by three standing crosses and a few benches. Yes, there are no locked doors, locked windows, or four wall to contain it. It is an open church. That concept reminds me of the days of old, and that God’s house is always open to the public.

Whether it’s day or night, rain or shine, winter or summer (even fall and spring), the church is open. You don’t need a key to get in, just a key to your heart to give to God so that he may come in. It reminds me of the scripture that says, “Come unto me (all ye that labor and are heavy laden), and I will give you rest.” In other words, come as you are, you wouldn’t even need to go and get all dressed up with clothing. This church doesn’t mind if you don’t have on shoes or a shirt. Its main concern is that “you come.”

Just sitting in the presence of the three crosses would remind you of Jesus’ crucifixion as he hung on the cross with two criminals, one to his left and one to his right. It should remind you that no matter what you have done in your life that you still have a chance unto everlasting life. Just as he told one of the criminals, that this day (the day of his crucifixion) he would be in paradise (with him).

That is what the open church in that small town in Ferriday is saying. It is open to all, even those who feel as though they have done so much wrong that they need not be in any church, not so, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and you are no exception. Just as that church is open, you don’t need a specific time to be there or leave. God is forgiving each and every second throughout the day. And if you believe that you are that criminal who was more interested in saving his life (for a few extra years, and not to have eternal life), and hadn’t given your life to Christ, know that you too have a chance.

So if you are in the neighborhood, just passing through, or compelled to come and sit on one of the benches at the open church, then come, sit or stand, and commune (with words) unto the Lord Jesus.  Pour out your heart. God will hear you. He will hear your faintest cry, even when others can’t. Let him know your wants and the desires of your heart; in reality, he already knows them. He just want you to talk to him.

He told us in his Word that the hour (time) will come when we will not worship him in any place (mountain or Jerusalem), but worship him only in truth and spirit. And that time is now.  The open church (wherever it may be) is waiting for you to bring your cares to a God who can hear your cries anywhere.
Beverly Gibson is a native of Natchez.