Jerry F. Bassett
The apparent disinterest of many Christians in the church is indeed appalling. It is difficult to reconcile the fact that too many (any at all composes too large a segment) who profess to be children of God have little regard for their Father’s house. These people seem to think that the existence, growth, and well-being of the church is someone else’s concern; anyone else other than themselves.
While this inconsistency between profession and practice is difficult to understand still Christ indicated clearly one cause for the existence of such a circumstance.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rest doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt. 6:19-21).
Many church members have no interest in the church and things eternal because they have not invested their treasure in the church. If they had placed their hope and trust in the reception of God’s blessings in the church by investing their time, energy, and resources in the cause of that glorious institution it would be foremost in their heart, and hence the object of intense and undying interest.
A Christian above all people on the earth is a person of discernment and decision. In the next two verses Christ continued saying,
The light of the body is the eye: If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness (Matt. 6:22-23).
If the mind’s eye is healthy and whole it sets itself singly and steadfastly upon the goal and is not deterred therefrom. A Christian’s goal is heaven. In deciding to live the Christian life in obedience to the gospel one must forsake the world and take to himself instead the hope of a better day in a fairer land provided for the obedient and faithful by the power of a merciful God (Matt. 6:19:20; 1 Cor. 15:19-20). Such a decision is possible only if the eye is single, clearly discerning the goal ahead and the path that must be followed to attain it. When the eye is taken off the goal of eternity and is turned back to the world by the investment of oneself in “things which are seen” (temporal things) then the interest in “things which are not seen” (eternal things) dwindles and dies (2 Cor. 4:17-18; Col. 3:1-3).
Church members who have no interest in the church have simply failed to give themselves wholly to it. They have let their decision to “lay up treasures in heaven” become lost among the many imposing appeals to satisfy the “here and now.” They have not invested themselves in things eternal, consequently their interest does not lie in that direction.
A man who invests his time, energy, and resources in a business is not likely to neglect it. A man and woman who have spent the years of their lives building a successful and secure marriage for themselves and their children are not likely to neglect it. Neither will church members neglect the church when they put their treasure in it by giving themselves to it in full assurance of hope of receiving the rich blessings to be found therein.