Q: You're always telling people to go to church, but all the churches I've been to are so boring I can't stand it. You'll probably tell me just to keep looking, but why should I? Besides that, I enjoy having a day to myself. — K.W.W.
A: Let me ask you a question: What exactly are you seeking in a church? In other words, what would a "good" church be like, in your opinion? What do you hope to get out of it?
I don't know how you'd answer, but let me suggest how you should answer. First, when we gather with other believers, we should worship God, That is, we should focus on him, and our hearts and minds should be filled with praise and thanksgiving. The center of our faith is Jesus Christ, and when we realize who he is and what he has done for us through his death and resurrection, we can't help but worship and praise God.
Then we should also come together to learn from God's word as it is preached and taught. God wants us to grow stronger in our faith and become more like Christ — and this will happen as we let God's word take root in our hearts and minds. Ask God to help you focus on the sermon and the reading of the Bible.
The Bible says, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ" (Romans 10:17).
Finally, through church we learn from other believers. Don't just attend the weekly service; seek other opportunities for fellowship with others. Make sure of your commitment to Christ, and then ask him to lead you to a church where you not only won't be bored, but you'll grow in your faith.
Q: How bad does a nation have to get before God steps in and destroys it? Sometimes I wonder if we aren't getting close to that line. — Mrs. S.T.
A: You are right to be concerned about this, because the Bible clearly tells us that God not only judges individuals, but also judges nations that rebel against him and turn their backs on his righteousness and justice.
It happened most clearly in the Old Testament, when God eventually allowed the enemies of ancient Israel to invade and destroy it. First came the Assyrians, a cruel and heartless nation that destroyed the northern tribes of Israel; later the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and captured the southern tribes.
Repeatedly, God sent his prophets to warn of judgment and urge the people to turn back to God, but they refused, and eventually God allowed their nation to collapse. God said, "Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you.... But you have not paid attention or listened to me" (Jeremiah 35:15).
No one can say exactly when that might happen to us (or any other nation) because God is patient, and he doesn't give us what we deserve. But we must never ignore his warnings or assume he doesn't care what we do — because he does. Sin is an offense to him because it's a deliberate rejection of God and all the good things he's done for us.
Pray for our nation, and pray for those around you who don't know Christ or have turned their backs on him. God loves them just as he does you, and he sent his only Son into the world to give his life for their salvation.
God's promise is true: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" (Isaiah 30:15).
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://www.billygraham.org.)