Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. (Acts 8:13)
According to a 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center, 81 percent of people go to church “to become closer to God.” Others attend church for important reasons like continuing family religious traditions, socializing, and pleasing a spouse or family member.
The Samaritans were enthralled with Simon’s magic. Then Philip arrived in town and shared the good news of God’s kingdom and Christ’s deliverance from sin and guilt. Many people believed Philip and became baptized to declare their faith in Christ. Even Simon believed in Christ and was baptized. Simon became Philip’s shadow as he continued to preach and verified Christ’s power through miracles. Simon was astonished by the miracles and became obsessed with them. One wonders if Simon was attracted to Christ or to the miracles because of his craft in sorcery.
Some who attend church today may be like Simon. They are absorbed in religious traditions and sacraments, but miss the true meaning of Christ’s death on the cross. Or, they come because a popular or influential person attends the church and they want to be seen by that person. They may go to church because another person expects them to attend and they do not want to disappoint.
Do we attend church to worship God, learn more about him, and apply the truths of the Bible in our lives? What really is our motive for attending church?
Reflect and discuss with God your reasons for attending church.
Gena Duncan is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and active in her local church. She enjoys bicycling and gardening.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.