by Paul List:
When shooting a rifle on a thousand yard range, a lot can go wrong. Most people do not know it but the single most important factor is the wind in the first hundred yards. It is just like a boat that is trying to cross the Atlantic from England to America. If the boat gets off course in the first nautical mile and maintains that error, they could easily end up in Brazil.
The yards add up to a thousand quickly when you are shooting a .50 caliber rifle. The miles slip away silently as the ship sails across the pond. Getting started correctly from the beginning is crucial to ending where you want to be. Living life is much the same. The days come and go, weeks turn into months, then years, then decades.
Getting squared away as early as possible is essential. Many people have to make several costly course corrections in life that never should have happened. A good church provides a solid platform, just as a steel and concrete shooting bench does so for the accurate marksman. There are many good churches in the world today.
They must be Christ led and Christ centered. Period. If the church does not preach Christ, run. There is no foundation, or reason for existing as a church. Good churches teach and preach the Bible. If the church does not teach and preach the Bible, run. Do not look back. Trying to live a God honoring life and train up your family in the ways of the Lord cannot happen without these two identifying marks. It is like using dental floss as a sail, or using a bag of cats as a rest for shooting; neither will end well.
As a new believer, plugging into a good Christ centered Bible preaching church is essential and attendance is crucial. How can you grow and learn if you occasionally attend? It does the captain no good to check his bearings twice a year; he will not be a captain long.
Hebrews 10:25 addresses this. “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Brothers and Sisters, we all have a beginning, middle and end. Assembling with the Bride of Christ and submitting to His will through His Word is the best way to make use of the middle and certainly is the best way to finish where we and He wants us to be.