We are all familiar with church cemeteries. But reverse those two words, and you have something that should never exist – cemetery churches. These are congregations composed of “dead” members and led by “dead” ministers. The people are physically alive, of course, but they are spiritually dead. They have never received new life from above through faith in the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Thinking about that condition in his day, C. H. Spurgeon wrote, “Have you ever read ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’? I dare say you thought it one of the strangest imaginations ever put together, especially that part where the old mariner tells about the corpses of all the dead men rising up to man the ship – dead men pulling the rope, dead men steering, dead men spreading sails. I thought, what a strange idea! But do you see,” Spurgeon continued, “that I have lived to see that time? I have seen a dead man in the pulpit, and dead men sitting to hear.”
Still today, some churches are much like that. From the person who stands in the pulpit to the people who fill the pews, there is no spiritual life and no power. So if you are looking for a church home, choose one that’s alive – an assembly where you can see evidence that the pastor and the people have received spiritual life through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul told us not to be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
God has nothing against church cemeteries, but He abhors cemetery churches! – Richard W. De Haan
Whether it be a rich church
Or a poor church anywhere
Truly it is a great church
If God is worshiped there. – Anon.
In some churches, the only saints you’ll find are buried in the churchyard.
- May 26, 1985, Our Daily Bread