The Church: Who Needs It?

Since before I can remember I’ve been closely associated with the church. I am now 70. I’m so thankful that my parents taught me to love and appreciate the church. The church was their life, and is mine as well.

While being actively involved in the church can sometimes be painfully difficult, I would hate to think what life would be without it. The positives far outweigh the negatives.

The longer I live, the more obvious it is to me that Christ knew what He was doing when He founded the church (Matthew 16:18).

Christ’s wisdom as seen in His church

Christ brings people together from a wide variety of backgrounds—economically, educationally, culturally, ethnically, etc. (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11-22). It’s good when we can learn to love and appreciate people we would otherwise never know. This broadens our horizons and reduces our prejudices.

Christ unifies in His church our various talents and resources to accomplish wonderful things for the good of many, both inside and outside the body of Christ (Acts 11:27-30; Galatians 6:10; 1 Peter 4:10).

Christ intends for us to be mentored by those with more understanding of Scripture and longer experience in dealing with hardships and temptations. We have so much we can learn from one another! (Acts 11:21-26)

Christ provides in the church the help and encouragement we can receive from and provide for one another. Life is hard, but the burden is eased by the mutual fellowship, prayers, hugs, and supportive words of our brothers and sisters in Christ (Galatians 5:13; 6:2; Ephesians 4:29).

So who needs the church?

I know I do.

Do those who think otherwise know what they’re missing?

congregation-tagged

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Can We Get Along without the Church?

I heard it again last week: “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.”

Either this is true or false. Which?

Since what we know about being a Christian comes from the New Testament, isn’t that the best resource for learning whether the church is essential?

Check it out!

Although reading the entire New Testament would certainly answer this question, let’s focus on just one book: Acts.

In Acts we read of the church’s beginning in Jerusalem, its spread to other lands, how it was organized, how believers worshiped together, and how the church’s enemies so strongly opposed it.

Ironically, their efforts to stamp out the church served instead to spread and strengthen it (Acts 8:1-4; 11:19-21).

So what do we learn?

If we read Acts with an open mind and a sincere desire to know what we should do regarding the church, what will we find?

“And all those who believed were together . . . . And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:44, 47).

In Acts we find Paul establishing congregations in Western Asia and Eastern Europe. He made sure they were equipped with capable leaders (14:23; 20:17, 28).

Paul urged the Ephesian elders to “shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Question: If God values the church that much, how valuable should it be to us?

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Question and Its Implications

Out of the mouths of babes

As I was walking toward the church building, a cute little guy came riding by on his bike.

“Are you going to church?” he asked. “Yes,” I answered. He then asked, “Is this church day?”

What a revealing question! To his parents was Sunday merely a day to take it easy, catch up on housework, or what?

In contrast

Growing up, my dad never heard his parents discuss whether or not to attend services. They just went (Hebrews 10:24-25).

The church was so much a part of their lives that it had a profound impact on my dad’s values and life choices.

But how would he have turned out had his parents’ priorities been different?

I wonder, whatever became of the little fellow who had to ask, “Is this church day?”

boy on bike-tagged

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