Tuesday, September 4, 2007

why I love the church

85% plus of americans say they believe in God, pray, and think the Bible is very important.

and just under 50% nationally go to church.

People haven't given up on God, but they have given up on church. Let me tell you some reasons I haven't. [And believe me, I see the best and worst of the church, so this isn't a winking at the problems]

  1. Firstly, Jesus Christ promised to build the Church-therefore, my commitment should be to it (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:39-47). But more than that Jesus commitment to it is unswerving. He LOVES the church and won't give up on it. So I shouldn't either. It's not a question of perfection, or finding what is wrong [that's easy] it's a matter of investing to make it good...and great.

  2. Secondly, He purchased the Church with His own precious blood-therefore, I love those for whom He died (1 Peter 1:19; 1 John 3:14-16). Jesus died to make the church viable. If He values it this much than who am I [if I believe in God, and value what he values] to give up on her?!

  3. Thirdly, the Church is the predominate agency through which God’s will is manifested on earth-therefore, it is the community with whom I labor (Ephesians 1:9-10; Colossians 1:28-29). Great individuals come and go, but revolutions are made in groups. People who say they love God and don't go to church...slowly fade in faith...and impact....I have seen it a hundred times. We need each other much more than our pride and ego is willing to admit. We bring out the best in each other in a way that being alone can never do.

  4. Fourthly, the Church is the only earthly expression of heaven-therefore, we must daily grow together in conformity to the fullness of Christ (2 Peter 3:10-14; Revelation 4:4-11; Ephesians 4:12-13). God tells us to give people a foretaste of Him, his kingdom, and heaven by how we live in community here. There are no islands or hermitages in heaven.

  5. Fifthly, the gates of Hades will not prevail against the Church-therefore, in light of the assured victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, our worship and toil is not in vain (Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 15:54-58). Call me a fair-weather fan but I want to be on the winning side. As a player on a team. Not just a couch potatoe playing monday morning quarterback and coach.

  6. Sixthly, I love the Christ of the church. The church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. He bought it with His own blood. The Bible says, “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). I believe that we should loathe what Jesus loathed and love what Jesus loved.

  7. Seventhly, I love the creation of the church. The church originated in Christ and was forged by a handful of believers who had been on their knees in prayer and empowered by the Holy Spirit to change the world. They emerged from an upper room with an indomitable faith and an unconquerable zeal to face a world that had previously intimidated them into a paralyzing fear. Inspired by the miracle of Pentecost they launched out on a grand adventure that resulted in churches being planted throughout the whole world

  8. Eighthly, I love the convictions of the church. The convictions of the church are drawn from the Bible. The Word of God is an infallible handbook that is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 2:16). When a church fails to embrace the Bible as altogether true its doctrines and values are subject to weaken or disintegrate. However, thank God for those churches that don’t try to change the Bible or find fault with it, but just believe it, even where it is weird.

  9. Ninthly, I love the congregation of the church. There are always some surly, cantankerous, religious nut-jobs in the church, but the best people I know are also in the church. I have received great acts of love from caring church members. I have made intimate and lifelong friends in the church. I thrill to find warm, love among God’s wonderful people wherever I go. I just teach and preach grace to people till the mean ones change or go away.

  10. I love the commission of the church. Of course, the commission of the church is articulated in Matthew 28:18-20, and it charges the church with the responsibility of rescuing the world. We are to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person. Only when man’s heart is changed will the world be changed. No institution, entity, or organization has a higher or nobler commission.

  11. I love the cooperation and colaberation of the church. The world is known for its anarchy and competition, but the church is known for its camaraderie and cooperation. When God’s people get together incredible things are accomplished for the good of mankind and the cause of the Kingdom.

  12. I love the charity of the church. Think of all the needs that have been supplied, all the hurts that have been alleviated, all the homes that have been blessed, and all the lives that have been changed because the church is motivated by love. So long as the church insists on love being the quality which crowns her ministry worthwhile things will be attempted and achieved.

  13. I love the celebrations of the church. I have seen the revelry that comes with winning a championship football game and the festivities that follow the final out in a Major League Baseball World Series, but there is nothing that compares with a worship service when the Spirit of God is moving, souls are being saved, heaven comes down, and glory fills the souls of the saints. Now that is a celebration!

  14. I love the consummation of the church. The church will outlive and outlast every other organization on earth. Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church. The church is the bride of Christ and one of these days He is going to receive the church unto Himself. It is going to be a “glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).

In short I am dazzled by the church in every way. Abandoning her would be like amputating my heart. I am not blind to her silliness at times, but she has also accomplished more good than anything, anybody, or any other institution ever has or could even dream of.


Sitting at home, skiing at the lake, and sleeping in isn't accomplishing any great things on Sunday mornings.



blogger templates | Make Money Online