Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is the church?

Church Series …

I’ve spent the last 4 days submerged in my church’s annual “special meetings”. Each year we have a special time to come together as a church body and spend 3 evenings together worshipping and fellowshipping with a special speaker.
This year we were blessed to have 3 different speakers, all of which brought light to my life and spoke serious truths from His living Word.
I spent a great deal of time in church growing up. We went nearly every Sunday, and I enjoyed it most of the time. Through my teen years we attended a church in which the pastor was on fire for Christ, passionate about His Word. Or so we all believed, until one day he left the church and his family to be with a parishioner woman. This was a serious jolt to the congregation and to me personally who had spent my formative years looking up to this man who had encouraged me to stay true to God in the darkest point of my life. I was away at college when this occurred, but when I heard about it, I was devastated; totally rocked my world. I didn’t step foot into a church again for 5 years; at which time I came completely on bended knee.
It was this incident that turned my heart cold, and it is incident’s like this that turn people away from church every day all across the world. We hold Christian’s to such a high standard that when they fall it rocks our world completely, forgetting that we are ALL sinners and WILL all sin. Even the pastor that we respect and look up to is a sinner and will fall at times.
In today’s society, how often do we hear someone say, “Oh they shouldn’t be doing that, they’re Christians?” Or even, “I didn’t think you could do that, you’re a Christian aren’t you?” As if to say that somehow being a Christian means we are perfect and will never again fall victim to our flesh.
Are you kidding me people?
There are none that are righteous, no not one.
Romans 3:10
We cannot let the fallen sinner shape the righteous God. But this mindset stops so many from walking through the open doors of church. I’ve had friends and family leave a church because there was one person who they didn’t like, or did something that they perceived as “unforgiveable”. I admit that I’ve contemplated leaving a church because there was one person who continuously hurt me, degraded me and made me feel like less of a person.
But, I found myself asking, “What is the reason for church?”
We should all be asking ourselves this.
 What is church?
What was the institution created for?
It was ordained by God, created in the book of Acts by primarily Peter.
Peter was used by God to establish the church which was God’s next major plan for man after Jesus ascended into heaven. Acts 1-12
We should love church because God loved the church. The church is the bride of Christ, He died for her. It’s not a place that we “put in our time”. It’s needed to refuel us, recharge our batteries. We can expect to just be able to sit at home, watching our evangelists on the TV and get the same encouragement that our bodies need.
We NEED church for so many reasons. It’s a place to be encouraged, to fellowship with other believers. When we are persecuted each and every day, when the world is so fallen and ugly, it’s a place to go and be reminded that there are like minds desiring the same Holy God. We can’t exercise the gifts God gives us if we’re not ministering to other people.
There’s so much more I want to write. There’s so much that was revealed to me through these men who love the Lord our God with all their hearts and all their strength and all their minds.
I am going to write a segment for the next 3 days on my thankfulness on the church. I encourage you to all come and fellowship with me and hear what God has laid on my heart.

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