Thursday, July 31, 2014

Is Church Really Necessary?

This Sunday at Westbury Baptist will be one of my favorite Sundays of the year.  On that day, we gather with the five mission churches that worship on our church campus.  At 9:45, we'll eat breakfast together.  We'll have a chance to enjoy breakfast tacos, spring rolls, hummus, and other delicacies from all over our world (as well as standard American breakfast food).  At 11:00, we'll worship together.  Each congregation (Hispanic, Filipino, Iranian, Cambodian, Korean) will have a part in the service.  It will be a foretaste of Heaven.  I hope you'll come.

But what about the future of the Church?  I mean the capital "C" Church, not just WBC.  While the Gospel spreads like wildfire in Africa, South America, and especially China (which, if trends hold, will soon become the largest Christian nation in the world), here in America, many people claim to be "spiritual but not religious."  Most believe in God, many are intrigued by Jesus, but few seem to be interested in organized Christianity.  Is it possible to follow Jesus Christ but have nothing to do with His Church.  Is the Church really necessary?

As I study the scriptures, I come up with two main reasons why church is important.  One is because it is important to God.  It is the institution He has chosen to accomplish the work of His Kingdom on earth.  But more than that, He just loves the church.  One of the names He calls the church is “The Bride of Christ.”  Imagine going to your boss and saying, “You know, I love the way you and I get along.  I think you’re a great guy, and I really enjoy working for you.  I just can’t stand your wife.”  Would that fly?  The Bible is crystal clear on this: God’s church is important to Him, so it must be important to us, or we don’t truly love Him.  You can’t be right with God without being a fully functioning part of the Body.   

The other reason church is important is what I will be talking about this Sunday.  The Church is important because it is the institution the Spirit uses to do His work in our lives.  That’s what Ephesians 4 is all about.  This Sunday, we'll take a look at Ephesians 4 and find out why you need the Church. 

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