The church of Jesus Christ is where God dwells on earth (I Cor 3:16; Eph 2:22). It is not a building. It is a congregation, or formal group, of His baptized children who have united in mutual faith around His Son Jesus Christ to worship in spirit and in truth and to help one another live godly lives until He comes. It assembles to sing, pray, hear preaching, observe the Lord’s Supper, and have loving fellowship.
A local church is the body of Jesus Christ, for He died for it, and His Spirit directs its members (I Cor 12:12-27). It is an organism more than an organization (I Pet 2:5). It is stronger than the gates of hell, when it follows its Lord (Matt 16:18). But most churches have forsaken Him and His scriptures for fables and entertainment: He has justly removed their candlesticks and spewed them out (Rev 2:5; 3:14-19).
A church is much, much more than most people think. Since Christian churches exist because of the Bible, we should go to the Bible to find all it says about churches.
All churches are not equal. They vary greatly, and the only measuring criteria that count are in the Bible. How great is your church? And what are you doing about it?
Is your church an organization or an organism? Does it have lots of parts, but they are not really connected in any meaningful, coordinated, affectionate way of unity and purpose? Do they gather together weekly and sit in pews like dominoes? Jesus said to look for churches and disciples that love each other (John 13:34-35).
It is easy to be excited by Jacob’s encounter with God at Bethel – the house of God. But you have a far greater house, with far more truth, and far better promises based on Jesus’ finished work and priesthood!
What is a church to you? Do you know what the Bible teaches? Do you know the real purpose and benefits of a church? The church of Jesus Christ is very important in the Bible, but many are confused about it, so they lose the great profit of a church.
We love our earthly families, because there are strong natural impulses for it, and because the Bible commands it. But we also know about our blood bond in Christ and know it is more valuable, lasts much longer, and includes many more benefits.
A church is not just a place to hear a man preach, or to hear a praise band worship, or to play ball with other Christians on Thursday nights. It is a tight group of disciples purposing to help each other achieve greatness in God’s sight. You need to help your church function like this or find a church that already does it.
You may not like math, but you should consider the statistical consequences of all the “one another” duties in the Bible. Even a small church has many relationships that should be nurtured to be all that Jesus Christ expects His churches to be. Learn some Bible math!
God compares pastors to oxen (I Cor 9:9-10; I Tim 5:17-18). If a pastor must work a worldly job to support his family, he will not have the energy or time for ministerial work that makes churches prosper. You lose, because you get only minimum benefit.
The grave danger for your soul and those of your family is the rise of a carnal, compromising, effeminate, and worldly brand of Christianity. Prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen are perfect illustrations of it. His religion is not Bible Christianity.
We live in perilous times when most churches have compromised, just as Paul wrote to Timothy (II Tim 3:1 – 4:4), in order to be popular and keep carnal members happy. What should you do if your church has compromised doctrine or practice? This is a very common question today, and the Bible provides you with inspired answers.
How big or small should communion be? Should all visitors be allowed to participate? If you include any, how can you exclude others? If you exclude any, how can you include others? There are Bible reasons to limit communion only to a local church’s membership.