The Local Church
The church is the only institution that our Saviour Jesus Christ died for. Correct! He died for the church. He did not die for your house, your career, your vacation, or your hobby. He died for the church. Look closely: Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.” There are just a few things I desire you to consider in this message.
Consider the Caution. Romans 16:17
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.” If the church you attend denies the Inspiration of the Scriptures, the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Birth, the Blood Atonement, the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and yes, the Doctrine of Creationism, then it is not a true Bible believing church. Why would you attend a church that denies that Jesus is the only Saviour? Why would you attend a church that embraces the world for its standards? Why would you attend a church that never baptizes their converts? Why would you attend a church that does not believe the Bible is the final authority? Caution! Caution! Caution! Caution! Caution!
Consider the Cause. Titus 1:5
“For this cause left I thee … set in order the things that are wanting.”
I. A Place to Gain Knowledge. Ephesians 4:11-12
“And he gave some … pastors and teachers …” God gave to the church pastors not only to lead them, but to give them the proper instructions in order to produce spiritual growth – perfect and equip the believers not only to know God and His will but to actively serve Him.
II. A Place to Obey the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19-20
Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly receive his word were baptized and the same day were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
III. A Place of Service. Titus 3:8
“They which believe in Christ might be careful to maintain good works.” The church provides both the training and the tools to serve Christ.
Consider the Company. Acts 2:41
1. Saved by Grace. Ephesians 2:8-9
2. Submersed in Water. Acts 2:41
3. Separate in Lifestyle. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
4. Soul-Winning in Practice. Acts 5:42, Acts 8:4
By the way the #1 priority of the early church was that of fulfilling the Great Commission. God’s last command, “Go,” should be our first priority.
Consider the Command. Hebrews 10:25
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is…” The local New Testament church was clearly ordained by God for His people. To disobey God in the matter of the local church is clearly a sinful act. Before we take missing church lightly, it might be a good idea to consider these verses. James 4:17, “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” John 15:14, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
To forsake the local New Testament church is not only rebellion against the will of God, but will always result in a ruined testimony. Therefore before you walk away from the local New Testament church you should take time to consider the caution, the cause, the company, and the command. Will you pray with me?
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