How Important Is the Local Church?
Scripture describes the organized church as:
- A place to testify about God's blessings (Acts 14:27)
- A place to discover spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 14:12)
- A way to send out missionaries (2 Corinthians 8:18).
- An opportunity to learn more about the wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10)
- A way to care for those in need (1 Timothy 5:16)
- A place of prayer (Acts 12:5, Acts 14:23)
There are even more purposes of the church that aren't outlined so specifically in Scripture including:
- An opportunity to spend time with other believers
- A place to meet like-minded friends who can hold you accountable to God's standards
- An escape from the barrage of messages sent by the world
- An opportunity to serve others
Is it possible to be a committed Christian without being plugged in to a local church? I guess so. But with this long list of benefits to our spiritual life, I'm wondering why anyone would make that choice.
I guess that's why Hebrews 10:23–25 encourages us, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Even as I write out that verse, I have a feeling that I might be preaching to the choir. You girls never cease to amaze me with your knowledge of the Word and passion for doing things God's way. I have a feeling that your churches can take some of the credit for that.
But what about your friends? Your neighbors? That girl whom everyone ignores at your school? That family member who seems so hopeless? Do they have a church home? Do they know that a place exists where they can learn about God, be prayed for and pray for others, be ministered to while ministering to others, and escape to when the pressures of this fallen world seem too much to bear? Do they know that that place is just down the street or right around the corner?
When was the last time you invited someone to your church? Who can you invite to church this week?
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