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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

IS THE CHURCH IMPORTANT?

I've noticed a quote going around Facebook that says this: "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car."  That is very true.  You can "go to church" once, twice, three times or more a week, but that is not what makes one a Christian.  Being a Christian involves much, much more than sitting in a building.

But, sadly, many people also believe that the church isn't important at all.  They live out the bumper sticker that was popular years ago which said, "Yes to God.  No to church."  First of all, to help understand the different ideas about the church, we need to first examine what the church is and what it is not.  The most important thing for us to realize is that the church isn't the building.  That may surprise some people, but that's an important fact to know.  The church is the people - the Christians - and is also the body of Christ.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  1 Corinthians 12:27

Secondly, it's important to realize that Christ died for the church.  He died for you and I, individually, but for us also as children of God...as Christians...as the church.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:22-32

In reading the passages above, it's clear that Jesus cares about the church.  He cared enough to die for the church.  And, because God's Will was for all of this to happen, it's apparent that He too cares for the church.

So, if God and Jesus care about the church, don't you think it's important for us to care about the church, too?  After all, we are that church!

The first century Christians met together often and for various reasons.  In fact, Acts 2:46 says they met together daily.  And these days, many don't even want to meet together with fellow Christians even an hour a week.  Kind of sad, isn't it?

As the quote in the beginning says, "going to church doesn't make you a Christian" and for certain, it doesn't.  But, think of the "car in the garage" part of the quote.  A car stays in better condition in a garage.  A car is better protected from the world's elements in the garage.  A car is safe from harm in a garage.

If the church isn't important to you...if coming together as a church family isn't important to you... ask yourself these questions:
What is more important to me than worshipping God?
What is more important to me than giving thanks to Jesus for giving His life for me?
What is more important than being with my Christian family to worship Him?
What would I say if Jesus were to come back right now?  I'm too busy?  Can you come back at a more convenient time?

So back to the car....where would the car rather be?  On the highway where other cars can cause it to have a wreck, on the road where a rock could come through the windshield, on the road where through no fault of its own a deer could completely destroy it? Or, would it rather be in the garage.....safe in the arms (care) of its owner?

Now where would you rather be? In the world or in worship with the church - your brothers and sisters in Christ?
 
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