The Lord's Church In Your Community
The Lord's Church in Your Community
by Robert Turner
There are many churches in many places which have no bowling club, no softball team, nor do they sponsor a Boy Scout troop. The physical property of these churches includes a very modern place for assembly and worship, with class rooms for Bible Study; but in all of this there is no kitchen, no banquet hall, no gymnasium, no party room.
Your first thought may be, "What strange churches! What strange people!" However, many of these church members are your neighbors and enjoy their food, recreation, and entertainment just as much as everyone else. But the church building is not used as a civic or social club. By now you may be asking, "Then what does this congregation offer me? What does she offer the community in which you live?" These are questions that demand fair, open answers.
The church was established by Jesus Christ the Son of God, to fill a need, to do a work that no human institution could possibly perform. We deplore the fact that denominations have smothered the real purpose of the church beneath civic, social, and domestic affairs. Upon reading Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 3:10-11; 5:25; and 1 Timothy 3:15 we need to be impressed with the sacredness of the church. She can have no trivial purpose, nor is such assigned to her by the Word of God.
But some say, "We live in the 21st century. The church must meet the needs of today!" Exactly so! We have many fine civic and social organizations which can meet the physical needs of our community, and we as individuals need to support and promote all wholesome efforts to better the lot of mankind in this life. But this 21st century is woefully lacking in emphasis upon the soul of man, and his eternal welfare. Yes, the church must meet the need of today - the very greatest need of all being the peculiar and distinctive benefit offered mankind by Christ - the salvation of their soul.
Our primary concern is with the spiritual needs of mankind - his need is for God, for forgiveness of sins, for genuine God-satisfying worship, for the pureness of conscience that can come only from living, working and worshipping according to the directions of the Word of God.
As a people we know we are not perfect, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without measure, but according to the measure to reach even you" (2 Cor 10:12,13).
We make no plea of greatness on our part, but pledge ourselves to strive diligently to follow the rule of God, the divine message. We speak where the Bible speaks & are silent where the Bible is silent.