What if we were churchless?
Imagine a loveless world, where godlessness and hate triumph over everything. Imagine a world where suffering is ignored and pain is laughed at. I don’t know if you can picture it yet, but right now, in my mind’s eye, I can imagine it very vividly. As I have been praying about this post and what to say, I have really taken some time to imagine these scenarios.
In Revelation, the apostle John talks about the last days and mentions several of the catastrophes that go hand-in-hand with godlessness. That will be the period where God’s judgement gets poured out on the earth and all its inhabitants.
I want to start out with a thought – how far are we from that right now (even though the church is still here)?
The last days will be marked by apostasy. Aren’t we in those currently? How many of the churches around you are still truthful, Biblical, seeking to please God and be set apart for Him? How many churches still follow the example of the Acts church?
The world without a church would be incredibly wicked and evil. In Genesis, we read that only one generation after Adam and Eve people were already giving into their sinful natures without constraint. The flood followed 8 generations after Adam and Eve. Sin overflowed and the Lord had to judge the wickedness. He only spared 8 righteous people on the earth, those who had a relationship with Him and wanted to do His will.
As Christians, we are supposed to be the salt and the light (Matthew 5:13-16), the ones that stand up and stand out. Well, that is really the minority these days; where everyone, Christian or not, tries to “fit in”. We are all unintentionally being brain-washed with grey areas and tiny, little bits of sin to creep in and numb us to the sincerity of the matter of sin. Well, just a reminder – sin was so important that it would eternally separate us from God and condemn us to damnation for ever. HOWEVER, sin was also so important that God sent His only begotten Son to die for us so we can be free from the bondage sin creates. This is a BIG deal.
The Biblical precepts we teach and are taught in church, is that which impacts the world. We are taught to be, and strive to be, more and more like Christ: to love more, to turn the other cheek when we’re mistreated, and to serve limitlessly as unto Him; to love those who hate us and to live with a heavenly mindset – not stepping on those who are underneath us for earthly gain and position.
You might not always be aware of it, but the world is looking on. The world sees that the truthful Christians are different. We have the answers they seek in so many other things. We have found the “cure” to the hole in their hearts. Do we still live it though? If you were to do an honest quiz of your life in this very moment, how much of that would be able to testify that you truly are a Christian, truly are different from everyone around you?
Well, if that isn’t the case, I would want to suggest to you to spend more time in the Lord’s Word and perhaps amongst His people.
So…what is the importance of the church to the believer?
“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25 ESV)
Why do you and me, as believers, need the church if it is mainly there as a light to the world and a hospital for the broken?
Well, just as it is important for the world to see the light, it is important for you to stay a light!
Here are 7 reasons why the church is important for the believer:
- FELLOWSHIP: We need the fellowship of fellow believers. We need to be able to cry together, laugh together, and seek God’s will together. My spiritual family is some of the closest people in my life. We are there for one another. The mighty testimonies of those in the body with you can also be so inspiring and magnificent that it’ll inspire you to want to know the Lord better.
- TEACHING: If you sit under God’s Word being truthfully and faithfully taught, you will without a doubt grow! This links in with points 3 and 6. You need to be taught before you can be a successful witness.
- KNOWLEDGE: As you get taught, you will automatically gain more knowledge; and with God’s grace, more understanding. You will know where to find the truths in God’s Word to share with others. You will know that Satan is there to tempt you and pull you away from Christ. You will know that you are constantly in a war with your flesh vs. God’s will. You’ll know that you can never do anything on your own through your own power!
- CORRECTION: This is a harder one, but OH SO NECESSARY. You may have grown up in a house where your parents have disciplined you, and you know right from wrong. Well, it is the same in the church. We are amongst fellow believers who we are accountable to. They look on and we must set an example even amongst them. They are also there to gently point out your faults. Sometimes it hurts terribly, but it hurts to grow either way. Sometimes they are the pruning tools in the Lord’s hands. They might point out where you have followed your own way and not the Lord’s. Or they might pick up the judgement in your heart against someone else. This locks in with point 6.
- PRAYER: With the spiritual family by your side and the world’s troubles empowered by the devil all around, you can really do little else than just pray. Talk to the Lord about what Satan is accusing you of. Ask great things of Him for those you come in contact with. Pray for those unsaved friends you’ve been witnessing to. Pray for your country with the body of Christ; bring this broken world before Him on your knees.
- PERSONAL GROWTH: As all these other aspects become a part of your life, you will grow personally. You will learn from your mistakes and sometimes disobedience. You will realize that your rest and security lies in Him. You will know that your spiritual family is there to support you and to pray with and for you; to fight this fight with you and to seek the Lord’s will with you. You will know you’re in a battle, but you fight in an army!
- WORSHIP: Praising the Lord with fellow believers is SUCH a blessing! It is truly amazing to corporately worship the Creator with hearts and minds only set on Him. We were made to worship, and thus as a union, it is meant to be special. It also helps you regain perspective and just focus on His majesty and splendor while our problems become minute in His presence.
The world NEEDS the church to be different. The world NEEDS the church to stand up for what’s morally right and wrong, as determined by the Word. But you also NEED the church! You NEED to be kept in the fire and light, as to stay warm and be rekindled. You NEED the church to grow and to overflow. Don’t stray from it.