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“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)
Is Christianity boring ? Has the light gone out in the church? Better still, since we believers are in fact the church, is the light of Christ and the principles of the Gospel still shinning brightly in us, and does it then transfer over into our local church, and into our community?
Seems that in this 21st Century the church structure has evolved from that of the true Gospel (I Cor 15:1-4) into what is referred to as a "social gospel." The by-product of this new gospel is a "name it and claim it" form of religion.
One need only read the local newspaper, watch TV, search the internet, or simply talk to one's next-door organized church member to realize that our religious psychology has turned to the values, beliefs, and pleasures of our society's worldly-inspired system. This is causing the light of the true Gospel to grow dim or even go out in the church and invariably its members.
When this social progression happens in the church, ever how slowly it may be, the light of the church's testimony tends to wane in the various sections of our population, even reaching back oftentimes into the influence of our church antiquity.
Scripture is quick to point out that one of the Holy Spirit's duties is to enlighten the believer respecting the various preachers of the Gospel. Simply put, our inner spiritual Compass will definitely let us know if there is wrong teaching as we listen to the preachers and teachers. (I John 4:1-5) Sad to say, I have tuned out many TV preachers and teachers.
You see, the Holy Spirit bears witness to the genuineness of a pastor or teacher in two ways. One attribute is a true and genuine spirit of love as is expressed in the "the fruit of the Spirit." (Galatians 5:18, 22-23) And the other characteristic is a displaying of the doctrinal truth about Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)
Have we, as a church population, become preoccupied with this age's material possessions? Do we worry more about such life aspirations as our health, wealth and other family matters than we do about turning our desires, or should I say needs, over to our heavenly Father? And we often have an envious or boastful spirit. (Galatians 5:26)
Or do we tend to turn to today's news media, which is often none other than a broadcast of rumors, hearsay gossip and sensationalism, for our stability? Such things will tend to draw us further from the light of God's principles.
So in opposition to today's mindset, Jesus asks us to give serious thought to the Gospel light of our hearts, a testimonial light that truly honors Him. (Luke 11:35)
Thank God, in (Matthew 16:18) our Lord tells us that the influences of Satan will never overpower the true church. For from the very inception of God's church at Pentecost, (Acts 2:1-4), the church will always be a presence in the world until God chooses to rapture the church out of the world, as we now know it to be.
You see, if this fact of the church instability were not so, why then would the Scriptures prophesy that the church at some point in history, would be experiencing this Rapture or catching away, to meet the Lord in the air? If there were no church, at this point in time, there would be no need for the Rapture. (I Cor 15:51-54) (I Thess 4:13-18) (Revelation 4:1)
We also know from history that the forces of evil have always influenced the church's organization, the same as it has the entire world structure. (Ephesians 6:12) However, we also know from history that we will always have a true Gospel (I Cor 15:1-4) remnant within the world.
In our metro area, you can find a church on just about every corner and as many steeples as clouds of the sky. So why are we, as a people, in such disarray? Why so much uncontrolled crime? Why so much distrust? Why so many skeptics? And the list could go on and on. Could these scenarios be prima facie evidence of the church lights diming? I trust not.
In taking inventory of ourselves, as members of a local church, we are to be humble in our living and in our Christianity. Our love must not have a pretence about it; (Galatians 5:24-25) it must be genuine. Sincere love must be a dominating attitude. Affection and respect for one another should be the very mindset of the congregation.
Enter our first church. The prerequisite, for the membership, of this church, was that they had to believe or have received the Word. They were then baptized and added to the church.(Acts 2:41) The members continued devoting themselves to the Apostles' teachings, and having fellowship and by the breaking of bread. (Acts 2:42) Everyone had a sense of awe and many wonders were performed. (Acts 2:43) They had all things in common. (Acts 2:44) They shared their possessions with those who had need. (Acts 2:45) And day by day they continued with one mind worshiping, breaking bread from house to house and taking meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart. (Acts 2:47) Finally, they had favor with all men and joined the church as many as were saved. (Acts 2:47)
Now fast forward to our twenty-first century. What should be the purpose of the church? This purpose is the salvation of the lost souls; the edification of Believers through the teaching of God's Holy Word; the world wide proclamation of the gospel; the promotion of Godly worship; the defense of the "Faith Once Delivered
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Charles (Chuck) Robey or search for other articles by topic below.
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