Of the Church.
Chapter 26, Paragraph 5.
“… that they may walk before him in all the ways of obedience, which he prescribes to them in his word. Those thus called, he commands to walk together in particular societies, or churches, for their mutual edification, and the due performance of that public worship, which he requires of them in the world.”
Recently, a popular writer in evangelical Christian circles posted a photo on social media of relaxing by a waterway on a Sunday. The caption read, “This is my church today.” Apparently for her, setting apart time for the public worship of God is not necessary. Church can occur all by yourself! Sadly, this view is shared by many who claim to be Christian. Gathering together in a formalized way to worship God is seen to be stuffy.
Honestly, life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to attend a church. The notion of going into a field, or hiking a mountain, or standing by an ocean to “spend time with God” is ultimately more attractive. There, no one is going to confront me if I sin. I don’t have to deal with any quirks: crying kids, out of tune singers, unfashionable architecture, or whatever else might irk me. I pick and choose who I am around. If I am feeling particularly compassionate, I will deign to be in the presence of some underprivileged soul who needs my benevolence. If I want to be uplifted, I will surround myself with like-minded, affirming people. Like on Instagram, but in person!
As Christians, we do not get to decide who are the elect. That is a choice our sovereign God has made. And as our Lord Jesus has purchased us with His own blood, He has every right to tell us what to do. He commands that those called out by Him are to join with others in local assemblies. By doing so, we publicly demonstrate the power of God in bringing together people from every tribe, nation, and tongue. We are encouraged by the presence of our brothers and sisters in Christ when we gather together. We are corrected when we need correcting. We do not walk this path of salvation alone.
If you are in an assembly that consists of the redeemed rich and famous, then you are to walk with them. If your church consists of converted “people of Wal-Mart”, then you are to walk with those people. But walk with them you must. That is your church today.
Questions to Consider
- Is not being part of a church ever acceptable?