This Is A Church
A preacher friend of mine recently shared with me something I think is a real commentary on modern-day religion in America. He was at his study one day when the phone rang. It was a sales lady from some church supply place. She asked if he might be interested in purchasing some vending machines. He replied, “No ma’am. This is a church.” She then asked if they might could use some exercise equipment. He replied, “No ma’am. This is a church.” She moved on to something else that was of a social and recreational nature. He replied, “Ma’am, I’m not sure you understand what I am saying. This is a church.” She said, “Yes sir, I know but a lot of places need these things.” He replied, “Well, they may need them but we will not because this is a church.”
Could it be dear reader that you are looking for a church that is still just a church? Maybe you are looking for such because in reading your Bible you’ve noticed that churches were just churches. In 1st Timothy 3:15, the Bible teaches that the church is the “pillar and ground of the truth.” God’s wisdom is to be made known by the church (Eph. ). God wanted the church to remain simply a church, a place where the emphasis is solely on the word of God, teaching lost souls, and helping Christians grow into a greater Christ-likeness.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find churches making it their mission to provide social and recreational activities for members. Churches were just churches. They were not centers for games, although games were a big part of the Roman world. If a sales lady called the church at Corinth or Ephesus or Philippi to sell recreational things, would they need them? I think we all know the answer to that question.
We are not surprised that hoards of people would be drawn to such things for Jesus dealt with the same problem. Crowds came looking for the wrong thing, causing him to say, “Do not labor for the food which perishes but for the food which endures to everlasting life…” (John 6:27). When the crowd realized that His emphasis was spiritual food they walked away (Jn. 6:66). Peter refused to leave because Jesus had all he needed. Jesus simply offered the words of eternal life (Jn. 6:68).
As more and more churches enter into the recreational realm and draw huge crowds, others still could be tempted to follow the same course. A church which decides to be simply what God made it to be may be looked upon as old fashioned and out of date. The local church as designed by Jesus will never be able to compete with churches who appeal with social gospel, but neither does she try. She is contented to be what Christ made her to be; a church.
I want to be a part of a church like that. Oh, I enjoy meals in the homes of my brothers and sisters (1 Cor. , 34). I enjoy going to ballgames. But when it is time to gather together “as a church” (1 Cor. ), I want it to be simply that.
May we always be able to say, “This is a church.” In doing so, we will please Christ who built His church to be a church.
Join us this coming Sunday and hear Jeff May speak on the topic of "Jesus in My Home." Our Spring Series will focus on the topic of "God Give Us Christian Homes" and each speaker will present a message to encourage godly relationships within the home. The series will take place each Sunday in April at 3:00 p.m.