Archive for May 20th, 2020

Revive The Local Church

May 20, 2020

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Introduction: We are in the midst of unprecedented times for our generation with this pandemic of the Corona Virus. Whether it is political machinations, diabolical manipulations or last day manifestations is not clearly and completely known. One thing is clear however, we the people of God need to be on top of our game all the way to the Shout. This is no time to sit in the darkness, get depressed or to retreat. We must be working on how to regroup and advance. Here are some thoughts I am having in these days:

The Local Church has taken a HIT. Many have spoken about the church not being a building – True. But let us not forget that the very etymology of the word “church” or as it is in the original language of the Bible “ekklesia” and the principle usage of the word church in the Bible has to do with an assembly of believers. Over 100 times in the New Testament this word is used of those who assembled together in particular places. I know that we are in modern times and I know that the usage of the word “church” has taken various directions through the years depending upon different theological persuasions. However, if you are like I am and hold the Bible as your authority (not current thought, nor denominational distinction, etc)  and the basis and authority for your beliefs, then perhaps we need to be careful to guard ourselves from straying from Scriptural teaching in these extraordinary times.

Having stated that, We NEED to get back to the ASSEMBLY. Satan would like nothing better than to do damage to the gathering assemblies with this pandemic and the political fall out caused by it. This is not a call to disobey the law, unless the law tries to continue extraordinary restrictions. We need to assemble. We need to observe the Lord’s table together. We need to sing together. We need to pray together. We need to serve together. We need to send out missionaries together. We need to do church together the Bible way.

Many have tried in vain to make adjustments in their lives to make it through this time.  Some go through the TV channels. Some surf the internet. Some have given up. One of the big problems is that some don’t know what to look for in a church.

God has chosen to build His Church with living stones of sinful people, but He is working by His Spirit to fashion each of us into His image. The Lord commands us to submit to one another in a community of believers for that purpose, so we can be trained in righteousness. This is a messy, imprecise effort requiring faith, patience and humility – along with a willingness to accept others despite their weaknesses.

Look for the church that will glorify God. When you are looking for that church first start with God’s design and His purpose. If it matters to God it should also matter to us.

We need to identify the church and what it is: It is not a building. Not a denomination. It is not a celebrity pastor. It is the people. It is people assembling. The assembly of the born again baptized believers who have covenanted together and meet together to follow the word of God and be guided by God’s Spirit.

One good place to see the church at work is in Acts 2:42-47; Eph 4:11
1. Exalting Christ vs 43 “fear” preach Christ awe acts 13:1
2. Educating vs 42 “teaching” Acts 11:25
3. Edifying vs 42 “fellowship” homes
4. Evangelizing – vs 47; acts 1:8; Matt 28:19: Acts 5:42
5. Embracing doctrine vs 42 “breaking bread” 1 Cor 11:20
6. Enriching community vs 47 “favor with all the people”.
7. Expanding ministry vs 47

I hope to be back in front of our assemblies soon. I thank God for the internet. But even at its optimum success it is only a temporary place holder. It is not the new model of the church. Don’t press something eternal into the times of the “new normal”.  We need to stick with God’s pattern. I hope you will find your way back after this pandemic. Don’t let any roadblocks or detours keep you away from the local church. Get back to the assembly where ever you can, when ever you can. God bless!