Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Mission of The Lord's Churches

I feel as if we should conclude our study of church pretenders. I desire to make one thing clear, that I love the brethren. I love all those in the family of God. 1 John 3:14 reads, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." This love should not be challenged by correction and truth, but rather confirmed by correcting and sharing truth.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Prov. 27:26
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Prov. 27:17
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Heb. 12:6
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Eph. 4:15

Do I believe that all people on earth are the children of God? No, you must have put your faith in Christ to become a child of God (Gal. 3:26). Do I believe only Baptist are going to Heaven? No, we can and will go to the Father through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Do I believe the Kingdom of God was supposed to be our Lord setting up a kingdom with the Jews when He first came? No, he told Nicodemus in John 3, "the Son of man must be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life...for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." He didn't come to conquer and set up a kingdom with the Jews the first time He came, He came to die so the world could be saved.
Do I believe in an universal, invisible church? No, the church found in the New Testament is a local, visible, organized body of baptized believers. There is no universal, invisible body preached in the New Testament.
Do I believe that only Baptist will be the bride of Christ in Glory? No, just because you are a 'Baptist' in name does not make you the bride of Christ. How you follow the doctrine in God's Word does matter!
The Lord's churches have been given a mission. That mission can be summarized two fold. First, the Lord's churches are to bring Eternal Glory to God. Ephesians 3:20-21 read,

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
The most important mission of a church is to bring glory to the Name of God. This is accomplished by being obedient and carrying out God's purpose. It is the Lord's purpose that His church be without spot or wrinkle-holy and without blemish. We are living in a world of rapidly declining moral and spiritual standards. This decay is seriously affecting Christians and churches to a point that it is often difficult to tell Christians from non-Christians. The church out to be holy! The church ought to contrast the world! The church ought to contrast the world's philosophies, music, dress, and entertainment. The church ought to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15). To allow worldliness is to commit spiritual adultery (James 4:4). Paul said in 1 Cor. 5:6 that "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." The church must cease allowing sin in her midst! I am not referring to a sinless perfection, but an accepted worldliness that seems to be the normal today. This is foreign to God!
God's Word teaches separation (2 Cor. 6:17)! Separation from the world (1 John 2:15-16), separation from marrying unbelievers to believers (2 Cor. 6:14), separation in matters of doctrine (2 John 9-10; Rom. 16:17), and separation from unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). It is time true churches-the Lord's churches stood up and took a stand again! The church is to bring glory to God!
It used to be that churches preached against movie houses, now they are producing movies to be shown in them. It used to be preached that rock music was evil, now it is embraced and used in 'worship.' It used to be preached that men and ladies dressed different, now it is taboo to speak of such things and even promoted to keep 'coming as you are'. It used to be preached immorality was sin, but now it is coddled and accepted as normal-sadly with both laymen and clergy. It used to be preached that alcohol was an abomination, but now it is served in the foyers. It used to be preached that saints of God did not tattoo their flesh, now they bear Scriptures as a testimony on their backs and arms. It used to be preached that you did not use corrupt communication, but now it is what brings people in.
Oh for the day that churches still preached against Hollywood instead of meeting there for fellowship. Oh for a day when churches were more concerned for their prayer meeting than for their cruise in car show. Things like this are an abomination: and should Jack Schaap be promoting it, shame on him! The ROC does not bring glory to God http://www.theroc.com/church2/ ! Satan deceived the masses when he caused churches to think they were to be patterned for the lost! The church was designed by God for the maturing of the believer. The lost are to be won out in the world, and the church is to be a refuge from it! It is time churches quit pretending to be what they are not...if you want to be an organization with a good message that still coddles sin, then be that; but quit calling yourself a church!
The second mission of the Lord's churches is to evangelize globally. Each church is to be a soul-winning church. This does not contrast my last few thoughts. We should be winning souls to Christ, but the Lord sent us out to go and evangelize. I am not against a lost soul getting saved at church, but I am against a church fashioning itself to make the lost feel comfortable. Churches need to be maturing saints to go and evangelize, to bring the lost to Jesus.
Christ is our example (Luke 19:10), the disciples evangelized (John 20:21), the early Christians evangelized, and we today should evangelize! There is an urgent need for evangelism. Obediently leading souls to Christ is a wonderful way to bring glory to God! We need to keep sending missionaries from their local church (for God gets the glory in the church) to fields where the Gospel is not preached. This is our mission! To bring glory to God and to win souls.
I don't find car shows, carnivals, festivals, bingo, or gym nights anywhere in Scripture as the church's mission.
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8