I just paused my sermon prep for a moment so I could post this to the blog. I’m currently writing a sermon on The Powerful Witness of Unity in the Church and remembered that I had written in a Facebook Post earlier in the week. The two didn’t really connect in my mind until now, so I want to share it with you. I’ll post the sermon later.
We all Need a Good Church
The last five chapters of judges shows what life is like when a group of religious people try to govern themselves. Selfishness, pride, foolishness, hardheadedness and hardheartedness is played out in spades as God is given lip service but not truly consulted, obeyed or worshipped. It breaks my heart to read of the abuses these people heaped on each other and how the weaker among them (women and children) suffered so greatly at the hands of these religious men who were “doing as they saw fit”.
This reminds me of how important it is that we are part of a good church and how dependent we must be on the daily provision the Holy Spirit gives us. When I think myself wise enough, strong enough, spiritual enough, smart enough to move forward without God and His people, I am setting up disaster for myself and pain for those around me.
There are so many in this world who have been inoculated against the church and who do not want to set their foot inside the door because of hurts or pride. They believe they can set up their own religion, meet God on their own terms, and live as they see fit outside the Church God has given us. That is folly.
Be careful when you begin to think that you can live outside the influence, support, and discipline found within the Christian church. You are setting yourself up for temptation, foolish mistakes, and courting an avalanche of disaster. We are built to be in community, led by His Word, taught and held accountable by wise elder believers, and ultimately under God. It is in that place where we will be happiest and most fruitful.
Hebrews 10:25 is clear on this need for Christians to assemble together. Of course, the church takes many forms: some in “church” buildings, some in schools or halls, some as house churches. Let’s pray also for missionaries who work in new areas and have to be creative to stay assembled; we take ease of assembly for granted.