Church a real place for worship, fellowship

In so many circles these days, people seem to be on a mission to trash the church.

Bloggers of all shapes and sizes continue to bash the church and imply that more and more people are disassociating themselves from the established church.

You’ll hear people say things like, “I’m a Christian, but I’m against organized religion.”

“I have a relationship with Jesus, but I’m not a part of the institutional church.”

Or they’ll say, “We’re not called to go to church, but to be the church.”

People who say these things often imply that the term “church” refers to a universal, invisible body of believers, not a local church with buildings, budgets and bureaucracy. The New Testament makes it clear that when Jesus said “I will build my church,” he intended a visible body of believers with structure and definition.

In Hebrews 10:25, believers were told to “not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

The church is to be a real place where people worship, pray, give, serve and fellowship together.

The New Testament church was visible enough that when one member suffered, they all suffered together. When one strayed, he or she was held accountable. The church was so high profile that some in the world despised and persecuted it.

The church is not just a few Christians hanging out in a coffee shop talking about Jesus. The church was and is at the very center of the purpose of God, to reach and redeem a lost world.

The Bible knows nothing of an unchurched or disconnected Christian. Acts 2:41 says God automatically added people to the church when they were saved. 1 Peter 2:5-6 compares the church to a building established on a firm foundation. We all know what will happen to a building that is separated from the foundation … it will collapse.

Ephesians 5:23 tells us that “Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” The head and the body are inseparable. Christ is the Head and the Church is the body of Christ. We’re to be his hands and feet to do good works on Earth.

Jesus Christ loves the church. Shouldn’t we follow His example in everything including loving the church that He loves? He sees the church not only for what it is, but for what we can become. He sees our potential.