When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (Matthew 16:13) And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:16-18)
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL BELIEFS OF THE CHURCH. It is about the Christian home and its relationship to the church. For the record and without supporting evidence, I will lay bare by own understanding of the church Jesus died for. The church began at Pentecost, after Jesus made the above statement and it is the equivalent of The Body of Christ. “Church” occurs 80 times in the King James Bible. When we speak of “a local church,” we mean a body of believers at a known geographical location. Most of the occurrences of “church” in the Bible refer to local assemblies; “the church of Ephesus,” the “church in Smyrna,” etc. Local assemblies are also called “the visible Church.” Jesus is the rock upon which the church is built.
IF THE FAMILY WAS ALL THAT WAS NEEDED, the Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple would not have been built. Today, Christian families desperately need a local Bible-believing, Bible practicing church. It doesn’t hurt to provide hot dogs and pizza along the way, but it is dangerously easy to rely on food, fun and games to keep young people attending. We are at war with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The church is a teaching place. Jesus said to go, preach, baptize, and teach. (Matthew 28:20)
THE CHURCH IS TO BE A GOING, EVANGELIZING CHURCH. But its first purpose is to nourish, encourage and develop the believers who attend. Does that sound like heresy? In some churches it is. But what about the need for the church to preach the Gospel? If we want the Gospel to be preached in a community, we must give ourselves to developing a core of people who love one another and behave like Christians. Jesus said: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)
The local church is the solid power station where families can plug in to be shaped and serviced. There’s an ever-present danger that the church may try to substitute itself to be in place of the family and that’s a big mistake. The family and the church are complimentary and not in competition.
The church is people, and not the building. We refer to buildings as churches and that is not going to change. The church in the picture above is The Homestead Baptist Church at Crossville, TN. I was a member there and attended there during my junior high and high school years. It was a long-shot away from a perfect church, but in its church-split agony it was a life-saving station for me. During that time my daddy had an affair when I needed him the most. After a while, it healed. The church was a fortress for me. I don’t know where I would have ended up had it not been for that church.
THERE'S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A SOLID FAMILY THAT HAS FAMILY ALTAR every day. Ninety per-cent of Christian families do not have family altar. Parents need to read the Bible and pray together every day. The children need to see their Mother and Daddy with a Bible in their hands. The children need to have a vivid memory of their Mother and Daddy on their knees in the home and it needs to be strong! Very strong! This needs to be combined with the larger social group in the church.
In the church setting, young people often meet their life-mate. Not always, but it averages out that way. In Israel, the Synagogue served that purpose except the older heads made arrangements for the marriages.
THE FAMILY NEEDS TO BE IN CHURCH TO PARTICIPATE IN WORSHIPING GOD. It is important that the church hymnal contain solid, doctrinally-sound hymns that have stood the test of time. These hymns need to form the backbone of the church music program. And, there’s no substitute for a robust choir and instruments that assist in lifting our hearts to the Lord. If possible, there needs to be some children’s choirs who learn to love to sing.
The church should be a dependable place where the Gospel will be preached and the whole counsel of God is preached with a strong teaching element in the preaching. The church is where we sing together, rejoice together, laugh together, weep together, pray together. Christian families need to be in church. Children should be taught that we don’t debate this every Sunday morning.
Before they are born, it should be decided that the children will be brought up in church. It’s what we do.My mother carried me to church in her womb. When I got saved in the bean market in October 1943, I decided I would be in church next Sunday (as long as I live and am able) because that’s what God said: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25) Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
FEBRUARY 13, 2018 – TUESDAY
A.M. Leviticus 15-17 P.M. Matthew 27:1-31
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1Corinthians 10:31)
Song for Today:
Holy, Holy, Holy (1:41)( Quartet) – (Calv.Mem.Church)
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