God Added To The Church

Our church has begun a new promotion in which the members take a preprinted business type card with the church information on it and give it to a friend or anybody you wish. On the card is the “promo” which says “Meet me at the Spot”. The “Spot” is a particular location on the campus of the church location. From there you will go with your invitee to the worship service where you hope that he or she will hear the Gospel.

Is it scriptural

Let me set forth two scriptures.

Matthew 28: 19-20.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I
am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

Acts 2:47b
And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

It is the Lord Who brings someone into the church. It is those who are the saved that He brings in. He does not bring them into the church to save them. He adds them because they are new creations in Christ Jesus.

You may ask, “How do they become a new creation in Christ Jesus if they don’t come to church?”

The answer is found in Matthew 28. “You go and teach them and make disciples of them.”

The problem

Herein lies the problem. For years, we have been taught that people need to come to church to hear the gospel. Bring them to church and they can hear the preacher preach the gospel and lead them to Christ. There are no scriptures to back up this type of approach to spreading the gospel.

Jesus gave us an example when He sent his disciples out two by two to preach the gospel of the kingdom. He did not set up a headquarters or build a great complex to produce fancy programs to attract people to come to and follow Him. No! He sent His disciples out. Jesus had told them that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the world. When the disciples decided to set up in Jerusalem and let the people come to them, there came persecution which brought about dispersion. They had to “Go” then.

The job of the church

Ephesians 4:11ff

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till
we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son
of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ:

14 That
we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about
with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

We see here the gifts given to the body of Christ(the church) and what their whole purpose is. The church’s job is not to get people into the church. The church’s job is to grow born-again-children-of-God into mature men and women of God. They are to be grown up to be just like Jesus. That is the job of the church. It is not the job of just the pastor or the paid staff, it is the job of every member of the body to some degree or another depending on each’s level of maturity.

 

If you have been a member of a “church” for many years and you are not doing the same things that Jesus did when He walked on the earth, you should consider if you are truly part of a New Testament church. The scripture is clear. “The Church of Jesus” will produce people who do the same things that Jesus did.

 

You may ask, “How do you know that is true?” In Acts 11:26 we find that it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. What does the word Christian mean? It comes from the root word “Christ” which means “anointed one”. The “Anointed One” was Jesus. When these disciples began doing the same things that the Anointed One did the people began to refer to them as “anointed ones”. They were not “THE ANOINTED ONE” but they were doing the same things that THE ANOINTED ONE did, therefore they were rightfully called “anointed ones”, or as we say “Christians”.

 

How to know the church

You may wonder just how you can know the true church of Jesus Christ. The only way you will know the true church is to find out what the Word of God says about it. The New Testament is full of descriptions of the Body of Christ. The best picture of what the church does is the example of Jesus, Himself. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Christ in you is not going to be any different in the 21st century than He was in the New Testament. What He did then, He still does now. We know He is consistent because He continued to do the same works in His disciples and through Paul and elders and deacons in the church of the New Testament.

Jesus discipled people. The very term comes from the root which means “to discipline”. The New Covenant” in the blood of Jesus speaks of a new creation which is conformed to the image of Christ. The true church cannot build huge congregations because they are to busy going and sharing the good news. They are ever reaching out to those who have never heard and always preparing those who are growing to be going out and making disciples. If you ever see a comfortable church, you are probably not seeing the Church of Jesus. Too many people are going down the road to hell and we have the only means by which they might be delivered from that loss.

We have the Good News of what God has done in Jesus, The Christ, and we cannot rest until everyone has had the opportunity respond to that good news.

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