Article XIII: The Local Church

Matthew 16:18

The New Testament church is our Lord's vehicle to evangelize the world. His plan is not to bring to spiritual birth the sinner and then allow him to be orphaned. Rather, He has prepared an institution to reach out in soul winning fervor to the unsaved, win them, baptize, teach, train and care for them until they are mature and can spiritually reproduce. Indeed, the church is there to meet their needs from spiritual birth to physical death.

American society no longer respects the church by and large. Worship services have been declared the "most wasted 60 minutes of the week." Its values are not expressed in our humanistic society. Its evangelistic outreach is often hindered by local prohibitions. Zoning laws are enacted which interfere with services and use of property. Often the Christian schools are resented and looked down upon.

But before we throw up our hands in despair we need to remember the first century was no friend to this fledgling institution of our Lord.

Yet, churches were founded and they flourished. And that was done in a hostile environment and without professional programs, designed buildings, budgets, or a work week with a day off for worship! How could they do it? Simply by following the Great Commission with the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

I have a personal love for the local church and I relish the privilege of pastoring and preaching about the local church. Other than the family, it is the only institution I have ever wanted to be a part of.

Society has a wrong concept of the "church". Wrong interpretations lead to wrong practices which, in turn, bring discredit to God and His institution. There are some imperatives we need to consider regarding this word "church". We want to look at the definition, description, and destination of the local church.




Are we ready for the return of Christ? Are we ready to meet Him? Have we done all that we could for Him? Have we been faithful to the local church? Heb. 10:25, "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."