Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Truths About Local Churches

1 TIMOTHY 3:14-15 – I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”


THEME OF THE DAY: TRUTHS ABOUT LOCAL CHURCHES.  A little warning about today’s nugget.  It might hurt.  It might convict. It might make a person defensive. It might lead to deceptive self-justification.  It might cause someone to hit the delete button and unsubscribe to the nugget.  But it also might bring needed change if you are a Christian guilty of three things.  First, not seeing the local church as God does. Next, not seeing the necessity of the local church in your walk with the Lord Jesus.  And finally, you are living not regularly attending a local church or attending but not actively involved in its spiritual life. Let’s take these one at a time.

First, the church of the Lord Jesus is viewed by God as His eternal family.  Today’s scripture affirms it is “the household of God.”  Now before we are quick to say, “I am in the universal church. I am in the body of Christ” and use that as justification for absenteeism from a local body of believers, be careful.  114 times the word “church” appears in the New Testament.  109 of the references point to a physical, local body of believers who assemble together. Think about this.  How can we fellowship in the Word, love one another, carrying each other’s burdens and pray with each other if it is all about the universal church?  I have dear brothers and sisters living in Australia but I cannot obey the one another commands at a distance of 11,647 miles from me. How can we practice family life across the oceans?  It God calls His people “family” and the New Testament clearly defines its practice in visible meetings, we cannot live and act like an estranged family member.


Next, we simply cannot be spiritually healthy or growing Christians without active attendance and participation in a local church.  The early church met for “teaching, fellowship, hospitality, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer” – the core elements for a healthy Christian life (Acts 2:42-47).  They knew the importance AND necessity of togetherness.  Unless physically hindered, and that means you are not able to do “other things” like worldly events, gatherings, and activities, you must be active for your spiritual health in a local gathering of believers. Friend, if we are able to attend other things with people but not church, something is seriously wrong with us. The issues are ignorance of God’s definition of church and a heart issue of no desire.


Finally, if we find ourselves “on the fringe” of church life, on and off with attendance, and no involvement in any of its body life except for an hour or two on a Sunday morning, or worse, if we simply refuse to attend church and get involved, according to God’s Word we are disobeying His clear command.  He told us “Do not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). And think about this . . . if we are disobeying a known command, do we think any spiritual growth may possibly occur?  No, it won’t, no matter how much we pray, read the Bible, and seek Him.  David said, “If I regard sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).


The local church, the local Bible-believing church, is the place we “do family together” that leads to life-on-life spiritual investments beyond its walls.  It is not an option, but a necessity, and should be the delight of delights in the hearts of God’s children.  May it be so in each of us as He intends it to be!


PRAYER: “Father, open my eyes to the truth of Your view and love for the church and let them become mine too!.”


QUOTE: “One cannot be a healthy and growing Christian without immersing oneself in the lives of other believers.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim