A PURPOSE PURSUED
We believe that our church needs to be under the reforming influence of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. If we just go along with the spirit of society or follow our own desires we will not be a church that honors the Savior and we will suffer the loss for it..
A QUESTION TO PONDER
To see how important this is, let’s ask ourselves a question. Is Sunday a day that regularly brings renewed strength to our lives? It is described that way in Isaiah 58:14! We believe Sunday should be to us the best day of the week. We seek to make it so. We seek earnestly for God to make it so! What truly makes the Lord’s Day the day of God’s special blessing? A crucial part of this answer is how our time is spent at church.
Have you spent many Sundays at church and sensed something very important was missing? It is sad to say, but many believers experience the same thing. Yet, when we meet with God in His church and spend the day enjoying His presence, then Sunday is the greatest day of our week. Then our week is transformed also! Most of all, our lives are changed and blessed. True worship is a refreshing fountain that brings us near to God. Is that true of your Sunday worship? We want it to be true of ourselves. We most definitely believe that everyone must first embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior as the starting point of life with God. The point we are discussing, however, concerns the church.
OBSTACLES TO BE REMOVED
What is it that hinders meeting with God in church?
1. When the Word of God is not central in the worship service, we feel our souls are weakened. When the message is full of jokes and stories telling us how to feel good about ourselves, we feel something is seriously lacking. We are convinced that instead of this man-centered talk, that God has appointed Sunday worship to be a time of singing His praise and explaining the Word of God and showing how it applies to our daily lives. Only when this is so do we meet with God. We hear His voice in His word as the voice of God from heaven to our own souls. We find His promise true that says: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27).
2. Another hindrance to meeting with God in church is when there is a spirit of entertainment. We do not sense much difference from the spirit of the TV as we sit and listen to entertainment in church. Our hearts are grieved and we feel something is not right when there is little reverence for God in worship.
3. Another hindrance is when the people around us do not seem interested in getting to know each other and caring for each other. The context in which we hear God’s word has a significant influence upon us. Are not God’s people His family, and are they not called to bear one another’s burdens? We believe there must be a commitment to obey Jesus’ command among church members. He said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples that you love one another!” (John 13:35). What a difference this makes! What a joy to feel the love of God channeled through His servants to us. It is an even greater blessing to be that channel of blessing to others. We seek to follow the Savior who said, “I did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
Actually, the hindrances to meeting with God could be expanded upon, but this tells you something of our purpose. We are consciously aware that if these hindrances are not dealt with then our lives will be the weaker for it and considerably so. As we have said before, we believe that our church needs to be under the reforming influence of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. If we just go along with the spirit of society or follow our own ideas of what a church should be like, we will not fulfill the commission that our Savior gave us. However, to seek God’s help to keep reforming our church from the hindrances that keep us from true communion with Him is worth the effort and is actually part of our obedience. It is His church after all. He is the Lord of His church. He says to His disciples and to us, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
MANY BLESSINGS TO BE SOUGHT
There are many positive realities that are part of meeting with God. When we are in God’s gracious presence we will be humbled and encouraged, as believers. The Bible brings forth truths that humble us and this saves us from our own worst enemy-our proud, foolish self that tends to go our own way and make a mess of our life and our families. The Bible also brings forth truths that encourage us beyond what is humanly comprehensible. God’s word describes it as “joy inexpressible and full of glory; a peace that passes understanding; and love that passes knowledge.” All of this is found in the Lord Jesus Christ! He is our Lord, our Redeemer, our all in all. He is our first love! The glory of the Lord Jesus is our constant theme. How welcome we are to come to Him is plainly spoken to each of us when he said: “Come unto me and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). These are just some of the truths we hold to and that are part of historic Christianity (or what true Christians have believed throughout history). You can see these spelled out more fully in the summary of Scriptural doctrine found in the London Baptist Confession of 1689. Some of the important truths found here are: The glorious person and work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Sovereignty of God in salvation. The free offer of the gospel to all. The Necessity of repentance and faith. The grace and duty of perseverance. The importance of the local church and Biblically based worship. The importance and blessing of the Lord’s Day. The Divine ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. It is one thing to read about these truths; it is another to see them lived out. We invite you to come and see how we are seeking to live out God’s word, or as Paul called it: “adorning the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:10).
What a joy it is to fellowship with people who want these same things! We desire that everyone would come to know the forgiveness of their sins and the new life of holiness that is in the saving grace of our Redeemer. We also desire that they would have a church context and a church family in which to grow and serve God. Are you aware of this need in your life?
ARE YOU WITH US?
Yes, all churches need to be reforming in the manner in which we are describing. It is part of our calling and stewardship since the church of the living God is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:14). This is our aim for our church. Is you heart attracted to this same purpose?