Pastor Hill: Loving what Jesus loves

Psalm 122:1:

“Getting in water does not make a bird a duck; but real ducks do get in the water.” C. Gudmundsson.

As Christians we delight to fellowship with others who love God and love God’s people. Sadly, many have forgotten the value of church and church attendance. Going to church has become a duty to some and not a need to others. How can we KEEP A STRONG LOVE for the church when many professing Christians and Church leaders are advocating other options?

Speaking the Truth in Love by Pastor Tommy Hill

Speaking the Truth in Love
by Pastor Tommy Hill

How do we develop a fondness for the church in an era where the need is not promoted nor the responsibility taught? There are many opinions regarding the church today that are unscriptural and therefore cause people to see no value in the church. When we accept opinions about the church let’s go to the only true source and find the truth. How can we know what the Lord Jesus thinks about church? We just simply see what He has said in the Bible, it is the Word of God. So do we have to go to church to be a Christian? “Christian” means a follower of Christ.” How can we claim to be a follower if we do not try and be obedient to His words? The passage in Matthew 7: 21-27 provides some good insight. Are we true believers, or make-believers?

REMEMBER, CHRIST DIED FOR THE CHURCH: Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Jesus paid for the Church with His own blood because He loved us and we were unable to offer any sacrifice to God that would be sufficient to atone for our sins. We should place a high value on anything Christ has purchased. Jesus demonstrated the importance of going to the Temple to worship when He dwelt upon the earth. It should be important to us as well, (more than occasional visits), but going faithfully to a Bible believing, Bible preaching, Christ honoring Church.

REMEMBER, CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH: Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” When we truly love the Lord we will love what He loves. This love will be evidenced by our actions and activities revealing the truth of our love.

REMEMBER, CHRIST GAVE HIMSELF: He gave His life for the church. Christ desires and commands that we “take up our cross daily and follow him,” How is this possible when we seldom find ourselves obedient to His command in regards to the church? Christ desires for us to invest our lives in that which He has purchased for us. As we invest our lives in the church our love for the church grows. Let us commit to faithful attendance and begin to love the church. One activity that will improve our love for the church is to pray for the church we attend and all the members of our church family. May I encourage everyone to pray for their Pastor, church leaders, and all the families who are members of your local New Testament church. As we pray we will develop a love for the church.

Finally, the church is a precious gift from God to us. Let’s ask God to help us love the church the way Christ loves the church. Let’s be faithful Christians to our church. Faithful Christians grow more like Jesus – in church. Faithful Christians learn more of God’s truth – in church. Faithful Christians enjoy fellowship with other believers – in church. Faithful Christians pursue and serve God – in church. They find their joy in God – in church. This is what we find to be true when we read the New Testament and learn what Christians mentioned in the Bible do. What are we doing today?

Many today profess to be faithful Christians without being part of any church. The polls refer to these people as, “unchurched Christians.” As we read the Bible we do not find this term anywhere. In every Bible passage where we find people being saved and becoming followers of Christ we also find them joining in with a group of Christians and becoming part of a local New Testament church.

Let’s be clear, going to church doesn’t make anyone a Christian, we become Christians when we repent and turn from our sins and choose to follow Christ. Then we strive to abide by the commands of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and find a church in which to worship Him.

Do real Christians go to church? Those we read about in the Bible always did. Do you? Our only authority regarding the truth about the church is in the New Testament where the Lord Himself taught us about the church. We must decide who we will listen to and believe.

Hebrews 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.”

Pastor Tommy Hill is the pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church in Hamlet. He is a Richmond County native. He can be reached at firstfwbchurchhamlet@gmail.com. His column will appear each Friday in The Pee Dee Post.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion, Religion

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