IS THE CHURCH REALLY† IMPORTANT?
††††††††† In Matt.16:18, Jesus said, ďÖupon this rock I will build my church.† Then in Acts the 2nd chapter, we learn that the church was established on the first Pentecost after Jesusí resurrection.† The church means many things to many people:† To the atheists; the self-righteous and the self-sufficient people, the church is a crutch needed by the weak.† To the hypocrite, the church and religion is a cloak to hide his evil deeds.† To the masses of people, the church is thought of as a sort of social club where they can meet and visit with friends; and thus, the worship service becomes secondary.† In order that we might evaluate our own ideas, we need to ask ourselves:† What does the church mean to me?† The church is an important institution to God.† He sent His Son to earth to establish it.† Christ came and died for it.† Would God and Christ have made such a sacrifice if the church were just a social club?† One social club is about as good as another, but there is only one church that can take us to heaven. (Eph. 5:23).† We need to have respect for the church of the Lord.† We must desire to come together to worship God each Lordís day.† Naturally, we enjoy seeing our friends at worship services, but we can do our visiting before and after services, not while it is in progress.
††††††††† A great many people must feel that the church is a social club because this is how they treat it.† Even some members of the true church seem to have this idea.† When there is nothing better to do, they attend; but, at the slightest excuse, they will stay away.† And when they do attend, there seems to be no genuine reverence in their worship.† It is bad when we have to quiet the audience down to begin, but even worse when people continue their conversations during the worship service.† We come together to worship God.† Let us center our minds upon worshipping.† We can visit any time before or after service, but I donít think that God is pleased when we talk to one another during the whole worship service.
††††††††† The seriousness of this matter is that one day you and I will die, and when that happens it will be too late to make any corrections in our lives.† It will be too late to say, ďLord, Iím sorry, if you will give me one more opportunity, Iíll worship you from the heart, and Iíll be here at every opportunity I have.Ē† Whatever we plan to do, we must do before death, and we cannot know when that will be.† Therefore, think about it seriously, what does the church mean to you?† If we do not regard it as a divine institution, offering salvation to those who submit themselves to Godís commands, we need to revise our thinking.† Let us love God and serve him faithfully that we might enjoy heaven!††