WHAT IS THE CHURCH WORTH TO
Perhaps the first thing you thought when you read the above question was to think,
“Why, the church is worth everything to me!” Is that really true?
Most of you who are reading this are members of the church of Christ and able
to enjoy the many privileges and blessings that go along with being a member of
God’s family. So, we all need to consider the question very carefully, “WHAT
IS THE CHURCH WORTH TO ME AS A MEMBER?”
IS THE CHURCH WORTH YOUR LOYALTY? I am sure we all agree the church cost God and
Christ more than most are willing to pay. It cost God His Son, Jesus Christ, His
blood. It cost the apostles their lives to establish and spread the church throughout
the world. The early disciples were so loyal to the cause that the church was
spread throughout the world in about 40 years Col.1:23. This was loyalty. It meant
DEDICAION TO A CAUSE, willing to die to proclaim it. It meant UNWAVERING ZEAL
to spread it, even in working day and night at this task while others turned back.
It meant COURAGE and BOLDNESS to stand before rulers and mobs telling it “like
it was,” This was loyalty This is what the church was worth to the early
disciples. Yet today many are not willing to do the things for the church they
claim to love so much. When brethren quit defending the church and no longer demand
a “thus says the Lord” and do not speak “as the oracles of God”
then I question their loyalty. Some are more zealous and dedicated to the defense
of some human innovation or institution than to the Lord’s church. This
is not loyalty to the Lord. What about you? Are you resolved to give the Lord
your full allegiance?
ISTHE CHURCH WORTH YOUR PRESENCE? The Lord has promised, “where two or three
are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst” Matt. 18:20.
Yes, I know the primary application of this scripture is dealing with church discipline,
but I also believe it has a secondary application which would include brethren
assembling to worship Him. In other scriptures we are exhorted to “not forsake
the assembling of ourselves together” Heb.10:25. While the primary consideration
of this verse seems to be the assembly on the first day of the week, it does say
“assembling” which would include other times also. Yet it would seem
from the attendance or rather the lack of attendance to the Bible classes and
Sunday and Wednesday night serves, that many feel the church is not worth spending
too much time with brethren. Some are like butterflies flitting from place to
place. How can the classes operate efficiently when the teachers can not be sure
who will be there? How can the preacher preach his best when many of the seats
are empty from neglect? We see to it that our children are clothed, fed and educated
in secular things, but many times fall short with showing the same concern for
spiritual things. Every time you do not come on Sunday or Wednesday night because
of simple carelessness or neglect you demonstrate the fact that these services
are not worth much to you. Isn’t the Lord worth more of your time than two
or three hours weekly? How much time do you give to the Lord?
IS THE CHURCH WORTH YOUR MONEY? We live in a land of prosperity with our bodies
covered, bellies fed, and a roof and bed to shelter and rest us. Yet the greater
portion of the contribution comes from a handful of people. The only way the church
can scripturally raise money is through the members laying by in store on the
first day of the week 1.Cor.16:1-2. Do you really believe you are abounding in
the work if you neglect to give properly? Look at the contribution and ask yourself,
“How much of this did I give?” “Could I do more?” Many
opportunities to preach the gospel are lost because of a lack of funds. Are you
giving your fair share?
IS THE CHURCH WORTH YOUR RESPONISIBILITY? The church cannot function properly
unless each member is willing to do his/her share. One problem today is the failure
of many to exercise their responsibility to the kingdom. They have been at ease
too long. Many have forgotten that someone took the time to teach them the truth.
It is time to awake and get busy. Is the church worth working for?
The integrity of a good name, the love of a wonderful family, or even the privilege
of living in a free country mean much more to all of us. Many are willing to defend
these material freedoms since they are considered precious and desirous. Yet when
it comes to spiritual things it doesn’t seem to mean as much to some as
it should. Should this be so, brethren?
The church is worth all these things! Our loyalty, presence, money and responsibility.
Let each of us resolve to get busy and DO ALL WE CAN - WHEN WE CAN. You might
be surprised at the result.
By Tommy Thornhill
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