Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
     “If your religion can’t get you to church, it probably won’t get you to heaven either.”  I first heard that statement from a professing unbeliever who, on his radio program, was denouncing people who call themselves religious but do not practice their religion.  They use their religion when convenient or beneficial, but they do not live according to their so-called religious beliefs.

     Christians are certainly not immune to such rank hypocrisy.  Whether they are “carnal Christians”, “C and E” (Christmas and Easter) Christians, “non-practicing” Christians, or “Christians” in name only.  That is, people who think of or refer to themselves as Christians and yet do not live as disciples of Christ.
     Today, it is even fashionable for such Christians to not even attend church (which used to be the minimalist standard for Christians).  With the ease and prevalence of church services online, many Christians (who could otherwise go to church) feel justified in staying home and doing “virtual church.”  We must not be fooled; virtual church is not real church (hence the name “virtual”).

     Perhaps now more than ever, with the ability to watch services/sermons online, many professing believers are “freelancing” their way in and around Christianity, and are committed only to “self-styled” worship in a “self-centered” religion.  They are only interested in their own “independent spiritual journey.”  They live the “Christian” life how they want, when they want, where they want, and with whomever they want – all the while paying precious little attention to the commands of God’s Word, and the needs of other Christians.  For God commands believers to come together as a church lovingly, sincerely, regularly, selflessly, joyfully, and in unity.  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb.10:24-25).  It is virtually impossible to obey this command and not be actively involved in a local church.

     While going to church does not make you a Christian, it is a vital part of every Christian’s spiritual growth.  When believers, who are physically able refuse to be committed to a church, they are disobeying God’s commands, hindering their own spiritual growth, and weakening the health and life of that church.  The apostle Paul proclaimed this truth when he told the believers in Corinth, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1Cor.12:27).  Similarly, he taught the believers in Rome: “so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Rom 12:5).

     All Christians belong to one another.  Together every true believer is a part of the church – “the body of Christ.”  Therefore, no Christian should say “I do not belong to the body” (1Cor.12:15) or “I do not need [the body]” (1Cor.12:21).  Rather, we all are called to serve God in and through the church.  When a believer neglects the church, they are spiritually violating the commands of God and practically serving only themselves.

     One of the more wonderful by-products of being faithfully committed to a local church comes as we willfully surrender ourselves to one another – deferring our individual freedoms and rights for the sake of something greater.  As we together commit ourselves to glorifying Christ in the church, we eagerly give up what we individually want in order to gain what we mutually need.  It forces us to contend with our own self-interest and be committed to the interests of others (Phil.2:4).  Christ is honored and portrayed as we genuinely love and serve one another (see Jn.13:34; Rom.12:10; 14:13; 15:7, 14; 16:16; Gal.5:13; Eph.5:21; Col.3:13; 1Thes.5:11; 1Pet.4:9).

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #12):
Genesis 44-47; 1 Samuel 6-10; Psalm 33-35; Job 23-24; Isaiah 62-66; Mark 3-4; 1 Corinthians 7-8
Recommended Reading:
“Christ’s Call to Reform the Church” by John F. MacArthur

1 Comment

Robert Duffy - March 21st, 2022 at 4:34pm





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