Thursday, June 22

Not About Me! Pt.2

It seems that a lot of people were up in arms with my statement about the church existing for non-believers. Sorry if you were offended by that... BUT IT'S BIBLICAL. The other option is that the church exists for herself... which is a lie from the pit of hell and smells like smoke. And I say that, because the enemy is so tricky - he wants the Church to focus on herself, because the more we do, the less and less impact we make in our communities. If he can get us focusing on primarily ministering to the "already convinced", then basically those who aren't convinced that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life can go to hell - literally!

Now, I'm not crazy... I know it's a "both-and" and not an "either-or", but experience and history shows us that the church that prioritizes its members and emphasizes making sure that "insiders" are taken care of usually does so at the expense of "outsiders." That's just reality... we all know it and have seen it. My point is that we DO BOTH... we equip insiders to be salty and well-lit believers: the saltiness of their lives stem from living out God's Word, and the "lightness" of their lives is the "spillover" from how they live... the "contagiosity" (new word) of living a life that pleases God. We are to build up believers in order to send them out into the world... not to just stay around and do more ministry in the church. Every single believer is called to be a fisher of men (or women)... no exceptions. And every local church is called to create environments for that to take place... no exceptions...

Because the Church exists for outsiders... those who need to know that there is a God who is mad crazy about them, and gave His life so that He might have a relationship with them. He loves outsiders... and He wants to reach them through us.

"I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also" (John 10:16).

His life, His cross... my passion,

1 comment:

BlackCalvinist said...

While I'm in the neighborhood....

You write:
The other option is that the church exists for herself... which is a lie from the pit of hell and smells like smoke.

Actually, both of your options here are wrong. The Church exists for Christ:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14)

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Eph. 5:25-27)

As such, the church's mission and directives are indeed to be both salt (to slow the decay of the society) and light (to show forth the glory of God in a fallen world). I think we'd agree there.

Of course, we part company on the 'mad crazy' comment. :) John 3:18 and 3:36 doesn't sound like a God who is 'mad crazy' about them.... but rather a God who is angry with them over sin.

Unsaved folk who think that God loves them 'just as they are' tend to not see the need to repent from sin. After all... God loves them (supposedly).

But people who see the holy and perfect standard of God's righteousness, the fact that God's wrath remains upon them and that only His mercy and forebearance keeps them from being cast into hell right now as they read my words - and that God gave His Son for sinners so that whoever places faith in the Son has passed from wrath to love, death to life... well.... they tend to approach and deal with the subject a bit more soberly.

And no, it won't chase people away. Otherwise, John Piper's church wouldn't be 3800 deep.

Soli Deo Gloria,