Today was a while in coming. Between health problems and other issues we’ve missed the fellowship we’ve come to love at our church. It was old and familiar, and fresh and new at the same time.
When we first discovered Victory Worship Church, it was a store front congregation, and it was different from what we’d grown accustomed to doing. Not better, not worse, just different.
Today it was different again. And it was more than being in a new building. A ‘real’ church building, not that that should matter. The church – the ‘ecclesia’ – the called out ones – is the people, not the building; not a specific denomination. It’s kind of like something an old preacher once said – “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sleeping in a garage makes you a car.” On the other hand, this same preacher also said “you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. You don’t have to go home at night to be married either, but it makes it a lot easier.”
Paul said “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.” I believe this means that a Christian does need to be active in a fellowship of believers, and for a variety of reasons. Teaching, encouragement, preaching, accountability, praise and worship, to name a few. Paul made three different missionary journeys in the first century AD, the primary purpose of which was twofold. First, to bring the Word of Salvation to the Gentiles, and second, to establish new churches. Churches, not denominations. The last message Jesus gave His followers was to go into the world and preach the Gospel. Beginning in Jerusalem, this ‘Great Commission’ was facilitated best through the church. Being a member of a church – any church – won’t get you to heaven, but it is the church which was left with the charge of spreading the Word of God and His message of salvation. From Acts to Revelation, the importance of the church is stressed, from its establishment, to its purpose, to its organization, to its mission.
This morning all the pieces fell into place at our place of worship, as, I’m sure, it did in other houses of worship around the world. There was good preaching and teaching, at least three people who gave their lives to Christ, a baby dedication, the public example of Baptism by immersion by 15 people, and a time of fellowship that followed.
It just doesn’t get any better than that!