Sunday, December 4, 2022

What Is Church FOR, Exactly? #JesusFollowers


If you were entertained by church today, you were failed by your church.

Go to the movie theater to be entertained, not church. God is the Audience, not us.

And even then, God doesn't expect a spectacle, empty phrases, long-winded sermonizing and false, ecstatic praise: He calls us to total repentance, total obedience, total love and total service to Himself and our fellow human beings. All other messages are irrelevant and worthless words that are dust in the ears of God.

As Jesus said, quoting Isaiah: some honor God with their lips, "but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

Let us go to church, then, to learn how to more perfectly love and serve God and love and serve other people, and to serve both together with others, just as God's servant Jesus taught us with his words, his life and his death. Unlike mere entertainment, which is blown away on the wind, our relationship with God is something that lasts for all eternity.

Church is the classroom where we learn how to achieve eternal life. And it's not by being entertained or assuring ourselves that we can win it by our mere empty words and ecstatic utterances.

God, our Creator, equips us from our birth to work both alone and together to serve Him through serving others. We must be up and doing the work God requires us to do, and it is joyful work, which stores for us treasure in Heaven eternally.

Church must be where we build each other up and assist in bringing in God's Kingdom here on earth, as Jesus told his disciples to do.

God wants His places of worship to be places of reverence and prayer, not of entertainment. Church, therefore, must be where we humbly and in unison praise God, and where we learn to privately, and in our daily lives, ask from God the wisdom, strength and courage to meet the challenges and trials we face.

In short, the Church is US, the people of God, the gathering of those who recognize the teachings of Jesus as imperative upon their actions, and their actions as eternally important.

Going to Church means meeting together to commune with God and with those people who share the teachings, life, death and message of Jesus, God's servant and spokesman, and who wish to encourage and support each other as we go out into the world to be its light and salt.

If we live as Jesus lived, walk as he called us to walk, we are in communion with Jesus, with God and with each other.

This is a vision of "Church" that we yearn for and one which the Jesus Followers are building.

This is a church that is called to take up the Challenge of the Gospel Jesus set for all who would follow him: to put on his yoke as a mantle and walk as he walked, do as he did - To love God with 100 percent of our being and to selflessly serve others, to love both our neighbors and our enemies, and to keep God's moral commandments in Spirit and Intention as well in their Letter.

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