Before I begin discussing in Part Two what I really want to cover - faithfulness to YOUR Church, let me first cover a few issues in regards to the church:
- When I say YOUR church in the title, I realize that it is God's church, which began to physically take shape on earth when Jesus called the Twelve during His earthly ministry. When Jesus said, "I will begin MY church…" we take that very literally. He called the twelve leaders/apostles/pastors during His earthly ministry, commissioned them (Matthew 28:18-20, etc.) and the church was empowered post-ascension on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. (On a side note: One of the reasons we know that the church began before the Day of Pentecost was that in Acts 1 they were deciding who would replace the bishopric of Judas. To have a bishopric, there must have already been an organization of the church.)
- This is why Paul, in his first preserved letter to Timothy, tells Him in the third chapter that the church is the, "the house of God…the church of the living God…" We labour together with God, building upon the foundation that He has laid, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone and the apostles being the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:9-10, Ephesians 2:20).
Sometimes, people are "between" churches. This is either because they move to a new place and need to find a new church, or because certain things have transpired and led them to seek a new place of membership. Let me encourage you if you are reading this and looking for a church: k
now what you believe before you look, then look quickly. Don't drag your search out for years. I have seen some that become "professional church shoppers." While deciding which church to join is an important decision that should not be taken lightly or hastily, it also should not "drag out."
- If you moved to a new city and there is no church that holds to the core doctrines/beliefs that you know to be true, it may be an God-given opportunity to plant a new church. I would suggest you contact your previous church (because you left on good terms, didn't you?!) and ask them to pray with you about starting a new work. Your previous pastor may know of a church nearby that would be good for your to visit/consider, as well.
Now, with all that being said, I am going to being dealing with the issue of faithfulness to the church that God has called you to in the next post. My question to you now is this: DO YOU KNOW WHICH CHURCH GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO?