The Church is not a building. It has nothing to do with Sundays, perfect attendance, or how close you sit to the preacher (this may not have been a thing everywhere but in the megachurch that I grew up in, it was status).
The Church is a state of being. The second you welcome Christ into your life you exist as and for the sake of the Church. The church is in us, part of us, and we carry it everywhere. Our personal branded piece of the Body of Christ. “There goes Billy; he’s a Christian” What good is the church of Billy doing?
Who and what is the Church to the world?
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”- Author Brennan Manning.
Christ addresses the idea of “lukewarm” Christians several times in the Gospel. In the water example, likely the best known, he states he would spit the lukewarm water out because it is neither hot nor cold. He addressed that again in Mathew 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
If we are not serving our purpose, then we have no use to the faith. We’re bringing it down. There are only two options you’ve surrendered completely, or you haven’t surrendered at all. Christ places this in perspective in the next verse:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
A light that CANNOT be hidden.
Members of the Church should be a constant reminder of Christ’s love. This is an aspect many of us fail on, I have had to realize this is an area where I fail all too frequently. That curse word, that inappropriate joke, that questionable choice in music or entertainment they are ALL things the world sees us doing. How much damage have we done to the gospel by hiding it? Who have we turned away with our actions?
We frequently refer to physical Churches as “our church.” What about YOUR church? Your personal branded church. How convincing is your church? Is your light shining or under the bowl? Christ expects that people can observe us and know our faith.
“Every good tree bears good fruit”
Do we have a responsibility to be the Church?
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew 28:16-20
Christ does not state, some go and make disciples or some go win souls. He tells all of his disciples to go.
“But according to Jesus, people are God’s method for winning the world to himself. People who have been radically transformed by Jesus. People who are not sidelined to sit in a chair on Sundays while they watch professionals take care of ministry for them. People who are equipped on Sundays to participate in ministry every day of the week. People who are fit and free to do precisely what Jesus did and what Jesus told us to do…. We will multiply the gospel only when we allow others to get close enough to us to see the life of Christ in us” (David Platt, Radical pg. 90-91; 99)
We need to remember that everywhere we go, our personal church is with us. That our church reflected on the Church as a whole. That we win with our fruits.
-Preston the Nomad