THE IMPORTANCE OF A LOCAL CHURCH

I am writing this note to invite and encourage you to see the importance of a local Church. I take for granted that my reader whom I am addressing here, is truly saved and a true disciple of Jesus Christ. This also means that my reader is in union with Christ. This union with Christ means spiritual life (John 15, Romans 6) and fellowship with God and also being under the headship of Christ, the true Head (Colossians chapter 1) of His Church. The Lord Jesus Christ loved His Church. He laid down His life (John chapter 10) for His sheep. Jesus the Good Shepherd laid down His life in his death on the Cross of Calvary as the punishment for the sins of His people.

The true Church of Christ belongs to Christ and not to any pope, priest or even a pastor. True and faithful pastors are appointed by Jesus Christ and are Christ’s gift (Ephesians chapter 4:11-13) to a local church. Remember! The true Church is of Christ and belongs to Him. After Peter’s confession in Matthew chapter 16, Jesus said: “…thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Peter was not the rock. The Rock here is Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of the Living God upon whom the true Church is being built. Furthermore, note the word “my” with the Church. Jesus said: my Church and to the same Peter (John chapter 21) after the Resurrection, Jesus said: Feed my lambs and sheep. What I am pointing to you is that by saying “my Church, my lambs and my sheep” Jesus is teaching us that all true sheep belong to Him and He has appointed local faithful ministers in local churches where you must be fed and nourished provided you are a true sheep of Jesus Christ.

If you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ, then this must be your holy desire which is to attend a local church where you will be spiritually fed and nourished. But if you do not have the right view of a local church then some of the following things could be happening in your life, which are not to the glory of Christ and for the growth of Christ’s Kingdom. If you really cared for the cause of Christ and His Kingdom, then you will not be doing the following things such as:

  1. Avoid going to your local Bible believing Church where the exclusive Gospel is preached and the Word of God is expounded faithfully. There are times when God’s children cannot find a local Church and have to travel a long distance where they are spiritually fed and nourished.
  2. You love to go to the internet and hear your favourite preachers and you are becoming just a sermon taster. Listening to sermons on the internet is helpful. It is a good thing to hear other faithful preachers and be blessed through their ministry. But if this listening is to avoid going to the House of God on the Lord’s Day and attending prayer meetings, then this addiction in listening has to stop. There are fearful warnings in the Holy Word of God for those who love to taste the Truth of the Gospel of our God but do not embrace and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you are not in that fearful state.
  3. I hope you are not the one who loves to travel long distances and find your comfort by being in a big church. It is rather commendable that you leave a big church and join a small one to strengthen the cause of Christ’s Kingdom. I know as a servant of Christ, there are times when someone either disciplined for something or walking in sin, loves to end up in big church to hide in a big crowd. The truth of the matter is that particular sin for which they hide behind a big crowd, needs to be dealt with and put to death in order to grow in Grace conforming to Christ. That particular sin has to be cut it off. Read the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. Sin has to be cut it off before one’s whole body is cast into Hell. As I said before that it is commendable when Christians leave big churches and travel some distance to join small Churches with view to see the growth of Christ’s Kingdom. Here in East London, it is shocking to note that many people love to go to big gatherings where either, women are vicars (which is against Christ’s Teaching, 1-Timothy 3:2) or where false and prosperity gospels are preached. Besides, worldliness is creeping in even among those profess to be reformed. This worldliness is in the area of worship and at times not making clear cut stand to live as I would put it Psalm 1 Christians. Christians are pilgrims and strangers in this world but not strange people. Christians are in the world but not of the world as Christ’s teaching is clear in John 17 and in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7)
  4. I hope you are not that kind of person who is always on FACE book and Twitter (There is place for FACE book in its right context) wanting to leave all sorts of lovely spiritual notes but not wanting to be under the submission of Christ. This is Christ’s will for you that you be under the headship of a local Church leadership. Therefore, by doing this, you grow to be a mature Christian and not living in a delusion of some kind of spirituality which is not true spirituality. Remember! a disciple of Jesus Christ who is truly a spiritual Christian, walks after the Spirit (Romans chapter 8) and not after the flesh.
  5. I hope the reading of this note is helpful and encouragement to your soul. Oh! that you would see the importance of Christ’s local Church. May you be guided and led by the Holy Spirit through God’s Holy Word to submit to Christ and do His Will. Amen!

Note written by Pastor Elisha while online.

Dated: 7 November 2019 11:00 am