The Church is Important

The Church Is Important

If you were to ask the generic Protestant if one can go to heaven without being a member of their respective group, they are most assuredly going to say “Yes.” And, of course they are right.

But if you were to ask, “Can you go to heaven without being a member of Christ’s church,” then the answer would be “no.” A resounding “no.”

The church of Christ matters because…

Matthew 26:26-30

The Lord’s Supper is to be observed at the Lord’s table and His table is in His kingdom. Luke 22:29-30.

Matthew 16:19

The Lord’s Supper is to be observed by the Lord’s church every Lord’s day…

Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 11:20; Revelation 1:10; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Acts 20:7.

Justin Martyr (second century; Apology VI.4) “We always remind one another of these things [our teachings]. Those who have provide for all those in want. [Next two sentences are the first two in VI.4] And on the day called Sunday there is a gathering together in the same place of all who live in a city or a rural district. The memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits. Then when the reader ceases, the president in a discourse admonishes and urges the imitation of these good things. Next we all rise together and send up prayers. And, as I said before, when we cease from our prayer, bread is presented and wine and water. The president in the same manner sends up prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability, and the people sing out their assent saying the "Amen." A distribution and participation of the elements for which thanks have been given is made to each person, and to those who are not present it is sent by the deacons.”

In The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Dr. Geoffrey Bromiley writes: “The expression “Lord’s Day” (Gk. kyriake hemera), found only in Christian sources, first appears in Rev. 1:10 as a designation of the first day of the week. It is not to be confused with the eschatological “day of then Lord” (hemmer you kyriou). The most plausible explanation of the term is that it derives from the parallel expression “Lord’s Supper” (1 Cor. 11:20), since the early Christians gathered on the first day of the week to celebrate this meal as the culmination of their corporate worship. An account of an early (late 50’s) Lord’s Day service is found in Acts 20:7-11, beginning with the words “on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread.” Christians chose the first day of the week for worship undoubtedly because Christ rose on that day and met with the gathered disciples at the time of the evening meal. At this time He ate and drank with them (Lk. 24:41-43; cf. Acts 10:41), renewing the table fellowship that He had shared with them on the night on which He was betrayed. Hence the Lord’s Day worship is the Christian festival of the Resurrection, in which Christians, like the original disciples, have fellowship with one another and with the risen Christ whom they trust as Savior and worship as God.

“This conclusion throws light on Paul's reference to the first day of the week when writing to the Corinthians about a collection for the Jerusalem church: "On the first day of the week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come" (1 Cor. 16:2). Paul did not choose the first day above others as peculiar to the situation of the Corinthians; he said that he gave the same instructions to the churches of Galatia (v. 1). Nor does the idea of regular saving of money imply that it must be done on the first day of the week. Hence there must have been some other reason, understood by Paul and his readers, why he expressly designated the first day. Since in a later letter (2 Cor. 9:12) he called the collection set aside on this day a leitourgia, i.e., a ministration of a sacred character, the choice of the day definitely points to its religious significance. Here then is further evidence that by the middle of the Ist cent. the first day of the week had unique meaning for the Christian community” (pg. 158; The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; volume 3, “Lord’s Day,” by G. W. Bromiley).

If the supper does not matter, then its origin in the upper room was a waste of time, its faithful observance by early saints, was of no value to them and the observance of the Lord’s Supper by Christians today is of no value to Christians, nor the Lord.

If the church does not matter, then the Messianic Kingdom does not matter.

Acts 20:28

Revelation 1:5-6

Being a child of God is important, right? John 3:3

To be a child of God is to have become a new creature in Christ: 2 Cor. 5:17.

Forgiveness of sins is by virtue of the blood of Christ: Hebrews 9:22.

Joel 2:28-32

Ezekiel 36:26-27

Luke 24:48-49

Acts 1:4-5

The church has an infallible king - 1 Timothy 6:15

Jesus is the head of the church: Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18; Matt. 28:18-20

Take home message: Love and respect and encourage the church. We will be stuck with each other forever!


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