Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeAll The NewsJUST THINKING: The Church's Relevance

JUST THINKING: The Church’s Relevance

I was just thinking about a comment I heard recently. Some men were in a discussion and one of them said, “Church is no longer relevant in the world.” That is quite a statement. But is it true?

Christ’s Church Has Always Had a Purpose

I will be first to admit that churches are not like they were even 50 years ago. Many preachers are not like they used to be, either. Why? Because they have lost sight of the church’s purpose. It is not to make people comfortable, entertained or rich.

The gospel of Jesus is effective. It makes sinners uncomfortable with their sins. Also, when people worship in spirit and truth the focus is on the Lord, not themselves. The messages from God’s Word should certainly be energizing, but not entertaining. The gospel is a blessing from God to cause people to have peace, not to make them prosperous. Yes, I know some believers are wealthy, but not the majority. And so many of those who are wealthy use their money to promote the gospel locally and worldwide, not to hoard it for themselves.

The purpose of Christ’s church is to be light in a dark world. It is to be witnesses to those who are unsaved. It is to give its members contentment, knowing that this world is not perfect, yet knowing that perfection will come when we see Jesus.

The purpose of the church is to reach the world by being witnesses of Christ to those who are lost and facing everlasting condemnation because of sin. “…And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV). Jesus gave that commission to His church because that is the church’s purpose.

Christ’s Church is to Impact

Several years ago, I was speaking to a man who had dropped out of church. He said the reason was due to the “holier-than-thou” attitudes of church members. I agree that such an attitude is definitely the wrong way to impact our communities.

Jesus certainly doesn’t want believers to condone the sin of others, but neither does He want the church to condemn them. The theme of my ministry since 1970 has been “Looking past faults and meeting needs.” Church members are supposed to impact their communities by loving God and loving sinners. When Christ looked out on the Calvary crowd, He looked at people who hated Him. But despite His humiliation, pain and suffering, Jesus did not hate them. Instead, He looked past their faults (their sins) and met their need — and ours. That single act made the greatest impact ever, and it continues to do so 2,000 years later. “Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing…” (Luke 23:34). Mankind’s greatest need is forgiveness from sin and salvation of our souls.

Christ’s Church is to Remain Relevant

I truly believe we are living in the Last Days. Things are not getting better — they are getting worse day by day. Christ’s church is as needed as ever. Members must take on the attitudes of servants of the Lord in ministry. I am not referring to the pastor preaching, but to believers doing their utmost to meet the needs of others as the Holy Spirit leads.

We need to minister to those in our communities (our world) as if we were ministering to Jesus. The Lord’s church is the only entity on earth given that responsibility; and when that is done, we glorify the Lord. Sadly, many have been deceived and distracted from being obedient to Christ’s commission. To truly be relevant, churches must return to the basic principles of the Great Commission — making disciples, baptizing converts and teaching believers to do the Lord’s work until He comes again.

The Church’s Relevance is Needed Today

Jesus said that His blessing will be on those who minister to Him in this world. The righteous (not holier-than-thou) people asked, “Lord, when did we do these things for you?”(Matt. 25:39). He replied, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40).

May God grant His churches the grace, the burden and the determination to be relevant in a world that desperately needs to know Jesus Christ as Savior.