What is the church supposed to do?
The “church” of this age no more resembles the church of the New Testament than a stallion resembles a salamander. The church today is man centered. The church of the New Testament was Christ centered. Churches today exist for the pleasures of men. The New Testament church existed for the glory of God.
The average church in 21st-century America is nothing more than a poor man’s country club. It is an entertainment center, an educational facility, a rallying place for political causes (liberal and conservative), a place for burying the dead and marrying the young. Sometimes, a congregation may even feed some poor people, and that is good. But the church of this age has no sense of purpose, no understanding of its responsibility before God. The reason churches have so many fights and splits is obvious to anyone who will watch and listen. — There is nothing to unite them. Everyone sees the church as an organization to serve his or her own interests. Few understand that the church of God is a body, a family in which redeemed sinners serve one another’s needs for the glory of God!
Though it is certainly the responsibility of every local church to care for the poor and feed the hungry, the only way any church can truly serve the souls of men and the glory of Christ is by doing the one thing very few churches do — the one thing the church is supposed to do, and that one thing is preach the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. The church of the living God is first and foremost a preaching center.
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). — Language could not be clearer. Our ascended Lord has left one work for his church to perform. He tells us to preach the gospel! The church of Jesus Christ is not a religious social club, a temple for the performance of religious rituals, a theological seminary, or a social welfare agency. The church of Jesus Christ is a sounding board for the gospel of God’s grace and glory in Christ! There is no other purpose for her existence.
This is not just a command for preachers, missionaries, and evangelists to go. Primarily, it is a call to the people who form the church, all believers. It is as though our Lord were saying to all who follow him, “As you are going through this world, sound out the gospel”. Yes, he means for you to be actively engaged in the work? He means for you to sound out the message of redeeming grace!
Multitudes are perishing around you! Your neighbors, your family, your friends are sinking down into hell! Will you refuse to tell them of Christ and his salvation? Will you let them die without telling them where life is found? Oh, may God fire our souls, that we may earnestly make known unto men the gospel of his grace!
God taught us the gospel. He has revealed his grace within us. He has given us his Word, not to be hidden under a bushel, but to be proclaimed from the housetops! For the glory of Christ, for the love of his name, for the increase of his kingdom, for the souls of men, let us all be engaged in this mighty work. Go preach the gospel! Do it now!
Listen to the words of C.H. Spurgeon: “I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes, that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens, that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as surely as the stars in their courses, that the creeping of an insect over a rosebud is as much fixed as the march of a devastating pestilence, and the fall of leaves from the poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling avalanche. He who believes in God must believe this truth. There is no standing point between this and Atheism. There is no halfway between an almighty God who works all things according to the good pleasure of His will, and no God at all!”
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted,
he is able to succour them that are tempted. Hebrews 2:18
“Thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Though men say that Christ died to redeem the whole human race this verse clearly says Christ’s name is Jesus (Saviour) for He shall save His people (Isaiah 53:8). If Christ died to redeem everyone yet some die under the wrath of God anyway, what does the blood of Christ have to do with anyone’s salvation?
The truth is the blood Christ shed at Calvary was shed for as many as God gave Him and no more. The importance of the truth of particular redemption is to declare the success of Christ’s work. Christ made complete atonement to God for the sins of each one for whom He died. The issue is that Christ did not fail, but finished the work of putting away the sin of His people Himself (Isaiah 42:4). The issue is the righteousness of God—God is just and the justifier of all who believe, not we ourselves (Romans 3:26).
Yet by lies, sinners are made to think “their believing” makes Christ’s blood effectual. Not so! We do not make atonement by believing on Christ, but through faith we receive i.e. are given the atonement Christ has already made (Romans 5:11). Christ put away the sin of His people before He sat down in heaven, “when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). The Spirit of God comes convincing each of His redeemed that it is Christ who has already put away our sin by His one offering, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us … And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:14, 15, 17).
Fear Of God
“Though there is not always grace where there is a fear of hell, yet be sure, there is no grace where there is no fear of God.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10