Does it trouble you when someone claims to be a Christian but doesn’t attend a local church?
Many people love Jesus, but hate His church. On the surface, their arguments seem to make a bit of sense. They say things like “I don’t need organized religion to relate to God.” Or, “I worship much better in the freedom of nature.” And sometimes, “I’ve been hurt by church-people, I’m much better off on my own.”
You cannot love Jesus and throw out what He loves: His church. Ephesians 5 is perhaps the most frequently turned to passage when explaining the relationship between Jesus and His church.
“He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”
Did you catch the relationship? The church is the Bride of Christ and, just like a husband loves his wife, Christ nourishes and cherishes His church because the church is a part of His body.
In Acts 9 when Saul was persecuting the early church, Jesus asks Saul in a vision, “Why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4) Christ directly relates the church’s persecution to Himself.
If we love Jesus we should love the church because our Lord and Savior loves the church.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of church, or are even uncomfortable with your church, pray that Jesus changes hearts – yours or theirs. If you are struggling to fit in with a church family, remember that the church is diverse and when diversity collides things can get messy, but not so messy that God can’t clean up. If you have questions abut local church membership, or why it is so important to the Christian life, I encourage you to contact our pastor with questions.
Maybe you’re looking for a local body of believers to join. We are a Berea, KY area church and we warmly welcome you to join us for worship this Sunday!
Whatever your current attitude towards the church is, I pray you will be conformed to the image of Christ – as I have been in this area – and grow to love Christ’s church.