On any given Sunday, and in a great number of New Testament "evangelical" churches, you can find what would be called a good Sunday performance. A stage performance, in that hearty preparations are made for the purpose of attracting peoples of all kinds to come in, to be excited, and to become a part of a church that has something for everyone in the family. After all, that is the church's mission right? To keep the people entertained, to find out what they want and provide it? Right?
But my question for you is this; is this what the scriptures teach about the New Testament church? Are we to be marketing ourselves by using secular and worldly business philosophies? All so we can fill up every pew on any given Sunday? Is it the Pastor's calling to "entertain" the people? To preach messages that make them feel good about themselves? Let me just stop right here and tell you, NO, that is NOT the Pastor's calling; and furthermore, the New Testament Church is NOT called to put on a performance every Sunday, nor to entertain those that assemble in it on the Lord's Day. If this is what you're looking for in a New Testament church, you are NOT looking for a "Biblical" New Testament church, you are looking for a stage play of sorts.
The Pastor's calling is to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with His own blood. And as The LORD proclaimed in Jeremiah 3:15: "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and wisdom."
In 1 Timothy 3:15, the Apostle Paul said this: "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." The New Testament church is the visible manifestation of the Kingdom of God; in it, God's truth is to be preached for two reasons, to exalt the Name of God, and for the building up of the saints in the most holy faith of Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 4:12-14, the Apostle Paul again taught us what to expect in the assembly of saints, (in a Biblical New Testament church); He wrote in verse 11, I have given you pastors and teachers; "for the perfecting of the saints, (or equipping or spiritual maturing), for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (or building up), of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (spiritually mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness: that we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (deceitful schemes) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
The reason we have so many "churches" full of immature Christians, is because the Word of God is NOT being preached and exposed to the hearts and minds of these assemblies; pastors are NOT being faithful to their calling. The pastor is called to the pulpit to PREACH THE WORD; equip, teach, and build up the saints in the faith of Christ. He is to be doing as Paul proclaimed in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:
"And I, brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That you faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
2 Timothy 4:1-4: Paul warned: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own ears shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;" and that is exactly what is happening every Sunday in churches where the Word of God is not held up and honored in the preaching of the Word to the never dying souls of men, women, boys, and girls.
Tags: New Testament Church