Ask 12 Christians why the church (God’s people) meets on Sunday,
and you’ll likely get 12 different responses.
You'd hear such answers as:
“The church meets to give sin weary Christians an opportunity to re-charge their spiritual batteries every week.”
"The church meets to be encouraged from God's Word."
“The church meets to give an opportunity to fellowship with the saints…”
“The church meets to receive a blessing from God. To hear great spiritual music, to partake in Christian dramas, to hear an uplifting or instructional message on how to live the Christian life…”
One main answer would be:
“The reason that the church meets is to evangelize the lost.”
In fact, a popular televangelist from San Antonio not long ago declared: “The only purpose of the church is to save the lost… that is the only purpose of the church” (John Hagee, from message: “Are you Saved?” Broadcast June 12th, 2005.)
Really? Is that the only reason?
Is that even the main reason for the church to meet every Sunday?
Is that all we’re supposed to be doing every Lord’s Day, trying to work the work of salvation upon those unsuspecting visitors to our congregations?
Perhaps this is why so many congregations have long, drawn out, manipulative invitations… since after all, that is the purpose for which they meet.
And, no doubt, this is the reason so many churches have changed to “Sunday morning seeker services” since the purpose of the church is only to get all those lost people to come in... and maybe we can "get em' saved."
The reality is, so many Christians don’t understand why the body of Christ gathers together week by week because they don’t know Biblical Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) and they don’t understand what pleases GOD and what HE desires. Instead, in so many cases, the church is more interested in...
WHAT WORKS, WHAT MAKES THEM LOOK GOOD...
in other words: WHAT PLEASES THEMSELVES!
Regarding that Soteriology, what does the Word of God say?!
First of all, the “church” can’t save anyone!
Only God saves the lost! Consider what Jesus says in Luke 19:10:
“For, the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Why? Because, as the Apostle Paul says in Eph. 2:1:
"...you were dead in your trespasses and sins..."
That's why Paul also says in Rom. 3:11:
“…there is none who seeks for God.”
How can dead men seek God?!
Churches who believe that they can "get people saved" or that this is the purpose for which they meet...are wrong! Churches don't save people!
No matter how hard they preach, no matter how slick the show...
only the Sovereign God of heaven and earth saves men!
"And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved." Acts 2:47b
(Doesn't God use the church as it meets to save the lost? Of course!
The question is... how? More under "The Principles of Worship.")
So much for the wrong reasons...
Why does the church meet?
The Biblical reason the church gathers week by week is to worship the Living God! To render to Him the glory that He alone is worthy of!
All other aspects of the proper Christian life will come from a body that strives to rightly worship God!
Over and over in Scripture we read that God desires those who will worship Him with their hearts… not merely their lips!
In John 4:23 Jesus declares:
“But an hour is coming and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.”
What an amazing verse! It tells us exactly what God the Father is seeking... exactly what pleases Him! And, what is the Father seeking? Who is it that pleases Him? Evangelizers? Fellowshipers? Encouraged or happy multitudes? NO! According to His own word... He is seeking:
Now, who are these “true worshipers?” Who would they be?
The language suggests that they would be none other than...
And, we all know that true Christians make up the...
So, what would (should) God’s true people, His true church want to be? True Worshipers!
Why? Because that is what our God desires! That is:
Who He Seeks!
THOSE WHO GOD DESIRES TO
GATHER IN HIS NAME EVERY WEEK…
ARE TO BE TRUE WOSHIPERS!
TRUE CHRISTIANS! THE TRUE CHURCH!
THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH
GATHERED EACH LORD’S DAY…
IS TO DO WHAT GOD DESIRES... TO WORSHIP HIM!
NOW... WHAT HAPPENS IF THIS IS NOT THE FOCUS OF A CHURCH?
If the purpose that the church meets is to please the seekers,” what if the seekers are not pleased? What do you do?
You do whatever you can, whatever it takes to please THEM!
Thus, the focus of the church then becomes an attempt to please MAN… NOT GOD!
GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH
GATHERS EACH LORD’S DAY WITH ONE DESIRE IN MIND... ONE PURPOSE THAT WE CONSTANTLY PRAY FOR... TO BRING TRUE WORSHIP TO THE LIVING GOD! WORSHHIP THAT THE GOD OF THE BIBLE IS WORTHY OF! (Isa. 48:11)
ALL ELSE THAT A CHURCH DOES... EVANGELISM, FELLOWSHIP, EDUCATION... STEMS FROM... AND FLOWS OUT OF WORSHIP TO THE LIVING GOD!
THAT IS WHY WE SAY...
WE STRIVE TO PLEASE GOD…
NOT ENTERTAIN MAN!