The church is not as it once was, or so we have been led to believe. We look back across the sands of time and envision a golden church age that once was, long ago, but is now gone.
But the truth is that there have been false churches with false teachers leading people into false doctrines from the very inception of the church. Even a very casual reading of the New Testament will reveal that to you as Jesus, Peter, John and Paul warn us time and time again to beware of false teachers and false prophets and ravenous wolves who are seeking to devour us.
Their attacks are sometimes direct and sometimes disguised, but no matter the form their attacks upon the church take, their intended result is the same: to destroy all unity within the body of Christ so that we, the church, become ineffective in our world and in our culture.
And ineffective we have become.
We have lost sight of a very important Biblical truth regarding the church. We seem to have forgotten that the church, the body of Christ, does not belong to the Baptists or to the Presbyterians or to the Methodists, or to the Catholics, or to the Lutherans, or to any other denomination that you could name. Instead, we must acknowledge that the church, every single member, no matter their denominational distinctive, belongs to Jesus Christ and to Him alone.
For there to be true unity in the Body of Christ, there can be only one head: the Lord Jesus Christ.
He alone is Lord and He alone is King.
When we, in our sin, set ourselves up as god and king, there is no place found for Christ in our lives and in our churches. Anarchy ensues as each one makes up the rules that can be followed and the rules that can be broken.
A multitude of different standards are established and the church becomes full of many heads, but no hands and feet, no eyes and ears.
Without a single standard, God’s standard, lawlessness fills the church
This morning, in churches all across America and around the world, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being pushed aside to make room for man’s gospel, which Galatians Chapter 1 tells us is not a gospel at all, but a straight-forward distortion of the truth.
Man’s gospel. That term is an oxymoron, because what could mankind offer that would be good news? Nothing the world has to offer could ever be classified good news… as long as we view those things through an eternal viewpoint.
Sure, the world can offer sin and its enticing pleasures, for a season. The world can offer morality, but it is fleeting, because sin lies at the door.
We could never live up to God’s standard.
We could never keep God’s commandments.
And we could never save ourselves from this mess called sin.
Man’s gospel is nothing but a lie, a deception, and false hope that can only end in utter despair.
But I am here to tell you today that there is another Gospel besides man’s gospel. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is Good News. Actually, it’s better than that. It’s great news!
But the great news of salvation is just the beginning, for God has a plan that goes far beyond forgiveness of our sins and justification in His sight.
His plan is to bring all of us together, from every tribe, tongue and nation, together under one banner, the banner of Jesus Christ.
The unity of God’s church is not to be taken lightly. But thankfully, God did not leave us in the dark as to how we should come together and for what purposes we should assemble.
His Word, the Bible, is the true roadmap to peace, and if we would just follow it wherever it leads with a humble heart, it would lead us into true peace and purity among all of God’s people.
In 2007, I stood in the Wise Avenue Vol. Fire Co. with the other men who were called to plant and lead our church and we outlined the God-given vision for achieving our mission.
That mission is: We exist to glorify God and enjoy Him forever through worship, discipleship, evangelism and healthy growth.
This mission statement came after much Bible study, prayer and Christian fellowship among the leadership of the church. It completely embodies what I call the Priorities of a Godly Church. These are 4 things that, together, promote the peace and purity of the church and have been laid out in the Word of God as necessary functions in the Body of Christ. They are worship, discipleship, evangelism and church discipline.