This is our first Friday of the month look at one of the booklets that are provided by The Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Today’s booklet is, Why Join a Church? There are copies of this booklet in the bookcase at the Church building in the foyer if you would like a hard copy, or you can read it online here. http://www.opc.org/books/eBooks/Why_Join_a_Church.pdf
From the introduction: “Alice was livid! This was the first time she had visited this church. “The last time too,” she thought. The church had celebrated the Lord’s Supper. “I’ve been a Christian for four years and the pastor had the gall to tell me to stay away from communion,” Alice fumed. “Well, he didn’t exactly say that. What he did do was ask those who are not right with God or his church to take steps to get right before coming to the Lord’s Table. He included me just because I’m not a church member. How dare he! What a pharisee!”
It’s not uncommon in our day for sincere followers of Christ — like Alice — to view joining a church as an option. And given the other options — Christian books, recordings, videos, radio broadcasts, TV broadcasts, Internet resources, parachurch groups, etc.— joining the church is sometimes high, sometimes low, on the list— if it’s even on the list! Many (like Alice) get upset if they visit a church that asks people not to take the Lord’s supper until they are members of a local church. Many (like Alice) have never regarded committing to a local congregation to be all that important — or all that agreeable. It’s usually a great shock to them when they are told that, historically, Christians have regarded joining a church as essential, not optional.”
We live in a time where many reject Church membership. To reject church membership is to reject Christ, and God’s Word. This short booklet gives ten reasons from Scripture on the necessity of Church membership:
*Our Lord Jesus Christ commands church membership
*The Old Testament teaches church membership
*The New Testament presupposes church membership
*Salvation involves church membership
*The Bible’s prescriptions for church order imply church membership
*Many biblical commands imply church membership
*The pastoral care of Christ’s sheep necessitates church membership
*Practical church life involves church membership
*Biblical evangelism requires church membership
*God’s love cries out for church membership.
Each of these ten reasons has several paragraphs and scripture references explaining them. I encourage you to take time to read this little booklet and pass it on to any friends who may need a Church home. The last two pages give an explanation of how to become a member of our Church. Whether or not Faith Bible is the right place for them or whether they may fit in better in another body of believers, we ought to encourage everyone who claims a faith in Jesus Christ to become a part of a local body of believers. To not be a member of a church is to be disobedient to the Word of God. May we lovingly encourage repentance in a day and age when many disregard God’s Word in this way.