The Church is more than a building; it is the gathering of Christian community in worship, prayer, teaching, and fellowship.
Sometimes I think we get too caught up in the appearance of the location on Sundays, or the food that will be eaten after service, and even the habit of just going week after week.
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47 ESV
The early church wasn’t concerned about appearance. They were concerned for each other’s souls and community as the body of Christ. Because of their devotion to the LORD and to each other, living in harmony with one another, God blessed them. They were a safe place because of their devotion.
The thing about the Church, the body of Christ, is that despite location, number of attendance, the time of day or day of the week it meets, it is supposed to be a home away from Home. We were not made for here and clearly, if you are living a true biblical lifestyle, you don’t fit in either. We need a place and people to go to when we need encouragement. When we need accountability. When we need to be challenged and edified. When we need counsel. When we need hope.
“If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” CS Lewis
It’s true. Christianity is not a comfortable faith. Your sin is exposed. Parts of you are removed to create selflessness, compassion, humility, patience, and forgiveness. But even though it’s uncomfortable, we know God is safe. We know He is trustworthy and loving.
The Church needs to be the same way. It will get uncomfortable many times. The preacher will speak Truth on a sin you are struggling with or enjoying too much, but it should be a safe place.
A safe place is not interchangeable with a comfortable place, but it is better.
As a whole and individually, are we safe? Are we choosing to live like Christ, free from judgment but still willing to be honest? The Truth is raw and in your face, so are we speaking it in sincere love? It will penetrate your heart, so are we giving it to others straight as well as helping them live a more godly lifestyle, not because we have perfected it but because the Word says so?
“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul…” Acts 3:32a ESV
“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT
I hope to challenge you to be compassionate and challenging with the Gospel, to hold others accountable and be encouraging, to be bold with love and service, to live as one body. It is then we are safe. It is then we are living like Christ as we wait to go to our ultimate destination: our true Home.