Who is the church?

Karen Thornton
Special to the Lake Sun, USA TODAY NETWORK
Church Gates, Ethiopia.

The Church is the people, not the building. It is the Lord’s House, or a place of worship. There was a time in America when God’s House was the focal point of a community. It was the priority of families. You dressed up, some even wore hats, both men and women. You were going to be in God’s House. I had five children, the challenge was to keep the first one clean till all were clean and ready. All of the special gatherings were marked on the family calendar. God’s House was open every day of the week and there were a lot of opportunities to fellowship with other believers. I can remember “ice cream socials”, Vacation Bible School, Sunday afternoon picnics, all with family and friends.

Whose idea was it anyway to spend so much time in God’s House? Did you know it was God’s idea and His plan for today? Do you know, “YOU” are the church? Ephesians tells us, Christ, the Bridegroom has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride. Matthew 16, God says, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”. The Word wasn’t speaking about the construction of a building. He was speaking about creating a worldwide body of believers. God uses His Church (YOU) to complete His work here on earth. So spending time in fellowship with the church should be your top priority. Hebrews tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together… The pandemic turned our lives upside down with a 30% of Americans reporting fear, anxiety, depression, mental illness, and we are an exhausted people. Through Covid, and our current culture, we took advantage of church on TV in jammies on the sofa and going to God’s House was taken out of our priority.

God’s House is where people come together, and their goal is to grow spiritually by hearing God’s Word. 1Timothy provides clear direction on the importance of effective teaching. As a believer, one should study on their own, but how many really do? Coming to God’s House is not a spectator sport. God designed His House to be a place of worship, learning, to receive encouragement and maybe for someone to just tell you they love you. God’s Word tells us to love one another, forgive one another, pray for one another, comfort one another, encourage one another, and a host of other mutual admonitions. Do you have anyone praying for you or encouraging and loving you?

Evangelism, outreach, and global missions take place in God’s House among the “church”. God designed His church to fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples. Why do we go to God’s House? To receive instruction for discipleship within teaching and our accountability to a local body of believers. Believers must make prayer and going to God’s House to worship a priority in their personal and family schedules. Will we see you on Sunday?

REF: Matt.16&28; Romans 13; Hebrews 10; 1Timothy 4;1Peter 2; Ephesians 4

Karen Thornton is a resident of the Westside of the Lake of the Ozarks sharing the very words of God as relative to everyday life.  Karen is the owner of Karen’s Secretarial Service. Opinions expressed in her columns do not necessarily reflect those of the Lake  Leader. Contact Karen at ksecretary1@yahoo.com