There’s not much said in the NT about church planting. Plenty is said about proclaiming the gospel. So how did people know how to gather together in community? Reckon the saints said something about the church in their message? Something like,
“God formed a people centered in his love. He brings the followers of Christ together. The new life is lived in community, nothing like you’ve ever seen before. His people are not Jews or pagans, it’s not philosophy or pleasure-seeking, but what we’ve all been looking for. God assembles them now as they wait for the Great Assembly in heaven when the Lord returns for them.”
Reckon? The kingdom message implies a chosen people. Contrary to some who want to leave the church out of their message.
A tweet affirmed that the goal of missions is to plant churches that plant other churches. I have no beef with the general idea. The gospel ought to spread to every place. But the wording doesn’t get much support from the NT. The church is a product of proclaiming the gospel. The emphasis is on the latter. The tweet puts forth a humanly based activity. It sets aside the activity of God. It probably reflects denominational bias. When the gospel is preached in its fullness and truth, God adds the converts to his church and they begin to meet together. Quite simple, is it not?
In his devotional thought today, Ed M. uses Nahum 2.13 to contrast the messengers of Nineveh (see 2 Kings 18) and those of God. And what a contrast!
The one spoke of submission to the king, II Kings 18:31,32. The other encouraged faith in the King of kings, Nahum 1:12,13. One led to disaster. The other pointed to deliverance. One promised earthly pleasures. The other told of heavenly blessings. Each messenger offered a choice, spoke with conviction, and asked for submission. Only one deserved a hearing.
God’s messengers continue to speak the Word. Let us be among their number.
Focus question: What word of God’s does the world need to hear today?
Christians know that society needs the gospel to resolve its problems. But how many Christians are proclaiming it and teaching others what to do to be saved? THAT is the greatest problem of all. Paying preachers and sitting in church buildings does not get the job done. The Lord well may lay at the church’s doorstep much of the violence and sin overtaking society today, because we have failed to do our job. Pay preachers? Yes. But let each one do his job of reaching his neighbors for the Lord Christ.
The Lord makes all his people his coworkers and chooses the weak, the lowly, and the humble as his carriers of the gospel. He has no others. In this way, the gospel’s power shines through.
The gospel has no third way, just God’s or man’s, the heavenly or the earthly, the will of God or the self. There is no avoiding the extremes.
Never, in any way, diminish the power of the message of the gospel by saying an example is more compelling. An example is important, but I’ve seen people converted by ungodly men preaching the truth. The power is in the Word.
Today is the anniversary of the Brazilian State of Acre. We know of no work going on in this state. We invited others to pray with us that the Lord would send workers there.
Out of 10 adults present tonight for our reading, 7 were not a part of the body of Christ. Two will be added on Friday. Glad to have the opportunity to present the gospel to so many.