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What is the Purpose of the Church?

  Some years ago I attended a seminar entitled "Closing the Back Door."  It addressed different reasons people leave the church, an age old dilemma yet to be solved.

  We all would like to see everyone that comes to God remain in the church for the rest of their lives; however people sometimes make perplexing decisions against their own spiritual interests and there's not much we can do about it.

  Face it, not everyone wants to be saved enough to do what it takes.  When people walk away from church, they are rejecting not you or me, but God.  Jesus encountered this when, after a sermon, some hearers responded, "This is a hard saying, who can bear it?"  They then walked off over the hill, and in so doing, left behind the only hope they had.  They literally walked out of the very presence of God.

  People grow disgruntled because the church doesn't meet their expectations, or they're bored with it, or someone offended them.  Once we begin expecting things of the church that it isn't supposed to deliver, of course we will be disillusioned!  If we expect the church to do something it wasn't designed to do, it won't be the most pleasant place for us.

  The church is the Body of Christ; we are it's members.  If you are a member of the Body, you must function within the prescribed environment of that Body.  If a finger cuts itself off from the Body, what happens to that finger?  It dies.

  The church is the Bride of Christ.  Being members of the Bride demands our love.  In separating from the Bride, we separate ourselves from our engagement to Him.

  The church is the child of God.  Being the child demands our humility.  The Father will not stand for rifts in His family.  We must become childlike, not childish.  We have to pray and cultivate a childlike deference to one another, as it may be to get along with some people.

  No one can be saved outside the church.  There is no plan B.  Except ye abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.


Praying for you

Pastor Ritchey