Yesterday I got to go to church for the first time in a month. I missed the entire month of September. I was working in China, the city of Xian and I didn’t know of any churches near our hotel.
Is my salvation still secure you ask? Thank you for your concern and your question. My salvation is unshakeable. Jesus died for me, that is how I am saved. I have received his gift. I am his, he is mine and he will never let me go. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me.
Then why go to church?
I need to meet with my friends and family. To be prayed for, to help and pray for others, to be reminded of how good God is to us, to be washed clean from the dust and dirt and filth that collects on a body while living in the world, to worship our God together as we tell ourselves and others what kind of God we serve.
He loves us. By us I mean not just our church but us, you reading this, and me writing this.
I’ve made a long post longer. Sorry. Please keep reading, if nothing else read the parts in quotes, it’s the Good stuff.
One of the most important events in the history of the world happened and is recorded here. The birth of something brand new. The birth of an entirely new concept, the church.
“36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
I have an old truck. I like to imagine back To when it was new. It was a bold new design. The series of trucks were called Task Force Trucks. I like everything about them. Well, almost everything about them. Inside the cab behind the seat is this large metal container. It looks like it would hold about 17 gallons. It does. It holds 17 gallons of gasoline. There is 17 gallons of gasoline riding around with me right behind my seat.
What does the gas tank of my truck have to do with the birth of the church? It’s the power source. When they designed my truck it’s like they mocked up this beautiful shapely form, every curve and corner a total stroke of design genius and then realized after finalizing the design that they forgot a fuel tank and so then they looked around, found a space and crammed it in.
17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
Hundreds of years before it happened God described how he would power a new thing that he would build. He would power it by his Holy Spirit. It’s different than the way things were. It’s a new design and new source of power.
Jesus told the disciples that they would be empowered. Empowered to be witnesses of this new thing.
A New covenant, new wine into a new wine skin. Something different. Something new.
It’s been 2 thousand years of this new thing. To some it has lost its luster. To some it is powerless.
To me it is the frame work of my life. The church has not always gotten it right. It does not always get it right. But the church is a group of sinners following a savior. I must not look to them, I must look to Jesus. I have however joined them as we follow Jesus together.