What is the mission of the church (part 2)

In the previous installment, I argued that Jesus has tasked his church to take the verbal message of repentance and forgiveness of sins to the nations.

The central mission of the church, therefore, is to take God’s Word to God’s world.

The church’s chief task is to bear witness to Jesus, so that people may be saved from hell for heaven forever by repenting and believing the gospel.

We see this priority throughout the New Testament.

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The Rock and the gates of death

Matthew 16:15-18 is a very misunderstood passage in the Bible.

The Roman Catholic Church believes that the Rock on which Jesus builds his church was the Apostle Peter, who allegedly was the first Pope or Bishop of Rome.  Subsequently, all the Popes have been the spiritual descendants of Peter.

The true church is, therefore, all those who acknowledge the headship of the Pope and belong to the Roman Catholic structure.

In Roman Catholic doctrine, God’s grace flows from God through the Pope, through the Cardinals, through the Bishops, through the Priests, and then to the congregation via the sacraments.

To be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church is to endanger your immortal soul.

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The calling and confidence of church

Most Monday mornings I feel like resigning.  Did I explain God’s Word well enough?  Was my sermon understandable? Was I faithful to the biblical text?  Should I have used more illustrations?  Would another minister do a better job?  Is it all worth it?

Monday morning blues can be quite typical for those in the ministry of the Word.   I constantly need to remind myself that the success of the church is definitely not up to me (thank goodness!). I need to remind myself of the calling and confidence of the church.

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What I learnt at the Generate Conference

The big question the REACH SA Generate Conference sought to answer was,  “How should the church (and how we do church) respond to a changing culture?”

The answer was that we must “make sure we know why we exist and remain faithful to that; and feel free to change the rest.”  

We exist to reach non-Christians and grow Christians with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That truth is fundamental and unchangeable.  How we manage the programmes and processes that go towards that great goal are flexible and changeable.

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You must sing at church

People, in general, like to sing.  Whether they are very religious or total atheists, most people like music and song. Ask any football supporter.  From singing, “Who ate all the pies” to the referee or “You’ll never walk alone” to their mates, fans like singing. 

 

Fans pays hundreds of Rands to hear their favourite musician sing, even wave their cell phones and sing along. 

In the morning, you might catch yourself singing in the shower.

Music is an inherent part of every society.  All countries have National Anthems that its citizens sing together to create national unity.

Most people like singing.  We may not be good at it, but we love it.  Since music (and song) is such an important part of life, it should not be surprising that the Bible says much about it.  In fact, the longest book in the Bible is a song book—the book of Psalms.

Often, in the Bible, when God has delivered his people, they sing about it.

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Going to church does make you a Christian

Forgive me for the controversial headline, but I used to say, “Going to church does not make you a Christian, any more than sleeping in a garage makes you a motor-car.” 

I used to say that, but I have modified my view.

Going to church does show that you are a Christian, and not going to church certainly does show that you are not a Christian. (And yes, you do go to church!)

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