The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

06/03/2009

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Why Church?


"The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the seven angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches" (Rev. 1:19 & 20).

Do you know what a "deist" is? A deist is someone who believes in God but from a strictly natural or rational standpoint. They believe that God created the universe but that there is no need for a faith in any one religion. Everything can be determined by reason and logic, so there is no God active in our lives. Some of the more famous deists that you have heard of are Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, and Marlon Brando just to name a few. With this philosophy, there is no need for a church, although many of them attended one.

What then is a "local" church and just what is it's purpose? Today's verse says that it is a "lamp stand" (KJV calls it a candlestick). As the function of the lamp stand is to bear and support a light, so this is one of the most important purposes of the church. The church is a light bearer. Jesus told us that we are to be the light of the world. (Matt. 5:14) Being a light bearer is not the purpose of some fraternal order. It is the intended and stated intention of the local church which Jesus purchased with a great price.

The Book of Revelation was written to the seven local churches in Asia. It was written to their members, parts of the lamp stand. As we become part of a church, our light is able to be magnified. As many are striving to be the "light of the world," the light gets stronger and stronger. If we are not a member of a local church, we are not a part of the lamp stand, helping to support the light.

If we read ahead in the Book of Revelation (2:4 & 5) there is some interesting stuff. Jesus tells the members of the church at Ephesus, "you have forsaken your first love....Repent and do the things you did at first...If you do not, I will come and remove your lamp stand from its place." In order to be wothwhile and productive light bearers, we need to always remember what the light is all about. It is the light of that truth in Jesus Christ...It is our FIRST LOVE!!!!

Do not let anyone downplay to you the importance of the church. It is the instrument that God uses to enlighten the world. "So that you may become blameless and pure children of God in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe" (Phil. 2:15).

Have a wonderful day...Let your light shine for Him... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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