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What is the church supposed to do?
The “church” of this age no more resembles the church of the New Testament than a stallion resembles a salamander. The church today is man centered. The church of the New Testament was Christ centered. Churches today exist for the pleasures of men. The New Testament church existed for the glory of God.
The average church in 21st-century America is nothing more than a poor man’s country club. It is an entertainment center, an educational facility, a rallying place for political causes (liberal and conservative), a place for burying the dead and marrying the young. Sometimes, a congregation may even feed some poor people, and that is good. But the church of this age has no sense of purpose, no understanding of its responsibility before God. The reason churches have so many fights and splits is obvious to anyone who will watch and listen. — There is nothing to unite them. Everyone sees the church as an organization to serve his or her own interests. Few understand that the church of God is a body, a family in which redeemed sinners serve one another's needs for the glory of God!
Though it is certainly the responsibility of every local church to care for the poor and feed the hungry, the only way any church can truly serve the souls of men and the glory of Christ is by doing the one thing very few churches do — the one thing the church is supposed to do, and that one thing is preach the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. The church of the living God is first and foremost a preaching center.
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). — Language could not be clearer. Our ascended Lord has left one work for his church to perform. He tells us to preach the gospel! The church of Jesus Christ is not a religious social club, a temple for the performance of religious rituals, a theological seminary, or a social welfare agency. The church of Jesus Christ is a sounding board for the gospel of God’s grace and glory in Christ! There is no other purpose for her existence.
This is not just a command for preachers, missionaries, and evangelists to go. Primarily, it is a call to the people who form the church, all believers. It is as though our Lord were saying to all who follow him, “As you are going through this world, sound out the gospel”. Yes, he means for you to be actively engaged in the work? He means for you to sound out the message of redeeming grace!
Multitudes are perishing around you! Your neighbors, your family, your friends are sinking down into hell! Will you refuse to tell them of Christ and his salvation? Will you let them die without telling them where life is found? Oh, may God fire our souls, that we may earnestly make known unto men the gospel of his grace!
God taught us the gospel. He has revealed his grace within us. He has given us his Word, not to be hidden under a bushel, but to be proclaimed from the housetops! For the glory of Christ, for the love of his name, for the increase of his kingdom, for the souls of men, let us all be engaged in this mighty work. Go preach the gospel! Do it now!