Love your church (2)

Love your church (2)

27 March 2018
‘Unless [you] stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.’

Every church has problems – and the people who cause them. It has always been so. Consider the Corinthian church. Some members got drunk during communion, and others wouldn’t attend unless their favourite preacher was speaking. One guy was even having an affair with his stepmother (see 1 Corinthians 5:1). Sitting beside you on Sunday mornings are some very messed-up and dysfunctional folks. But God keeps working with us, because He sees our potential value to His kingdom. After writing about murmurers, complainers, the lustful, and the greedy, Jude ends his short book with these words: ‘Unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and…present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy’ (v. 24). Noah didn’t jump ship for the same reason you shouldn’t leave your church – there’s no better alternative. Paul and 276 others were in a storm that looked unsurvivable. Nevertheless he told them, ‘Unless [you] stay on board the ship, you cannot be saved.’ Does that mean it’s always wrong to leave a church? No, but make sure your reasons are scriptural and not self-centred. You say, ‘But the pastor’s sermons are too long.’ Paul once preached so long that a man sitting in a third-storey window fell asleep, plummeted to the ground, and died. And what did Paul do? He laid hands on him, revived him, set him back in the window and made him listen to the rest of the sermon! (see Acts 20:9-11). Seriously, if your church has problems, don’t leave; stay and pray. That’s how things get changed.