The Imperfect Church

March 22, 2012

“The unchurched are hostile to the church, friendly to Jesus Christ” (John Stott).

The church is such an easy target for cheap shots and criticisms. Human weakness is so apparent, hypocrisy so obvious. It is for this reason that so many have said, “I don’t like organized religion” (perhaps they like their religion disorganized?). Or “Jesus I like, but not the church.”

Let’s admit it from the start; the church is not always lovable. But let’s be candid; do you suppose Jesus finds it any easier to love the church than we do? Do you suppose it is any easier for him to love us individually?

The imperfect church is thus because it is made up of imperfect people. Is there another kind of person with which to populate a church? As someone has said, if you are searching for the perfect church, and find it, it has just become an imperfect church.

Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, died for the church. Yes, the fussing, feuding, hypocrite-filled, mistake prone church. Please pause and be stunned all over again by that truth!

“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

While we carp and complain, disassociate ourselves from and criticize the church, the Lord of Heaven and earth placed the ultimate value on the church. He loves the church because he loves the human beings that comprise the church.

Young people, when will you become an integral part of the church? Four years of inactivity in college does not bode well for subsequent dedicated service to God’s people. I hear people endlessly blame the church for the loss of its young people. Yet there is another side to this. When will young people take responsibility for the church? The church needs your talents and energy.

Senior saints, when you retire from your secular job, don’t retire from the church. Your accumulated wisdom and the extra time on your hands are needed by the church.

Parents with children, don’t make school and little league and other activities your priority over the church. Demonstrate to your children that God’s kingdom and his righteousness are paramount (Matthew 6:33).

Single saints, take advantage of the fact that you can concentrate your energies for the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32-34).

The Lord loved the church; do we?

“I love thy kingdom Lord, the house of thine abode, the church our blessed redeemer saved with his own precious blood” (Timothy Dwight).

-Stan Mitchell

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