Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer.Ask a dozen people what comes to mind when you say the word church, and you’ll likely get several different answers. Their responses will likely range from little white clapboard country churches to impressive Northeastern stone and stained glass churches to massive European cathedrals. Others might take a different approach with answers citing the small home churches that are common in China and Cuba. And believe it or not, some might even talk about churches meeting in movie theaters (imagine that!).
-- Hebrews 10:25
-- Hebrews 10:25
The common denominator is that these answers equate church with a location or style of physical building. But that’s not the way the Bible defines church. Rather than an impressive structure filled with pews and crowned by a soaring steeple, the church is really people – all the people on Earth who have accepted and trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. No matter who you are and where you live – if you’re a Christ-follower – you’re part of His church called the Body of Christ.
That’s a remarkable concept because it means you’re a part of a literal body of believers spread all over the globe. We speak different languages, are of different races and come from different cultures. But we’re all united by Jesus’ death on the cross as payment in full for all the wrong we have done (and continue to do) in our lives. As different as we are, we’re a single family that has accepted Jesus’ free gift of forgiveness.
But like all families – even the best and most stable – differences, disagreements and disappointments are bound to arise among the siblings. And the fact is that the church isn’t perfect. And why should it be: it’s made up of imperfect people who do very imperfect things.
This all leads to another key Biblical truth about the church: It’s not about us – it’s all about Jesus. Everything we do as Christ-followers ought to be done to glorify God through Christ, who the Bible tells us is the head of the church. Whether it’s a local gathering of believers or all the millions of Christ-followers on Earth, this Body of Christ answers to an audience of One.
Jesus paid for His church with something much more valuable than money or gold. He bought our spiritual freedom and eternal future at the price of His own blood. So whether we worship Him in a massive cathedral, a quaint country church or even a multiplex movie theatre, we’re ultimately one body joined through a common faith.
Let’s strive as Christ-followers to make it a body that’s healthy, strong and worthy of His sacrifice.