Summary: If somebody asked you, “Why are you a part of the church family? Why do you participate in church services?” what would you say? What would you tell them?
Last week I told you that on a typical Sunday morning, all over America, more than 100 million Americans will go to church. But most of those people have never clarified, Why? They’ve never figured out, Why do I do this? Some people go to church out of guilt. Some people go out of pressure. Some people go to church out of habit. Some people go because they think it’s the thing to do.
If somebody asked you, “Why are you a part of the church family? Why do you participate in church services?” what would you say? What would you tell them?
Once a year the United States’ constitution requires the President of the United States deliver an annual State of the Union message to the joint houses of Congress. It’s required by our constitution. Last week I told you that I want to start a here at Bethany where once a year, the pastor deliver a State of the Church message.
I started this last week with Part I of my message and today I conclude with Part 2. I want us to go back and look at it again and say, “Why do we do this? Why do we have services? Why do we a building and grounds. Why do we give money? Why do we plan ministries.” Never do anything in life without understanding the reason. Your life is too precious to waste on things that don’t matter. Never get involved in anything, never waste any time on something that you haven’t figured out what’s the purpose of this.
We need to do this every year. We review. We remember. We reinforce why we do what we do.
But before I do that, I want to look at a couple of verses.
1 Peter 1:3 “God has given us the privilege of being born again so that we are now members of God’s own family.” The Bible says that when you become a believer in Christ, you become a member of a family. The moment you were born into this world physically, you became a part of the human race.
When you were reborn spiritually, born again (that means getting a new start) you were born into God’s family. You became a part of His family. The Bible says that the family is called the church. Paul writes to Timothy: “That family is the church of the living God the support and foundation of the truth.”
It’s interesting to me that the church is not an institution. The church is not a business. The church is not an organization, a social club. The church, the Bible says, is a family. We’re a family. It says it’s the “…the support and foundation of the truth.” If you have ever built a house you know the importance of a good foundation. If you’ve ever lived through some of the floods we have had here, you know that if you don’t have good foundation and good support, your house is going to crumble.
In your life, you’re going to have some personal floods, some financial floods, some relational floods, some physical-health problem floods, maybe some moral floods. There’s going to be some things that come into your life that shake you to the core.
If you don’t have a good foundation, if you don’t have good support built up, you’re going to crumble. In the future, there’s going to be a whole lot of shaking going on. You will have some tough times. The Bible says that God put the church on earth to be the support and the foundation of your life.
He’s saying here that the Christian life is not just believing, it’s belonging. It’s belonging to a family. More than just believing.
A lot of people say, "I want to be a Christian but I don’t need a church.” That’s like saying, “I want to play football in the NFL but not be a part of any particular team…. I want to be a soldier but not have a platoon. … I want to be an explorer but not have a base camp. …. I want to play a tuba but not be in an orchestra…. I want to be a sailor without a ship--a bee without a hive.” A Christian without a church family is an orphan. You don’t have the support and you don’t have the foundation that you’re going to need to make it in the future.
How do I show that I’m really a believer? By joining a church family. Paul writes in the Bible: “You belong in God’s household with every other Christian.”
There’s a big difference between attending a church service and belonging to a church family. You can attend a church week after week and never really belong to the family. You need to understand that the church is not the place you go to. It’s the family you belong to. It’s not a place you go to. Church is a family you belong to.