Summary: We need to like our church because it has transformed us, redeemed us from the pit of sin, washed away our sins and curse, has taught us the Bible and the ways of God.
Acts 13:1-‘Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul..’
Psalm 84:10”For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”(Memorize)
An elderly gentleman commented:’ I love to go to that church because it is a lovely church which is hundred years old ( the building) with gorgeous artifacts and the choir are great with their professionally toned voice.’ There was no mention of good preaching, sound teaching or mighty anointing! Anybody listening to me? There are few who say, ‘I have to stick to this church because I need a church to get my kids baptized and my children married.’ There are others who say, ‘we have been attending this church from my grandfather days.’ Some visit a church because it is stone-throw distance from their house – what they teach does not matter, though – others like to go to a church which is well furnished and air conditioned. There are others who like a church because the pastor dutifully sticks to prosperity teaching, faith and pampers the church members in the pews and sends them away with a song. They dance to the tune and walk to the door – unchanged, rebellious and proud. At the door all of them are offered lollypops, so that they could remain undernourished babies. For some the church is like a social club, where they have fun and then run away. I can go on…………
We need to like our church because it has transformed us, redeemed us from the pit of sin, washed away our sins and curse, has taught us the Bible and the ways of God, has taught us to fast and pray, has made us a blessing for others and most important removed the evil from us. This is the definition of a good church! When I recommend new converts to a church, I am extremely careful in guiding them to a good, sound doctrine preaching church.
After the death of Stephen, due to severe persecution in Jerusalem, some of the strong believers were scattered and they reached the town of Antioch and they preached JESUS to them. Sometimes persecution, trials and problems in our life turns out for good, like in my case. Right out of the hospital, I went to the mission field. I was turned into a missionary inside the emergency ward, where the Messiah met me. Mathew Henry said: ‘The enemies designed to scatter and lose them, Christ designed to scatter and use them.’ Hallelujah! I have something awesome to share with you today, I am writing this with fasting, much prayer and burden for good churches to be birthed. Good leaders form good church! A tree (church) is known by its fruits (members and leaders)! Well, let me come back to the ‘few men’ who reached Antioch, they were no lazy members, despite the persecution in their life, they spread the Gospel among the gentiles and look what happens, ‘ a great number believed and turned to the Lord.’ Glory to Jesus! Where Christ is glorified, there the multitudes will come. Thus a church is formed in Antioch! First time in the Bible, the followers of Jesus were named CHRISTIANS. Awesome! Later Barnabas and Paul joined the group and strengthened the Church.