Summary: We have home schools, home business, and home shopping but the church cannot be relegated to the home.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I realize that I will be preaching to the choir today but I believe that it is important for us to be reminded from time to time just how important it is to be a participant in the local church.
We are living in interesting times. There has seemed to be a shift in the way we do things nowadays that would have seemed rather unlikely a few years ago. Because of modern technology, there is seemingly a need to do things from within the home structure. I spent a few moments and looked up some of the things that are done from the home today that traditionally have been done from outside the home.
Today we have home-secretaries. These are people that do secretarial work from their homes on their home-computers. They are employed by corporations but hardly ever see inside the offices where the business is located. It’s more convenient to do their work and never have to leave the house.
Then there is home-study. Now you don’t have to spend time in a classroom, you just do your studies from home. There’s no need for personal instruction from teachers and professors. You just follow the home study guide and mail your lessons in each week and someone that you’ve never met before grades it and sends it back with the next lesson plan.
Akin to that is home schooling. Many parents today choose to keep their children at home and teach them themselves. This way they are protected and shielded from the sometimes worldly ideology of today’s society. The parent can choose what the child is to be taught.
Many people today have home businesses. It is a unique way of operating your own business without the exorbitant overhead of a separate building. Many of these businesses operate with little inventory and do their ordering from a warehouse via the internet and then directly ship to the customer.
The one that really gets me though is the crafty creation of a television network solely for the benefit of people who do not like the malls. They even named it the Home Shopping Network. You can now shop 24 hours a day from the creature comfort of your couch. No lines, no crowds, just non-stop shopping!
These are all nice convenient ideas that have been put into practice to make life easier. However, I fear that all to often, the things that become popular in our secular society gets incorporated into the spiritual realms of our lives. It is becoming increasingly popular for people to step outside the structure of the church and start up home churches. It’s convenient, but is it Biblical?
I’ve heard people say that they can serve Jesus at home. They say they don’t need the structure of the church to be in right relationship to God. Well let me deal with that argument for a moment. On its face it seems reasonable, but when viewed in light of the Scripture it pales terribly.
Ephesians 5 tells us that Jesus it the head of the body. The church is referred to as the Body of Christ. Paul told the Corinthians “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don’t need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don’t need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor 12:13-27