Below is a guest article written by my friend Bill Elliff about “Why Men Desperately Need the Church.” Also, you can listen to my sermon about the Lord’s Day, which I preached recently at Sherwood during the Family Matters series, by clicking below.
Why Men Desperately Need the Church
I have met many people through the years who see little value in the local church. “I can worship anywhere,” is their common excuse. But is this really true? While all of us should be involved in consistent, daily, personal worship, there is no substitute for the local church. Christ proclaimed that the church was something He was building, and He did nothing without great intentionality. Look at Paul’s divinely inspired description:
But in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15 NASB).
The Household of God
The Church is a family, and God is her head. It is to function like the deepest family in all the world—full of love and caring and fellowship. The reality is that, for believers, the church is ultimately and eternally more of a family than their biological family, for it is the one family that exists beyond time. Soon, in heaven, we will experience in God’s true church what a family is to be all about! Also, since it is GOD’S household, He is watching over her with the care of a perfect Father.
The word church is “ekklesia” in the Greek language, and literally means “assembly” or “gathering.” The very name itself implies being together. I know that the church is still the church when it is scattered, but why would God choose this word to describe us? It is because we are to not forsake “our own assembling together … and all the more as you see the day [of the Lord] drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). Part of the weakness of the American church is her unwillingness to gather. It is the last item on our priority list. The slightest excuse pulls us away. The average church goer in America attends once or twice a month—and usually for just one hour. How in the world can our spiritual lives subsist on such a meager assembling? We NEED to gather together. There are vital things that happen in the presence of the church gatherings. Paul called it the gathering of the living God. What a description! It is a gathering that He calls and superintends.
The Pillar and Support of the Truth
God’s truth is God’s truth, whether there is a church or not. But God has entrusted its propagation and defense to redeemed people—to His household, His assembly, His church. We are to hold it up before others and “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). We do not make the truth or create the truth, but like multiple pillars on a great temple, we support it and hold it up before a watching world. Who else in the world will support, uphold, defend, and communicate the truth of God if the church does not? If the truth is not being upheld in our nation, it is not the world’s fault! It’s not the world’s responsibility! In fact, secular people have no ability to uphold God’s truth, because it is spiritual truth that is only spiritually understood by those who possess the Spirit of God (see 1 Corinthians 2).
We All NEED the Church!
The church is imperfect in this age because it is composed of people who are still in their earth-suits, beset with the weakness of the flesh. In fact, 1 Timothy was written, as were many other books, so we would know how to conduct ourselves in the church (1 Tim. 3:15). There are proper ways we are to function, and we must constantly study Scripture to adjust our behavior. As pastors and leaders, we lead people there. But never forget: The church of the living God is filled with GOD! She is so powerful that she will exist beyond time, kept and carried by her Great Initiator and Life. She is the family, the gathering, the communicator and support of God’s truth, and indispensable in your life and the lives of others!