I want to briefly give you three reasons why I love church. I think that church is one of the most wonderful and encouraging things there is. I love being there and getting involved.
Ephesians 5:25b says, “…even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”.
I want to have good character. In order to have good character, I must imitate Christ, Who is the source of Character. If I am going to imitate Christ, I must like the things He likes and do the things He does.
Christ loves church. He loves church so much that He died for it. He didn’t just die for us to have a way out of Hell and into Heaven – though that is a wonderful thing; but the verse says he died for *the church*. The church enables us to live and grow in Him and be encouraged and fruitful *until* Heaven.
Jesus started the first church while on Earth, and then instructed that church in how to start other churches, putting all power in heaven and earth behind that endeavor (Matthew 28:18-20). He didn’t just provide for our salvation, and then tell us that ‘sink or swim’ we are on our own until death and Heaven; no, He gave us a wonderful gift called the church to sustain us while still on Earth.
2. I Love Church Because It Is Good for Me.
Second Timothy 4:2-3 presents a choice for me, as Paul is instructing a young preacher about how things are supposed to be in church. The right choice is for me to be in church, around preaching that will “…reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” That means that the preaching part of church will be good for me, even if I don’t like it – it will correct me when I’m wrong; it will encourage me to keep going; it will keep me strong in Bible teachings.
The other option is presented in verse three: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”. God designed each Christian to be an active part of a specific church that He has “fitly joined” them to, according to Ephesians 4:16. When I am in the church that God has put me, I am in a place to be edified, (or built up) and encouraged by other believers, and I will be hearing the right kind of teaching and preaching that will help me grow. If not, I am in danger of only listening to what I want to hear and what makes me feel good, but is not good *for* me.
3. I Love Church Because It Is Good for Others.
Hebrews Chapter Ten encourages us about the importance of meeting together as a church, and tells us that it is part of faithfulness, and it helps others. Here is what it says in Hebrews 10:23-25, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
As a church, we share testimonies and help each other grow and get through tough times. As a church, we sing together and fellowship together. As a church, we encourage each other to do right. As a church, we work together to win others to the Lord in God’s way and pattern. If I am not an active part of church, I miss out in being a help and blessing to others. Ultimately I will grow cold and selfish, because I was not designed to only receive God’s blessings, but also to glorify God by pointing others to Him and help my fellow believers around me. That’s why Hebrews 10 said that meeting together as a church should be more and more of a priority as we near the day that Christ returns – because the work of church is more important than ever.
Do you love church like Christ does? If so, perhaps we could work together in our community to have the testimony that the very first church did, as found in Acts 2:47, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”