In our churches today, the emphasis is put on so many different things. Unfortunately the things that are promoted the most are not always the most important. I am sure that many folks reading this will disagree, but that is fine, we are all entitled to our views, I will take the correct one, and you can..well… you get it.
From speaking with people, I have heard many different versions of what people believe to be the purpose of the church. Some have said that the important thing for us to do, is to worship the Lord in song, so they go about building choirs and hiring trained singers. They will spend hours practicing and put together special music in preparation for the next worship service. Sometimes their choir will even be good enough to go “on the road” and will travel to other churches to sing for them and bless them. There is nothing wrong or sinful about these activities, but they are not the most important element of Christianity.
Some other churches will give the preeminence of their ministry to Fellowships. Some churches are constantly having dinners on the grounds, and are always putting events together for folks to fellowship one with another. Some will schedule things like sport games where churches will play against one another with the intention of fellowship being the priority. Certain churches will preach that what folks need above all things is to make sure that the majority of their time is spent fellow shipping one with another and the members of these churches will spend several nights a week at one another’s homes playing games and having a grand time. There is nothing wrong or sinful about these activities, but they are not the most important element of Christianity.
There are other churches that are totally focused on special meetings. Some of these churches are always having a revival services or camp meetings. It seems that every time you turn around there is another special meeting happening to keep the adrenaline going. Some churches are only focused on keeping the camp meeting alive in the local church. If this is what these churches want to do, then that is fine. I guess there is nothing sinful about this, but it is not the the most important element of Christianity.
We could go on and on about the things that churches make a priority. Some of these things are great things, like prayer, bible doctrine, dress codes, etc. None of these things are wickedness. None of them are sinful, but none of them are the most important element of Christianity.
Now some of y’all reading this are sitting there thinking I am way out of line. You are thinking that some of the things I have mentioned are commanded by God for the Church to perform, and that is true. How can things like Prayer and Bible Doctrine not be important? I did not say they are not important, I said they are not the MOST important issue in Christianity. Let me explain before you hang me in your gallows dear brethren:
The most important element in true Christianity is none other than Preaching the Gospel. It is the single most important activity given to the Church of Jesus Christ. The church is commanded to do it, encouraged to do it, and allowed to do it. Every other activity in Christianity is set up for the purpose of encouraging the church to perform this great and needful task.
When we are done with this life and the Lord takes us to the place prepared for us in the Father’s house, we will have the greatest of fellowship, we will have the best of dinner on the grounds(marriage supper of the Lamb), we will hear the heavenly choir singing for all of eternity, we will have the greatest of “camp meetings.”(all the shouting and excitement you can handle and more). Prayer? You will speak with the Lord face to face. The Bible? It is forever settled in Heaven(Psalm 119:89) Don’t worry about dress codes or modesty, the Lord himself will dress you in white raiment. But in Heaven there will be one thing missing that you are commanded to do here and that is to Preach the gospel to a lost and dying world. When you are in Heaven, tell me who you will preach to? The lost? They won’t be there.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good song service. We have a great time at our church. I love the fellowship with saints, and have been known to stay up till the wee hours of the morning having a good, clean time with other saints. But that is not the summation of Christianity. We have been given our orders. Those orders require us to preach the gospel to every creature. If all we do is fellowship with one another, we dishonor the charge we have been given. If all we do is sing about the saving grace and mercy of Christ, but never tell anyone about it, we have failed in our duties as soldiers of the Cross. You don’t just read your Bible and then go about your business, you read and study for the purpose of instructing others in the way they should go. We Pray that the Lord will strengthen us in our time here on the earth so that we can fulfill our commission. If we have a great revival service with the adrenaline of a thousand horses, but never walk out of the church house and tell a sinner how that he or she can be regenerated by he blood of Christ, have we accomplished anything profitable for our Savior?
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.