Why does the church exist? What is the ultimate purpose of the church? Matthew 28 19-20. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the son and the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commended you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.
Matthew 16:18 Christ said, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (the power of death shall not prevail against it. Acts 1:8 They were to become his disciples and teachers in Jerusalem and Samaria and to the remotest part of the earth. The book of Acts demonstrates this beyond doubt. They were to make disciples or Christians Acts 11:16. He said go baptizing and teaching them what I have taught you.
So, Paul and Barnabas preached and baptized, and people became Christians and then taught them the commands of God and is still doing that today. The main purpose of the church today is evangelism (people become Christians) and edification (to teach God`s commands). When the church gathers together, what does God want to happen? On the first day of the week, we are to come together for worship. Acts 20:7. We are to sing, pray, listen to the sermon, take the Lord`s supper (fruit of the vine and unleavened bread), and give of our means (money).
Through the week, we are to minister to the lost (teach our fellow man). When Jesus was on the earth, he spent 3 1\2 years preaching everywhere. Then he died and rose from the grave and 40 days later returned to heaven. Hearts were prepared with the gospel. The Holy Spirit worked as people were taught. Multitudes repented and were baptized. Acts 2:38. 3,000 and later 5,000. So many were becoming Christians, the Jewish leaders felt threatened and responded with hatred and countered with violence. This caused the Christians to scatter and preach all over the world. Men and women all over the world became brothers and sisters in Christ. How? Galatians 3:27. People were baptized into Christ. Acts 22.16. They were baptized and their sins were washed away.
When your sins are washed away, then you are in Christ. You are a Christian born of the water and the spirit. Romans 6:3,4,5. So many of us were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death. Therefore, we are buried with Jesus by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the grave by the glory of the father, even so we should walk I newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. We are now new creatures and all sins are washed away when we were baptized. Now we are saved and added to the church. Acts 2:47.
Now our names are written in the lamb`s book of life. Now we can go to heaven. I John 4:8. God is love. John 13:34,35. A new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love for one another. Love and truth create oneness and unity. II Peter 1:20. No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. That means the Bible says the same thing to all men just like any book. Go to the corner market and get me a Coke. Everybody knows what that says. Acts 2;38. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the holy spirit. Yet only 3,000 out of 150,000-plus were baptized. Why? DID they misunderstand what was said? NO. IT is because they rejected what was said. Too many people say they believe in God and Jesus but reject his word. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe all the Bible James 2:10. We cannot pick and choose only what we like and leave off the rest.
Lord, help us all to mediate on the word and obey all commands in the word. John 14:15. If ye love me keep my commandments. Go to the store and get me a Coke. Would any body go get a Sprite? No. Then all men need to do the same with the commands of God.
Please join us for worship at 10:30 am Sunday, at Piney Church of Christ, 1070 Archie Rhinehart Pkwy., Spencer, TN 38585.