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E-Cheer: The Church
Not For Sale
Vance Havner used to say, "When you come to church, leave your
tobacco outside the front door -- no hawg or dawg will bother it."
On our recent trip we passed many churches -- some very simple
and some huge and elaborate. Whatever the building, the real
church is inside in the form of people searching for assurance of
God's love and forgiveness.
In recent times I have noticed a trend away from using the New
Testament word "church." It's as though that word had a stigma
associated with it. With many of the newer churches, the names
used don't give any clue as to their theological identity. You don't
know whether it is a church or a cult.
When I see a factory that says Hershey Chocolate Company, I have
a good clue as to their product. But with some of today's churches,
the name doesn't give you a clue as to whether it is Baptimatic,
Calvimatic or Charismatic. I don't say this as a criticism but just as
I would hope that regardless of the name, it is a true New
Testament church observing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
and seeking to win the lost and nurture the saints. The label is
Eph 1:21 (nlt) says, "and God has put all things under the authority
of Christ, and He gave Him this authority for the benefit of the
Church." The word church appears approximately 105 times in the
New Testament. It's still a valid word -- don't be afraid of it, but
most importantly -- BE IN IT!
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