Devotional: ‘The Mission of the Church’

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What comes to your mind when you hear the word – church? Some think of a building with stained-glass windows and choir robes. Some think of worship services and Bible studies. Still others think of a place to socialize with family and friends. What do you suppose the Lord thinks of when He hears the word – church?

The Greek word ‘church’ {ekklesia} is a compound word made up of two words: called {klesia} + out {ek}. Literally the word church means: “a called-out assembly.” The Bible teaches us that there are at least two ways that Christ has called-out His church.

1) He Has Called Us Out From the World

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Some interpret this to mean that the church should isolate itself from the rest of the world. Yet Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 that in order for us to totally isolate ourselves from the world, we would have to leave the world. As long as we are in the world, we are going to come in contact with the world. What then does it mean that we should come out from the world and be separate? Someone has said that we are to be ‘in’ the world but not ‘of’ the world. Perhaps the question is not – “How much are we in the world?”, but rather – “How much of the world is in us?”

2) He Has Called Us Out Unto Himself

We are not taking into consideration the entire purpose of the church unless we take into account our mission. “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15) If the Lord had simply wanted to isolate His people from sin, He would take us to heaven as soon as we are saved. Yet He doesn’t. He leaves us here in this imperfect world. Why? It is because the Lord desires to use His church to reach the lost with His saving grace. Consider the first day in the life of the church as recorded in Acts 2.

The Bible says that the disciples began that day in a prayer meeting. Suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon them and gave them the supernatural ability to speak the wonderful works of God. This miraculous enablement caused non-believers to ask how this was happening. Peter seized the opportunity and preached unto them the gospel. And as a result, three thousand men accepted Christ as their Savior and were baptized. From day 1, the church was about the business of reaching the lost.

Worship, Bible study and fellowship are all important; yet they are not the total mission of the church. The church has been called to come out from the world and to dedicate ourselves to doing God’s will. What is God’s will? Go into all the world and share the gospel with every individual.

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