The Inconvenient Church

by Lynn Parker


Do not ever underestimate the church of Christ.  The Lords church was born in the mind of God, it is the precious body of the slain and risen Savior (Colossians 1:18).  The church was purchased at an awful cost—the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28).  It is not an afterthought of heaven—the church is indeed so valuable that Christ “gave himself up for it” (Ephesians 5:25). It is not, then a garden club or a fraternal order for folks with nothing else to do on Sundays.  Neither the church merely a social association or a fashion review.

Membership in God’s church is not for political advancement.  It is far more than getting a check mark in heaven for one hour of weekly attendance.  Men may say the church is unimportant—God tells us exactly the opposite.

Disciples of our Lord were not asked to follow the Master only into fields of daisies or calm rose gardens.  The church was never intended to be one of convenience.  The followers of Christ were not promised only calm seas and smooth sailing.  Christians are hot “I want” folks—they are servants and followers.  They walk with the Savior in joy and peace, true enough (Romans 14:17), but they also bidden to follow into the dark recesses of Gethsemane.  And he saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death: abide ye here, and watch” (Mark 14:34 ASV). Early saints were beaten, jailed, and killed for the Lord’s cause.

Even today the faithful find adversaries and trials.  If your priority is finding a religion of convenience, look elsewhere, friend, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Christianity will not leave you alone—it challenges you to greater heights (Philippians 3:14).  The devoted follower of Jesus Christ is never content with the status quo but is always seeking to better himself.  He meekly accepts the correction of the Word (James 1:21).  He is keenly aware of his faults and flaws and recognizes his absolute dependence on God (1 Corinthians 10:12; Galatians 6:1).

He thinks of others before himself and seeks the good of the kingdom (Romans 15:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).  His priorities are clear (Matthew 6:33). The church needs such soldiers, workers, defenders, and humble servants— they are the only ones who will see heaven at the end of life.  The church simply does not need lukewarm, pew-warming, Bible-dumb, forever griping, pride-filled, status-seeking, money-loving, just-like-the-world members.  We have enough of those in the brotherhood.

If you want convenience, go to the corner store.  Go to the drive-through window at the “Golden Arches.”  But do not ever view our Lord’s church as a convenience.  It was not convenient for Christ to purchase it, and it was not convenient to be a Christian in the first century.  It still is not convenient to be a Christian.  It takes effort, dedication, zeal, humility, and sacrifice.  If your walk is always easy and convenient, it is not the walk of a Christian.  And if, in fact, you are looking for a convenient church, you are not seeking the one Christ built. The one you are looking for is not in the New Testament.  It is in the yellow pages under “H” for “hell-bound.” 1650 Gander Slough Rd; Kingsbury, TX 78636 [from the Beacon, Bellview church of Christ; Pensacola, FL;]

Note:  We commend this very fine and needed article by brother Parker, the faithful preacher of the church of Christ at New Braunfels, Texas.  Indeed being a follower of Jesus Christ is not for those who desire convenience in religion.  We cannot imitate the One who left Heaven and suffered a horrible death on the cross, if convenience is our goal.  We read of Him and the great inconvenience He suffered: “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).  Let us follow Him—not the selfish world!  Christ left us: “an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21b).  Danny Douglas