What happens when a church forgets her purpose? She becomes distracted and unconcerned as the devil steals, kills, and destroys. Do not be deceived, our enemy is on the prowl and ready to pounce; sowing seeds of discord in the world and leaving a trail of destruction. Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8) and He calls the Church to labor in this work. Jesus made this clear when He said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18-20). In other words, Bringing the Love of Christ to a Hurting World must be our passion that fuels every dollar and every ministry. Consider:
- We know the love of Christ. You can only share what you already have. We have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and know His love. We “were washed…sanctified…justified” (1 Cor 6:11) by Jesus and are not the same people we used to be, but a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17). We are “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” (Col 3:12). All our sins have been forgiven. We now have peace with God (Rom 5:1). We know His love.
- We live in a hurting world. Our hearts break when we see what is happening in the world around us. We live in a world that is hurting; crying out for healing, but not knowing where to find it. They are blinded (2 Cor 4:4) and unknowingly following the devil (Eph 2:2). We see sexual immorality, jealousy, anger, and greed. Human life is not valued. Women are objectified. Crime is increasing. Babies are killed in the womb because they are deemed to be an inconvenience. With such evil rampant, it is important for us to remember that the people in this world are not our enemies (Eph 6:12), but are captives to the devil.
- We know what true healing looks like. We know what it is like to feel empty. We know what it is like to be hurting without any hope of a cure. We know what it is like to dull the pain and heartache with bad medicine. We are, however, people who know what it is like to find a correct diagnosis and healing. We know that the process of healing can only happen through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the answer to all that ails us. We are broken people who are being put back together by our Creator.
- We desire to share the love of Christ. We have the cure for that the world desperately needs so how can we not share it with them? If we truly know the love of Christ we will desire to share it with a hurting world. Personally, we share through our words and actions everywhere we go. As a church, we commit every dollar and every hour to bringing the love of Christ to a hurting world. Everything we do, whether it is van ministry or nursery or teaching, we know it is good work. Therefore, we commit to living our lives for Christ and not our own pleasure.
What happens to a church that forgets her purpose? She stops fighting the real enemy and either: 1) sleeps, 2) fights those who are not the enemy, or 3) begins to self-destruct. First Baptist Church must stay alert and watchful. We must not fight those who are hurting in the world. We must not fight amongst ourselves. We must fight the devil and his angels with the power of Christ—who dwells in us. Let us be intentional about bringing the love of Christ to a hurting world. God Bless.