Sermonette: A Time to Rediscover the Church – Mitchell Republic
I’m reading a book by Collin Hansen and Jonathan Leeman called “Rediscover Church” (Crossway 2021). On the cover of the book, there is a sentence that caught my attention: “A Christian without a church is a Christian in difficulty. Does this speak to you?
We are blessed to live in South Dakota where we have had the freedom to choose how we would be involved in a church throughout the challenge the past two years have presented to us. Many of us have endured closures and shutdowns and a general disruption of typical interaction with the church and its ministries. But I also know that even before the impact of the recent global pandemic, many people had drifted away from regular participation in the fellowship of a local church. Did you notice that? Is it something you struggled with?
We read this in Hebrews 10:23-25. “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope, for he who promised is faithful. “And let us see how to excite one another to love and good works, not neglecting to come together as some are wont, but encouraging one another, and the more so as you see approaching the day.” There is something powerful that the Word of God calls us to hear. The confession of our hope to which the author of Hebrews refers is the access to the holy presence of God which the shed blood of Jesus Christ gives us through the forgiveness of our sins. Verses 21-22 of Hebrews 10 also explain what is happening here. “And since we have a high priest over the house of God, let us approach with sincere hearts in the fullness of faith, hearts cleansed from a bad conscience, and bodies washed with pure water.”
A growing and deepening relationship with Jesus Christ requires participation in a growing and healthy local church. We come together to experience worship, prayer, repentance, generosity, community service, the celebration of a testimony in Christ, and daily devotion to the Word of God. All of these spiritual rhythms are meant to be practiced with others who are also on a journey of faith. Do you know who these people are? Maybe you haven’t even met them yet! God clearly calls us not to neglect to meet, but rather we must be together so that we can encourage each other all the more as we yearn for the return of our Savior Jesus Christ.