I guess I have worked into a routine of having a “Church Membership Friday” post. For the past two Friday’s I have presented truths concerning the importance of church membership. Last Friday, I defined church membership. Today I want to encourage you in the challenges of church membership.
No one said that belonging to church would be easy. Anytime you put a diverse group of people together, you are bound to have differences and challenges. The truth of church membership is that every member of the church is called to overcome and pursue unity in the church in order to reflect the church’s union with Christ.
That can’t be done by cutting bait and leaving every time some obstacle comes up. I agree there are times when leaving a church becomes necessary (heretical doctrine preached, geographical relocation, failure to teach biblically, and others) but not being able to get along with someone in the church is not one of them.
In the church, there must be a commitment to the people of the church and a commitment to God that all divisions will be overcome and there must be a pursuit for unity. There must be repentance and forgiveness among God’s people. There is far too much bitterness and unforgiveness in among professing believers.
The church is united because it is the body of Christ and Christ is not divided. Christ died for the church. The redeemed belong to Christ and they are saved by Him. They are one body in Him and should live in a way that expresses that unity.
The only way we are in the body of Christ is that Christ took our offense, paid for it, and forgave us of it. And the only way the local body of Christ can reflect that reality is to forgive offenses of those who hurt us and Christ has forgiven us. Separating is not the answer. Addressing the problem, repenting of wrongs, forgiveness, and reconciliation is the answer. Christians are not to run from problems, they are to work them out in light of what Christ has done for them.