From Pastor’s Desk: 5-8-16
2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
All Bible studies at Tulare Church of God have become enmeshed into each other, that is, Sunday evening, Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening have now taken on the similar, and the same tenor.
It seems that the Lord will have us take a close look at the example of the early church, how the church was born, how it has been sustained, and, especially, the threats to it that would prohibit it from being a movement.
2 Thessalonians 2:15, in urging to “stand firm and hold to the teachings” is something the church of today must not forget. Note that it is “whether by word of mouth or by letter.”
One of the things that threaten the church as a movement is that we no longer live out our faith. We live that faith out by passing on the gospel, whether by word of mouth or by letter (may I add, “In any way we can.”). If we then are not passing on the gospel, we are in great danger of the forward movement of the church ceasing.
The most significant mandate, in my opinion, that Jesus left the church was to “Go…make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20).
In Luke 4:18-19 we find, again in my opinion, the purpose of the church: Preach the gospel, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty and recovery of sight to the blind, set at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
That’s what the early church did. If that is not the primary function of the church today, we could very easily cease to be a “movement.”