Our attitude towards one another must be gracious. There’s love when you’re gracious, there’s tenderness when you’re gracious.
In Israel's northern city of Caesarea Philippi, among the ruins of a worship centre dedicated to the Greek god Pan, a cave exists that was long believed by those who worshipped there to be the doorway into the netherworld. It was in the vicinity of this grotto, the alleged gateway to hell, that Jesus promised: "Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it" (Matthew 16:18).
From Pentecost in the first century to the present day, Satan has attempted to destroy Christ's Church—yet it endures. From a small group of Jewish outsiders in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, Christ built His Church to reach even the remotest parts of the world. Despite controversies, wars, and denominational splits, the Church continues to be the means through which God announces to a dark and dying world that light and life have come in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
For these reasons, and many more, we learn about and appreciate the body of Christ, the Church.
Being involved means more than shaking hands with people on your way out of a church service—it’s investing in the lives of others.
As long as the church of Jesus Christ is present on this earth, lawlessness remains under great restraint. Second Thessalonians 2:7 puts it well, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.”
The church is a place like no other. You’ll rarely find such a supportive community elsewhere in life. When you hurt there are people who will stay with you and suffer with you.
What makes a church different than a lecture hall? Chuck Swindoll addresses that question in this message.
When you’re swimming in the ocean, it takes intentional effort to keep from drifting away. If you take your eyes off the shore, you’ll likely end up somewhere you never intended! And the same is true of our churches.
Join Chuck Swindoll in this special message, Encouraging Essentials for a Dynamic Ministry, and learn not only how to prevent erosion in your life but also how to deepen your intimacy with God in a way that will overflow to others.
In recent years, the average attention span has gotten shorter, and many pastors are truncating their sermons to accommodate their audience. But the church isn’t meant to be an audience…it’s a family!
Even though we can never say that we have “arrived,” there are some checkpoints by which we are able to measure our maturity. They are set forth in the first major section of Peter's second letter. Beginning with faith (2 Peter 1:5) and ending with love (1:7), you will find eight qualities, which deserve our most diligent effort.
Out of the rich book of Psalms, we find an ancient hymn—a prayer, a passionate petition—in which David makes a series of requests and statements that reveal a level of maturity admired by all. For a few moments, read over and meditate on Psalm 26. Observe the composer's major theme as well as his unguarded admissions. See if you can discover for yourself the relevance of this melodic revelation.