We are currently living in a world filled with fears. There’s a slogan FOMO which is a short of “Fear of Missing Out”. There’s also FOGO which is a short of “Fear of Going Out” that has been referred to the current COVID pandemic that will soon come to a conclusion that it will be treated as a norm. There’s also FONGO which is a short of “Fear of Not Going Out” that has been associated to the fear of commitment.
[Timestamp: 6 mins, 59 seconds] Someone has stated that if we’re not willing to commit for something that is important to us for a long-term and to close other open options, we will never be able to reach something that is meaningful in our life.
Today I will invite the congregation to think about one of the signs of a healthy church, that we need to have commitment to become a member of a local church. This has been contrasted to the current trend that there are significant number of people doing “church-shopping or church hopping”. This isn’t good for your faith, isn’t good for a local church, and most importantly, not according to God’s will.
[Timestamp: 11mins, 58 seconds] Paul Washer once said that “I don’t care if you listen to the sermon from one of the world’s famous preachers once or twice a week, but if you are not involved in a local church, you are to live outside God’s will”. This is an important reminder that we should think about.
There are three reasons for us to become a local church member:
- 1. As a confirmation of our salvation. We became the church member not just because we can be saved, but as evidence that we’ve been saved. When we became the church member, in IREC context, it means that we open ourselves and we ask our brothers and sisters to look into our lives, to test our lives. We committed to love one another because we have been experiencing God’s love. When becoming a church member, we are ready to be known, we are also ready to be corrected and to build one with another. This is a confirmation that people have been saved and experiencing God’s love. This can only happen if we are to commit and to become a church member and together be involved, strive together, pray together and to serve together.
- 2. Because God has bound His promise / covenant with His church which is in reference to 1 Corinthians 11: 17, 22, 23. As Israel has violated Old Testament several times, until in Jeremiah 31, God made New Testament where God will provide His laws in His people. God will forgive His people and He will not remember their sins – this is God’s promise in the Old Testament that He will bind and to create the New Testament. This is the promise that has been owned by God, which is also the promise that made us owned by church which is His own body.
- 3. God wants us to be His witnesses in this world. We have been called in a local church to love one another, to build one another, with one purpose which is to become God’s witnesses in this world so people will know that we are His disciples.
Let us grow to become God’s church which is also the characteristic of the healthy church.