By Phillip Mullins
I can see it now, immediately following Jesus’ conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount, he has everyone gird up their loins, lace up their cross trainers, and start stretching. After they are warmed up, he leads them in a 20 minute workout to tone up the flab. Does that sound ridiculous?
A prominent denominational church which meets down the street from me is offering just that. According to their sign, on Saturday mornings the church is con-ducting an aerobics class. Does that sound ridiculous? It should.
Ephesians 1:22-23 describes the church as the body of Christ. Jesus is the head and we are to carry out his work for him. Jesus’ mission was to seek and to save the lost. He began that work while on earth and as he was leaving this earth he commanded his followers to do the same, “Go therefore and 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 them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).
When you read about the church in the book of Acts, you see that they were busy carrying out the work of spreading the gospel, building up the saints, and relieving the needs of the saints (Acts 2, 4, 11).
The church of the New Testament did not offer classes on fishnet mending, pottery, or cooking. They did not build public hospitals, open soup kitchens, or homes for the aged. The mission of the church in the Bible was to save souls and care for those among the believers who were in physical need. Modern day churches which do not have a similar mission and work have completely missed the mark of what Christ’s church is all about. Life is too short, eternity is too long, and souls are too precious to waste time, resources, and energy serving the fleshly needs of all in the community.
If you are associated with a church that resembles a fitness center or the Red Cross more than it does the church of the New Testament, then you need to do some serious soul searching. Are you really part of the church that belongs to Christ?
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 18, p. 6
September 16, 1993