If Jesus Came To Visit
If Jesus attended church services today, would He approve of what is done in His name? Would He be pleased to see the ball games, concerts and carnivals that have overtaken churches? Would He be disappointed by how few are willing to attend unless these gimmicks are offered? We can know He would have an opinion on such matters because He commands His followers to do only what He authorizes (Colossians 3:17) and to not forsake assembly (Hebrews 10:25). He also demonstrated His concern for what is practiced in religion when He told those who corrupted the Temple, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13). If He felt that way about an institution that was about to be removed (Matthew 24:2), how does He feel about His everlasting kingdom, the “holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21)?
When the church at Corinth treated the Lord’s Supper as a common meal, the apostle Paul rebuked them for misunderstanding both communion and the purpose of the church. He said, “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?...if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home” (1 Corinthians 11:22, 34). The church was not designed to appeal to man’s carnal desires, but to build him up spiritually through learning and obeying the truth (Acts 11:21-26). If Jesus wanted to feed and entertain people He would have instituted a civic center. Instead, He established His church “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). Yet, if churches emphasize social programs to lure people to services, or cancel services to watch a ball game, what does it say about their faith in Christ and His Gospel? Is that the message Jesus wants His church to convey to the world that is lost in sin (Matthew 28:18-20)? Is that way He died to establish His church (Acts 20:28).