If you have a laptop computer…and if it functions properly…I guarantee it requires a vital piece of equipment: a power adapter/charger. You see, while it’s possible to use your computer temporarily while it’s disconnected from a power source, it will only be a matter of time before your computer will be rendered completely useless if it doesn’t get plugged back in.
This past Sunday as The RESCUE Church concluded our Unplugged series, I made the comparison that your life is like that laptop computer.
We need to be “plugged in” to the ultimate power source…the Lord Jesus Christ. (Have you put your faith in him and accepted the forgiveness of your sins that only he can provide?)
But for many Christians today, this is where their connection to Christ begins…and ends! So many Christians in our world today are believing a lie that says, “I don’t need the church.” “I’ve got Jesus and that’s enough.” “I like Jesus, but I don’t care much for his bride (the church).”
And when a Christian believes and acts upon this lie, thus being disconnected or unplugged from the local church, it’s like a laptop computer with the power adapter plugged into the outlet, but with no connection on the other end. It simply will not function like its supposed to for any real length of time.
The truth is: I need the church…and the church needs me!
Let me share with you 5 things that being plugged into a healthy church provides:
1. Spiritual protection
According to Scripture, Jesus is our Good Shepherd (John 10:1-30; Hebrews 5:4). The implication of this is that we are “sheep” and we belong to his “flock”. We also see in Scripture that God calls men (pastors) to serve and lead the flock of Jesus Christ as “under shepherds” (1 Peter 5:1-2). And like any flock, there is safety in numbers when we stay together. But when one decides to wander away from the flock they render themselves easy prey to our enemy who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). So staying plugged into a church provides me spiritual protection from the Good Shepherd and his called under shepherds.
2. Spiritual authority
Even though our culture would disagree and we are hard wired from birth to rebel against it, authority is a good thing. All authority comes from God. And there are a few key institutions on earth that God has ordained authority and called us to submit to it. The family. The government. And the church (Hebrews 13:17). When you are unplugged from the church, you are living outside the boundaries of spiritual authority and this in NOT God’s will for your life. You’re living in disobedience in this area. It’s not the church’s job to force you into submission. God has called you to humbly submit yourself to godly leadership in and through the church.
In a healthy church, Christians will hold one another accountable in their walk with Christ. This isn’t always comfortable, but true love for a brother or sister in Christ will cause us to have unpleasant conversations and confrontations at times with the goal of resolving a conflict or calling someone back from a path that they are currently heading down that will only end in destruction and heartache and pain. (Galatians 6:1-2; Proverbs 27:17) But if you’re unplugged from the church who will be there to help hold you accountable?
4. A family
When you become a follower of Jesus Christ, you gain a brand new family that is bonded together by a far greater blood than that of biological families…the blood of Jesus. It’s quite possible for people to be even closer with their church family than they are with their biological families! When you’re disconnected from the local church, you’re like a spiritual orphan…alone…and without a family. (Galatians 6:10)
5. A place to serve in the body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” You have the awesome privilege to play a role in the body of Christ. And when you’re disconnected from the church, the body suffers in your absence and you suffer even more!
The bottom line is that Jesus Christ is PASSIONATE about his church…and he wants us to be as well! Ephesians 5:25 says that, “Christ loved the church. He gave His life for it.” And since Jesus laid down His life for the church, is it too much to ask that we give our lives for it too? There is not a higher purpose on the planet that we can give our lives to than what God is doing through His church!
Are you plugged into Christ?
Are you plugged into his church?
To hear this explained in greater detail, watch the message below: