Hmm, it is the the eve of the Chinese new year, and I think by the time I finish this article, it would be the Lunar new year already, hence I am taking the chance to wish all my friends and reader a happy new year… May God continue to guide everyone all the way

I was sharing with my friends this particular illustration I read from a book. There was once a lighthouse, that is set up to guide  ships to land safety and to warn the ship about the fact that they are close to the rocks. Beside the lighthouse, there was a group of volunteers who started a life savers house near the it. The original purpose of the life saver house is to provide a place for the life savers to house their boats and for the volunteers to be present at the house and be ready to perform life saving duties when needed.

Intially,  the life savers was very vigilant in their duties, but slowly, as time erodes the life savers started to be lax in their duties, slowly, people started to bring sun tanning chairs into the life savers house.. and started to take a sun tan while watching the sea for ships. Slowly, new additions are added, a beautiful marina dock, many little yatches are parked there, a pub was built, more and more little entertainments were put in. Slowly, the life savers started to create a life savers committee to constantly make improvement to the life saving house.

The life savers were having a discussion and a dinner party, when suddenly, there was a passenger ferry that was ran aground near the rocks of the life saving house. The ship was slowly sinking, and there is no one to save the passenger… However, the life savers were too busy in their discussions, and did not look up to the sea. By the time someone notice, the life savers scrambled to get their life saving hoops and tried to get their life boats out, but the boats are deep inside the marina. Later on they tried to use one of the yatch that is closest to the exit to go save the passenger, unfortunately, they were too late and many passenger perished.

This stories tells us how dangerous it can be if we were to lose the objectives and purpose. Alot of times, while we are busy with chasing after our prize, have we already forgotten why we are serving the various ministry of the church?

Over here I am reiterating the simple truth, what is the church?

What is a church and why is the church important?
The word church is translated from the Greek word “Ecclessia”. Ecclessia simply means, “Called-Out Assembly”. Sometimes we may wonder, then what is so interesting about this particular called out Assembly?

Christians are the people belonging in this assembly, and they are people whom God purchase with his very own blood(Acts 20:27-29). 

Since the beginning of time, God has always maintain a called out assembly of the people of God, who loved God, and a people who (although imperfect) to try to follow Gods standards and teaching. In the ancient of days, he chose the lineage of Seth (Gen 3), Lineage of Noah (Gen 7), Abraham and until the present day, everyone of us. In every of this choosing, there have been a purpose of God to be fulfilled.

What makes the church so important is because of it significance, as the body of Christ and the spirit of Christ fills it all (Eph 1:22-23).  The head of the church is not the resident pastor / preacher but is none other then Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23). To persecute the church is to persecute Christ (Acts 9:1-5).

Christ has given the church authority to retain sins and to forgive sin, which makes the church more then just a mere group of believers (Jn 20:22-23 , Matt 18:15-19)

What is the link between the church and the salvation of God?
From what you can see earlier, there are many links between salvation and the church,  the church is meant to be a avenue for God to show his will to the rest of the world, as well as a place for his name to be glorified (Eph 1:23, 3:10 ,21)

The church is non other then the house of house of the living God, and to enter the church is to enter God’s house ( 1 Tim 3:15).

What is the requirements of the church?
1. It must have the spirit of God  (Rom 8:9,  1 Cor 12:13; 1 jn 3:24)
2. The church must have signs, miracles and wonders (Mk 16:16-20)
          a. But do remember that in the last days, the devils can even make fire come down from heaven (Rev 13:12-14)
3. The church must follow the teachings of God in the bible (Gal 1:6-9, Eph 2:19-20, 1 Cor 4:6)

What is the mission of the church?
Lets now take a look at the great commission given to us by Jesus as well as a verse from Isaiah the Prophet

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk 16:15-18 )

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[c] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isa 2:2-3)

In simple words, Jesus wants the church to do the following things
1. Preach the gospel of salvation to the ends of the world, and tell
     the people about how they can be saved, leading them to God and 
    saving their souls 
2. Teaching the people to obey Gods commandments and follow Gods
3. Demonstrate the love of God, by taking care of the weaker members 
     in the church, taking care of the little ones, learn to live together as  
     fellows heirs in this kingdom of God (Jn 21:15-17)
4. Provide an avenue for people who are seeking God, to find out about the
     truth. To teach them the ways of God

All work in the church stems from this 4 basic principles, so, the next time we are serving in God, remember this commission and ask yourself, are we like the life savers in the story above? Have we lost our direction in why we serve God?

May God help us, Amen.