Are you tired of the same old routine during this quarantine? Boy! I know I am. Aren’t you ready for a change of scenery? Well, sometimes we can feel that way about the Lord’s church. We can get tired of the same old, same old and we want to shake it up a little. That attitude can leave us with a boat that won’t float!
When I was a Boy Scout lifeguard, we had a swimming hole on a small lake at our summer camp. So, in addition to a pole and a life-ring to reach swimmers in trouble, we had a boat to save people out in the lake. Our boat had to be able to float to save someone from drowning. What would have happened if we got bored with the boat and decided to jazz it up?
We had green, 14-foot, john boats. Plain but effective. Someone might get the idea to throw out the life preservers in favor of a cooler. If a cooler is nice, maybe we can add a live well for catching fish while we’re not saving people. You know what I noticed? It’s hard to get into this boat. It rocks around when you step in. What if we mount it to the dock to stabilize it? No sooner does this happen, than someone comes along with a portable refrigerator, a boom box, and a big-screen television. Do you see the problem?
What started out as a boat that floats with a simple purpose, neither floats nor saves people from drowning. How did that happen? The original designer never added those things. The boat was built to fulfil a purpose. But that became boring. People thought they knew better than the builder. So, they added on and added on until the boat was no longer a boat and its prime function was forgotten.
The same thing goes for Christ’s church. It is a simple body of Christians with a purpose; seek the lost and encourage the saved. The simple gospel has the power to save (Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 15:3-5). We have plain, understandable ways to engage in worship to God (Mark 14:22-25; I Corinthians 14:15; 16:1-2; I Timothy 4:13). The Lord’s boat will float and it will save.
The problem lies in our fleshly desires and what we see as important. Maybe we would rather be entertained than saved. Are we more concerned with meeting our fleshly needs than building ourselves up in Spirit? If we don’t value what the church does, if we don’t believe in the power of the gospel to save, we will look to do something else with the church. Maybe we need to be reminded of the words of Paul, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”-I Timothy 1:15.
The church is the body of Christ, built by God for a simple purpose. If we make changes to it to suit us, when does it cease to be a church of Christ? When does a congregation become so different from the builders design that salvation can no longer be found in it? Shame on us if we let that happen.
Our God gave us inspired instruction so we, “may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”-I Timothy 3:15. Let’s renew our pledge to do the things God has shown us in his word. May we never add man-made things to the ship of the church which weigh her down and divert her purpose. Let’s treasure and maintain the simple gospel that saves and the plain church that shines the light of Christ in a lost and dying world of darkness.