When it comes to God’s
fold Purpose for the Church, it’s not a question of which one is most important. Godhasn’t given us a choice. We must exalt Him, edify the Body, and evangelize the lost. When
it comes to the
reason for the Church’s existence, it’s to Exalt Him. When it comes to the reason the church exists as a gatheredcommunity, it’s to edify, build one another up to Christ
But, when it comes to why the Church exists in the world
—it’s to evangelize.
The first actions of the first disciples were evangelistic. Andrew found Simon and brought him to Jesus. Philipfound Nathaniel and led him to the Lord. Jesus told his disciples that He would make
them “fishers of men”
(Matthew 4:19). The first commandment of the risen Lord w
as evangelistic. “As by the Father has sent Me, I
send you” (John 20:21
The first directive of the Great Commission is evangelistic. “
Go into all the world andproclaim the gospel to
all people” (Mark 16:15
). At the birth of the church, the writer (Luke) emphasized that afterPeter proclaimed the Truth
there were added about three thous
and souls...” (Acts 2:14
-41).Unfortunately, many local churches have lost perspective. They measure success in terms of how many peopleattend the church, how financially stable they are, or what kind of building they have. They measure in terms of activities, and busy agendas, or even in the presence of sound beliefs and teaching.
Year ago a man by the name of Wahlstrom purchased an old bombsight and took it apart to see what made it work. As hebegan to put it back together, he decided to add to it some spare parts he had from other projects. Over time, friends andneighbors took an interest in the matter and started bringing him parts and pieces, which he incorporated into hiscontraption. Over a period of about ten years, he added to his machine hundreds of wheels and cogs, belts and whistlesand gears and who knows what all until the thing
“a marvel to behold.” became
He would throw the switch, and the
machine’s thousand parts would begin to move. Wheels turned, lights flashed, bells rang, and belts whirred. The devicecame to be known as "Wahlstrom’s Wonder." It was incredible.
Once a spectator asked,
it DO?” The answer:“It doesn’t do
While there was a lot of activity, what was all the activity for?
Similarly, local churches must continue to keep God’s purposes in focus.
Our agenda (priorities, allotment of time,and activities) are to be ordered by the Word of God, not by the agendas of people following their culturalexpectations set by the traditions of men.
To help us stay clearly focused, we need to be clear about what the Bible teaches about