Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly

Acts 6:4

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word."



1 Timothy 4:6-16

" If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim 4:6-16 (KJV)

"Making Disciples, the True Purpose of the Church" By Shane C. Montgomery

Friday, March 4, 2011
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.              Matt 28:18-20 (KJV)

 When reading the Great Commission we are confronted with a responsibility.  Fairly straight forward, "Go", "Teach" and "Baptize."   and verse 20 follows up with this... "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you....." and ends with a reminder that Christ will be with us all the way if we are faithful.  "...and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."   Better words of comfort have never been spoken, I can assure you friends.

   What we read here is a command from our Lord to make Disciples.  The church today is a very busy place indeed, we seem to be about the business of just about everything, from youth group outings and video game parties to young singles mixers to young couples night out (complete with babysitting in the church nursery.)  All these things are not bad, but they are not in anyway making disciples.   Just how does watching young children at the church while the parents go out for the night make disciples?  How does dropping your kid off at church after school for two hours of X-Box tournaments make your kid a disciple?  We are about just about everything except making disciples, rather sad.

  Do we believe that this commission comes from one who holds no authority?  What about when Jesus said this...  "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."    Matt 28:18 (KJV)
That my friends is complete and total authority! The kind of authority we would be wise to heed.  I am not blogging this simply because Christ's Churches have lost their way, but rather I am worried that His Churches have been taken over,  somewhere along the way there was a mutiny.  Somewhere along the way, His Churches have been taken over by the members, Christ, I fear has removed His Candlestick from many of these churches.  

  How else could we explain the fact that so many of these churches, once belonging to Christ have now swapped owners, I hear it all the time, Christ does not own these churches, "Well, at My church, we do things this way..." or "We are studying the new Rick Warren book at Our church" 

 I am sure you have heard this same talk yourself, everyone claims a stake in the Church, but most have forgotten, it ain't ours!   The Church, all true Churches, belong to Christ!  Given to Him from The Father.   Now do not say I am splitting hairs here, because I am not.  The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

   Too many churches have kicked Christ out.  They might well pay Him "lip service" but in their hearts, they are conniving how they can indulge in their idols, right here in the church.  Finding more and more ways to bring the things of the world into His house.  Finding ways to improve upon The Lord's Church, not such a great idea.   Does the church need improvement?  Yes, but in making disciples, not in making idols!   What I mean by this is simply this, read the Great Commission once more, "Go, Teach, Baptize!"   That is it folks!   Go out and find them, bring them in, teach them, teach them what you ask?  "All things that Christ has commanded!"  and Baptize them.  Do we understand how truly important water baptism is?   What better way to show a repentant heart the love of Christ or even the life and sacrifice of Christ on their behalf?   Water baptism portrays the meaning of the Gospel in a nutshell.   We have to baptize.  We have to teach, we have to Go, we have to do all the things we hate to do.  Oh, what's that?  We don't hate to fulfill this Commission?   Oh yes we do!   Why else have we taken something as special as Christ's Church and turned it into a restricted country club?  Why else have we made His Church mostly about tithing and money offerings.  Why else have we made it into youth group fun time and couples retreats, how about Pastor's retreats for that matter, listen Pastors, if you need to go away to find yourself for a month, you have no business being a minister of the Lord!   Stop worrying about who "You"  are and start preaching who "Christ" is!   It is not about you brother, not about your hunting trips, your wifes cooking, your vacation, its not about your clothes, or your smile, or your knowledge, it is all about Christ!  Sometimes that is hard to remember, but we must.  It is not the Pastor's church, it is not the Members church, it is not the Deacons or the Elders, it is all His, all Christ, every pew, Bible, chair, rug, curtain, pencil, door, coat rack, all of it brother.  None of it is ours.  Maybe we should tell ourselves this from time to time.

  The Church was never intended to be a clubhouse, country club, night club, concert hall, recreation room, youth center, marriage counseling place, etc... it is a place to come and worship and make disciples.   Are we doing this?   Let me ask you, is His candlestick yet in your church?   Has Christ removed Himself?  Has The Holy Spirit forsaken you and your worship?   Are people being converted?  Is the Gospel being preached?   Is the whole council of God's Will being taught?  Have you replaced that boring two hour sermon from Scripture with a 15 minute stand up comedy routine that you try to pass for preaching?   God sends His Spirit to churches that are faithfully preaching the Word, who are faithfully observing the sacraments.  That are making disciples, going, teaching, preaching, and baptizing.    You might say that "Your church is effective and that is proof of God's blessing."   But that is a lie.  If I wanted to join an organization, I would join the "VFW", they have better food.   People are looking for something real, something tangible, something they can chew on, something that will make them grow in Christ and make them holier.  They want to be prepared for Heaven, not for college, or marriage, or that promotion, they want Christ, so give it to them.  They want God's Word, not yours, so give it to them!   

  Being a Great Commission Church will cost you, you just might lose members, your visitor ratio might drop, those who return for a second or third visit might fall off, but keep in mind, we are not running for political office here, we are not looking for more Facebook friends, we are making disciples.   Those who leave because we wish to be Biblical in our worship and duties, will leave, they are not converted to begin with, maybe someday they will be, Lord willing.  We cannot worry about numbers, that is out of our hands.  If we start playing the numbers game we are sure to fail, we will trick ourselves into listening to Satan and not Christ, we will be corrupted big time.  We will start to change things, reducing sermon times, leaving out prayers, cutting out catechism class, and so on.  We must not allow this to happen.  If we remain faithful to our commission, then Christ will make sure those whom truly belong to Him will stay, those visitors who are His will return, those lost souls in your neighborhood whom God desires to be saved will be converted, but not through country club activities, but through Going, Teaching and Baptizing.  

  Let me ask you one last thing if I may.  We have so many churches in our cities, each neighborhood is densely populated with evangelical churches.  Most are "effective" in that they are growing, financially secure, popular and well known.   This is all true.... but let me ask you this, if you are being faithful to your commission, then how is it effecting your neighborhood?   How much has crime rates dropped?  Are your streets safer now?  Is drug use down, among teens, among adults? How about drinking?   Are their fewer abortions?  Fewer divorces?  Fewer cases of domestic violence?  Are fewer families going without food?  Do kids still go to bed hungry in your town?   Has hate, racism, lust, rape, robberies, vandalism, pride, murders all been reduced?    No,..... then maybe we have more work to do.    

   I have an idea, lets start by giving Christ back His Church and forgetting about our pride and start taking the Great Commission serious.

Be Holy!


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