bits from bob....
Hope, Help, and Home--#2
by Robert J. Young
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
If the church is to touch a world plagued by alienation, impersonal relationships, loneliness, isolation, and hostility, we must model what it means to be "church." We must point people to Christ as the only way to reconciliation with God, and offer Bible teaching, preaching, and opportunities for service and growth that will help Christians serve God faithfully. But our world first will demand to know if we are a community of belonging. The gospel calls individuals out of loneliness into caring, supportive relationships with others. So must we!
Consider our title. Think with me for a moment. How can we effectively reach out with the message of Jesus Christ? Every person needs three homes:
- 1. A HOME, usually shared with a physical family, should provide security and acceptance.
- 2. A church home should make hope, HELP, belonging, and healing from the hurts of life available.
- 3. A heavenly home provides a destiny one can anticipate with HOPE.
These "homes" suggest that people need three families. These three concepts also focus the task of the church in our society.
- First, consider the physical family. In a mobile, distanced society, the church is often called upon to provide networks and connections usually provided in the physical family. Extended families are often miles away. Generations are "out of touch." Three-generation homes are rare. Divorce is rampant. What does the HOME look like to God? Is there any HELP anywhere? Is there any HOPE? Through whatever means are available-- Bible classes, seminars, small group videos, or discussion groups--we must seek to enrich, encourage, and strengthen families and marriages. Let this church be a place of HOME!
- Second, think about the church family. Do your friends and neighbors have a church home? It would be a wonderful thing in communities across our land if every person attended church every week. "Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Eph. 5:25). It would be good if every person loved what Jesus loved. We may cynically respond, "But they do not!" True, but millions (literally!) are searching for a spiritual family to share the journey and help carry the burdens. Across the land, people are turning and returning to spiritual roots. In our own community, many seek a spiritual HOME--an uplifting, warm, loving fellowship which provides security, acceptance, and belonging. Is there a place where Christians worship God and celebrate Christ's salvation and victory in praise? What a picture of the first century church! Is it our picture? Let this church be a place of HELP!
- Finally, dream about the heavenly home. Here is our destiny--our destination. Here is direction for life. God wants everyone to know him, to be saved. God wants us to be "friends for eternity." This world is not our home. We look to the future. Let this church be a place of HOPE!
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Last updated January 7, 2002.