“21And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach,” (Colossians 1:21-22; NASB).
In our consumeristic society, far too many people are looking for the perfect church. As we survey the vast landscape of churches that pepper our cities, we tend to seek out churches that are able to at least give the impression of having everything together. There is no difficulty, no strife, no sin, no disagreement, and no hardship of any kind. Every couple has a perfect marriage, every kid is perfectly behaved, and the pastor always seems to have the perfect answer. These churches are able to offer the façade of perfection. These churches are fake.
The church of God will not be perfect until glory. We are a family and, in this fallen world, there is no such thing as a perfect family. There will always be a certain amount of dysfunction in every family this side of the veil, even the family of God. So what is it that distinguishes the church from the world?
The world has to seek out familial bonds through worldly commonalities. Men will bind together within 12-step programs out of a desire to kick bad habits. They will join political action committees, gamer societies, lodges sworn to secrecy, homeschool associations, gangs sports fan clubs, etc. The world has no shortage of reasons for people to bind together, and not all of them are bad. However, the church is not bound together by anything this world can offer. She cannot be.
What binds the church together, according to Colossians 1:22, is the death of Christ. In our fellowships, we might have gamers, political junkies, former drunkards, homeschoolers, sports fans, etc., but none of these should define our fellowship. When we gather as the people of God, we gather as those who have been reconciled to one another and reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). My brother might be edified by my love for DC Comics and Alfred Hitchcock movies, or he might not. What I can be assured of, though, is that he is edified by Christ. Thus, however different we may be, we should be able to find great commonality in Christ.
What is your church’s reputation? Is it the homeschool church? The biker church? The cowboy church? The pretty, plastic, perfect church? The combative church? What must define the church is a centrality on Christ, His gospel, and His holy Word. In Him we find our commonality, because He alone is able to reconcile all men to one another and to Himself.
Do you desire to offer refreshment to your fellow saints this week? Exalt Christ in all you say and do. By doing so, you will either refresh your fellow saints or find yourself being marginalized because of your church’s worldliness. Let this be a true test of your fellowship in Christ.