The Purpose Of The Church is to do God’s business. The original civil Ekklesia of the city of Corinth was the assembly of citizens of the town for the purpose of discussing the affairs of the city, and conducting the business of the city, according to the will of the citizens. They might have been discussing the affairs of new traffic lights, or disputing the question of whether or not Corinth really needed a new supermarket in an already heavily commercialised area. There were many such things they might have discussed. But the will of the people was the purpose of the assembly.

But in church, it is the will of God that is the purpose of the assembly. Jesus’s disciples asked him once how to pray, and Jesus replied “When ye pray, say “Our Father, Thy will be done on earth”. Too many Christians worry about what the will of God for their life should be, but what they should be more concerned about is what the will of God on earth should be.

Therefore, the world doesn’t need any more civic ekklesias of town citizens. There are plenty of them already. The world doesn’t need any more town councils. What the world needs now, more than anything else, is God’s ekklesias. The world needs God’s people meeting together to do God’s business. That is the priority, because that is what brings Christ into the midst of us, to change the locality immediately around us.

Jesus said “Behold, I come to do thy will, O God – A body hast though prepared me”. And the assembly of God’s people is the body of Christ, each member in particular making a living sacrifice of themselves in order to prove and discern what is the perfect will of God on earth.

Jesus said “Ye are not of this world, but I have chosen (‘drafted’) you out of the world”, just as God called and forcibly extracted the Israelites from Egypt, so that they could serve Him in a place and manner unhindered by the world. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit. If you love me, keep my commandments.” Thus, the commandment of Christ is to assemble together. It achieves His spiritual, perfect, and fully operational presence, in any locality on earth, in order that God’s will be done on earth… …and specifically in your locality.

The local church should have priority over foreign missions, because correct missionary enterprise flows from a correctly established local church, and the purpose of missions is to plant churches worldwide, therefore a mission must not supplant or demote the very ideal and mechanism which brings it into existence. Yet this is what has happened: During the 20th century, most strands of denominational Christianity, seeking to justify themselves in an increasingly secular world, and to maintain tax concessions from government, have retreated from the task of local evangelisation at home, and instead rebranded themselves as a charitable force and as international aid providers. Thus many local churches have been psychologically coerced by their denominations (working in tandem with corporate charity and para-church missionary organisations) into believing that the real work and cutting-edge of the gospel is only on the overseas mission field, rendering local churches at home as mere collection stations existing only to channel funding and attention to overseas missions. Local evangelism has thus all but ceased, and with it, the self esteem, purpose, and indeed existence of the local church.

Therefore, Christians today worry disproportionately about foreign missions. They worry about the will of God in Somalia, or Bosnia, or South Africa, or China, but what they should be worrying about is what the will of God in their town is. What is the will of God for your unsaved neighbour? What is the will of God for your street? You can never know the answer to that, nor fulfill it, if you do not take your place in the assembly that God has pleased Himself to place you in at a local church.

For in this church age, the will of God is performed on earth in specific locations, according to the localities of churches that God has placed individual Christians in. These churches are local representations of the body of Christ, comprised of members in particular, ie, parts of that body, assembled together, not to conduct the business of the town they live in, but to conduct God’s business in the town that they live in. The work of God is not a distant foreign mission. The work of God is where you are.

Therefore, do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, because it conflicts with the will of God. Not that God’s ultimate and eternal will can be frustrated by men – Because he is too powerful and has already ordained the future. But woe be to those who attempt to frustrate the will of God through neglect or transgression of the commands of Christ. (Hebrews 10:25-28 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is… …He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.”)



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