Why we need the church

PrayerGroup
Article copyright 2015 by Bob Rogers
As a hospital chaplain, I often meet people who believe in God but don’t believe in the church. Some are angry with the church, and many just don’t have any motivation to be connected to a church. They are fed up with the hypocrites. I get that– I’ve been one of those hypocrites. They are tired of church fights. I get that, too. One guy told me, “I can catch hell at home; I don’t need it at church.”
Yet I submit that we need the church. (I’m talking about the people, not a building. The early church met in houses, and many meet in homes today.) In fact, we cannot be biblical Christians apart from the church. Why do I say that?

1. We can’t use our spiritual gifts without the church. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers, but it is always in the context of the church. Romans 12:5-6 talks about how we are all part of the body of Christ as we have different gifts. It says in 1 Corinthians 12:7-12 that every believer is given a spiritual gift for the common good, because we are all part of the body of Christ. Prophesying, teaching, serving, giving, leading, showing mercy, and so many other spiritual gifts are either done among members of the church or together with members of the church.
2. We can’t show we are disciples without the church. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). We are told to serve each other, teach each other, feed each other, pray for each other, encourage each other. I may know I’m a disciple but I can’t show I’m a disciple if I sit at home alone and don’t show love for fellow believers. No wonder Hebrews 10:25 commands believers not to forsake gathering ourselves together, but instead to encourage each other.
3. We can’t experience God’s greatest presence without the church. Matthew 18:19-20 tells Christians to agree together in prayer, and where two or three are gathered that way, God is there. God is real in private prayer, but this is a clear scriptural promise that God is present in a greater way when we pray together. No wonder the Psalmist proclaimed, “Better a day in Your courts, than a thousand anywhere else!” (Psalm 84:10).
4. We can’t take communion without the church. By definition, the Lord’s Supper is meal of Christians gathered together to remember the body and blood of Christ given for us upon the cross. In 1 Corinthians 11:17-26, the apostle Paul continually uses the phrase “come together” to describe observance of the Lord’s Supper.

Christ died for the church.
Christ is the builder of the church.
Christ is the head of the church.
Christ is the shepherd of the church.
Christ is the groom for His bride, the church.
Christ is coming again for the church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against His church!

Jesus in Every Book of the Bible

Originally posted on Bob Rogers:

In Genesis, Jesus is the Ram at Abraham’s altar
In Exodus, He’s the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus He’s the High Priest
In Numbers He’s the Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by night
In Deuteronomy He’s the City of our refuge
In Joshua He’s the Scarlet Thread out Rahab’s window
In Judges He is our Judge
In Ruth He is our Kinsman Redeemer
In 1st and 2nd Samuel He’s our Trusted Prophet
And in Kings and Chronicles He’s our Reigning King
In Ezra He’s our Faithful Scribe
In Nehemiah He’s the Rebuilder of everything that is broken
And in Esther He is the Mordecai sitting faithful at the gate
In Job He’s our Redeemer that ever lives
In Psalms He is my Shepherd and I shall not want
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes He’s our Wisdom
And in the Song of Solomon He’s the Beautiful Bridegroom
In Isaiah He’s the…

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Guest Blog: “20 Sayings that Do Not Bring Comfort”

ComfortFriend

Article copyright 2015 by Jan Moore

(The following guest post is from my friend, Jan Moore. She ministers as a volunteer chaplain at the same hospital where I work, and is a very involved in other ministry in her own church and community. She and her husband recently experienced the loss of their son. Below she shares 20 things not to say to someone who has just lost a loved one. I’m reminded that Job’s three friends actually comforted Job when they sat with him and wept with him in silence ( Job 2:11-13). It was when they opened their mouths that they caused Job pain. May Jan’s list below be a caution to each of us before we open our mouths.)

My son Jeffrey died three months ago at age 24.  His death was unexpected and tragic and left his family shocked and devastated.  Our lives have been changed forever.

I have been blessed by the comforting presence of my priest, fellow chaplains, good friends.  They have known that there are no words that can truly help so they show their love by hugs, touches, and smiles. They do not need details and do not expect me to ‘get over this and move on’ any time soon.

The comments I have listed below were made by people who I also consider friends:  fellow churchgoers, neighbors, relatives.  I do believe they thought they were being of comfort, but they were not.  I do not believe they meant to cause me even more pain, but they did.

I know some bother me because of my own theology but still I think we need to be sensitive to everyone’s beliefs. Here is the list:

  1. You don’t seem to be yourself anymore.  What’s wrong?
  2. You aren’t smiling as much as you used to.  What’s wrong?
  3. God wanted another angel in heaven.
  4. Jeffrey was too good for this world.
  5. God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.
  6. God will lead you to it and then He’ll get you through it.
  7. Jeffrey would not want you to be sad (or grieving or angry).
  8. God is testing your faith.
  9. God is testing your call to ministry.
  10. I wonder why God took Jeffrey and not (fill in the blank).
  11. Now you have your own guardian angel looking after you.
  12. Now what exactly caused his death?
  13. I understand exactly how you feel.  My grandma died when she was 96 and it just killed me.
  14. Stay busy and you’ll feel better quicker.
  15. Well, at least you have one child left.
  16. How’s your marriage doing?  A lot of times, people divorce after the death of a child.
  17. Well, it won’t be that long before you join Jeffrey in heaven.
  18. Was Jeffrey baptized?
  19. Where’s God when you need Him?
  20. Why did God let this happen?

What the Bible Says about Homosexuality May Surprise You

What the Bible Says about Homosexuality May Surprise You.

The purpose of marriage, according to Genesis

The purpose of marriage, according to Genesis.

Poem: “Glory”

Originally posted on Bob Rogers:

Copyright 2014 by Bob Rogers

SunsetBrunswick

Glory

Things from nothing

Man from dust

Sin from perfection

Evil from innocence

Promise from faith

Hope from belief

Laws from above

Commands from Him

Failure from obedience

Despair from hope

Love for hate

Blood for anyone

Light in darkness

Peace in war

Crying to joy

Death to life

Glory

X

X

X

X

(If you see a video ad below this post, please understand that I have no control over these ads, and that I do not necessarily endorse the product.)

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How to Deal with Difficult People

Originally posted on Bob Rogers:

Copyright 2012 by Bob Rogers

Your child is wronged by another child, and when you try to talk to her parents, they tell you off.
A fellow church member gets angry with you and refuses to talk to you.
A friend always interrupts you, and you want to be friends but you always get frustrated with the conversation.
A fellow worker never shows you respect, always going over your head.
How do you deal with difficult people?

Whenever there was a disagreement in church business meetings or family squabbles, my Grandfather Rogers loved to quote Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

This verse is the pivotal verse in the passage, Romans 12:14-21. It recognizes two important facts about dealing with difficult people: 1) we should live at peace with people, and 2) it’s not always possible. In fact…

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The big preacher who made a grand entrance

Originally posted on Bob Rogers:

Copyright 2012 by Bob Rogers

A large church had a rather large guest preacher one Sunday who made a grand entrance like none other.
The congregation had just heard a concert by a gospel band. The big preacher had been sitting behind the stage, enjoying the music. The music was over, and it was time for him to preach.
Since he was sitting behind the stage, the preacher had to step over wires and chords running to the keyboard, electric guitars and speakers that were used by the band. Unfortunately, as he made his way to the pulpit, his foot caught in one of the wires.
As he lost his balance, the portly preacher stumbled, but did not fall. Almost in slow motion, the preacher prevailed and sailed across the stage, maintaining enough balance to keep from falling, but not enough balance to straighten up. With arms flailing, he finally…

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David the King Meets B.B. King

Originally posted on Bob Rogers:

Copyright 2015 by Bob Rogers

DavidHarpB.B. King Celebrates His 10,000th Concert

Imagine if legendary blues singer B.B. King died and went to heaven, and met King David, singer of the psalms. What would their conversation be like? Here’s how I imagine it:

B.B.: Are you David? Nice to meet you, sir. My name is Riley B. King, but my friends call me B.B.

David: Why do they call you B.B.?

B.B.: It stands for Blues Boy. You know, David, we have a lot in common!

David: What’s that?

B.B.: Both born in small towns, you in Bethlehem, and me in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Both played stringed instruments, you the harp and me the guitar. This is my guitar, Lucille. And we both sang the blues.

David: I’m glad you recognize that. When people think of my psalms, they may think of praises to God. But if you really read the psalms, you will find that many…

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Book review: “Mark Twain: A Life” by Ron Powers

TwainPowers I just finished reading Mark Twain: A Life, by Pulitzer-prize winning biographer, Ron Powers (Free Press, 2006). This is an in-depth biography of the famous writer and humorist Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. At times, it seems too detailed, as it covers more than I wanted to know. Nevertheless, Powers does an excellent job of helping the reader understand the complexities of the man, and he also helps the reader understand American culture during the 19th century, as the two are so closely intertwined. This is a biography, not a literary critique, so Powers does not put heavy emphasis on analyzing Twain’s writing, although he does give a balanced discussion of how literary critics have judged his works, with special attention to his greatest work, Huckleberry Finn.
Some new things that I learned about Twain:
*he traveled extensively as a young adult and for the rest of his life
*he had a lost love that he never forgot
*he had a fierce temper
*he believed in God, but was turned off by the hypocrisy he saw in church, causing him to struggle in his faith
*he was a sucker for bad investments, but famously paid off his debts
*he had friendships with famous Americans, such as Henry Ward Beecher, William Dean Howells, Helen Keller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ulysses S. Grant
*he almost fought a battle against Ulysses S. Grant, but later became a close friend of Grant, and published Grant’s autobiography
*during his latter years, he turned to political satire
*the context of some of his famous one-liners
Speaking of one-liners, I must mention a few of my favorites from the book:
“Preachers are always pleasant company when they are off duty.”
“I worked in a bookstore, but didn’t like it because the customers bothered me so much I could not read with any comfort.”
“He would rather decline two drinks than one German verb.”
“The new hobbies in the election year 1876 are politics and pornography. But I repeat myself.”
“Do you know why Balaam’s ass spoke Hebrew? Because he was a he-brayist.”
“When I was a boy everybody was poor but didn’t know it; and everybody was comfortable and did know it.”
“You can’t pray a lie– I found that out.” (quote of Huckleberry Finn)
“The report of my death was an exaggeration.”
If you love Mark Twain and American history, and you don’t mind reading a long book, you will enjoy this biography. If you don’t want to wade through 736 pages to learn about Twain’s life, or if you are more interested in a literary analysis of his writings than the story of his life, you may want to read a different biography.

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