A gospel preacher once went for a gospel meeting. He was impressed with what he found in the inviting congregation. It was warm and friendly. Especially, he was impressed with one of the members, a business man in the community. His store was closed in time for him to attend all of the services of the gospel meeting. In this he was like Lydia in Acts 16. Her purple selling business was closed for worship on Saturday. She did not know Sabbath observance had been nailed to the cross years before. She was still under abolished Judaism. The meeting closed and the preacher went on his way.
Years past and said congregation invited him for a second meeting. He looked forward to the return and having another fine meeting with them. The time arrived and he was at his preaching post. A couple of services passed and the business man was not present. He inquired, "Is he yet alive? Is he still living here? Is he still in business?" All answers were in the affirmative. Then came the sad refrain, "He has quit the church; he never darkens the door anymore!"
The very next day the preacher went to see him. The business man said promptly, "Preacher, I know I have quit the church but I have not denied my Lord!" But he had!!
The church cannot be severed from Christ. He is its builder. We cannot quit what He built and retain Him. He is the founder or foundation. We cannot quit what he founded, the church, and retain Him. He is the head. We cannot reject what He heads and remain loyal to Him. He is the Saviour. We cannot reject what He saves, the church, and keep Him. He has a kingdom and is its King (John 18:36). We cannot reject what He governs, the church or the kingdom, and retain Him.
In Ephesians. 5:32, Paul spoke of Christ and the church. He did not speak of Christ minus the church. He did not speak of the church minus the Christ. He surely did not say, "I speak of neither Christ nor the church."
We cannot quit the church and be loyal to the Lord of the church. This man could not. Neither can we!
Robert R. Taylor, Jr., Ripley Bulletin, June 18, 2006