And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:47 (KJV)
Scripture provides such rich imagery concerning the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Repeatedly in Scripture, we are reminded that Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom of the Church. In fact, the great celebration at the consummation of history is said to be a marriage supper, and in some ways, earthly marriages are but a faint picture of the union of Jesus Christ to His Bride. She is described as a radiant bride, adorned for her husband in Revelation 21:2.
And yet, the church has fallen on hard times in our day. Perhaps, appeals for people to “accept Jesus as Saviour” to escape hell, without giving any instruction for following Christ as Lord, bears some of the blame. In any event, when the gospel was preached in the first century, Scripture makes it clear that those who were saved, were added to the church. The late theologian, John Stott, has said, “The Lord didn’t add them to the church without saving them, and he didn’t save them without adding them to the church.” Kevin DeYoung adds, “The New Testament knows nothing of churchless Christianity. The invisible church is for invisible Christians. The visible church is for you and me.”
While church membership is not taught explicitly in Scripture, it is implied in many passages, such as Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.” And church membership is to be viewed as a great blessing! Becoming a member is joining hearts with fellow believers, who love you, who wish to encourage you when you are down, strengthen you when you are weak, and perhaps even rebuke you when you wander astray. If you are regular in attendance here, but are not a member, I would encourage you in that direction. This is not a perfect church, but this is a gospel church! Let’s join hearts and link arms and serve our great Bridegroom as fellow members of Newcastle Fellowship Baptist Church!