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A need to meet

May 1997 | by Gary Shepard

Someone once said, ‘Stop looking for the church that meets your needs and find the church that needs to meet and worship the Lord.’ These words are very appropriate for the many church samplers of our day. The raven that Noah sent out did not return, because it could live on the dead and rotting things left by the flood. But the dove he sent out returned because it could not. The unregenerate religious person can be satisfied on the offering of false religion. He seeks the church that has the ‘most to offer’ for his children, the most entertaining activities, the most social interaction and the least of those things that would interfere with his own plans and goals.

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ, while it truly meets the needs of the sinner through the gospel, is a body of believers that ‘needs to meet’! It is a living body whose Head is Christ. It is not an organization or club but a family of those who have been born into the family of God by the Holy Spirit. They need to meet and worship God. They must come together to sing the songs of Zion. They need to meet and hear God’s servant proclaim the gospel of God’s grace and glory. They need to be instructed, corrected and encouraged by his Word. They need to meet to jointly engage in efforts to help others and spread the gospel message. They need to meet for fellowship and prayer with their brothers and sisters in Christ. All these needs are met only when they assemble themselves together for the purpose of worshipping and glorifying God.

I am greatly concerned for the spiritual condition of those who are simply seeking the church that meets their needs, especially when they really do not know what the Bible says their needs are. Does not the Spirit of God lead his people to meet and guide them to those whom they are to meet with? does he not lead his servant to feed the sheep with what they need, though it might not be what they think they need? But I am equally concerned about those who seem not to need to meet. Our times together for meeting spiritual needs are brief compared to the time we spend at work, play, sleeping and eating. The Sunday night and mid-week services are as much needed as the Sunday morning one. The true believer needs to meet to worship with the church that needs to meet. And when he does, his needs are met!