Why the Church?
"Despite this wonderful news about our future, many are surprised to learn that our personal salvation is not [emphasis, Gerald's] the main reason why God is calling people in this present age."
"Isn't that [personal salvation] enough?" many will ask? The answer is an emphatic No!"
"Jesus gave His followers a great commission, articulated in Mark 16:15-16 and Matthew 28:18-20. As we have this divine commission as Christ's followers, is it okay to choose not [again, emphasis, Gerald's] to take an active part in fulfilling it? Paul tells us that Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Our Savior expects us to show outgoing concern for others. We must not sit back and wait for the Kingdom to come, as is the manner of some."
"Warn and walk away" is not what Jesus instructed...It should be evident that the Church is both to give the good news and to warn, with the hope that some will repent."
"Some who consider themselves part of the Church of God have disputed this point-either actively by misinterpreting the words of Scripture and proclaiming that there is nothing for us to do, or passively through laziness and inaction. So, are we to 'wait it out' until Christ returns, or are we to do a work?"
"Mr. Herbert Armstrong died in January of 1986--about 34 years ago. Most people alive today know nothing of him. Two whole generations have grown up since his death. We are thankful for what he did, but we must follow his example and be found so doing."
If the work you do in "spreading the gospel" does not begin with personal salvation and end in fruits produced by personal evangelism, then what kind of work is it?
"We may think of the Parable of the Minas in terms of developing ourselves personally rather than in terms of multiplying our minas outwardly. And what happens to the man who does nothing with his mina?"
The COG's take minas and consume them upon themselves. And then tell the providers of those minas to bury what they have from Christ because they are not qualified to use them.
"But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in." --Matthew 23:13
Your message is dead and year after year, you gather in your ministerial conferences, throw your arms in the air and make excuses like, "we can't figure out how to reach millenials" and "people are increasingly evil in this end time" and "we are not in the conversion business" and "real growth will be in the millenium."
You said, "We must not sit back and wait for the Kingdom to come, as is the manner of some." Does the evidence not show this is exactly what LCG is doing?
Why the Church? I guess it depends who you ask.
by Stoned Stephen Society