“What? Have ye not houses to eat and drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in his? I praise you not.” (I Cor. 11:22). 1. The Corinthian church had either partaken of the Lord’s Supper as a common meal or had mixed their fellowship meals with the supper. In doing so some had brought a bountiful meal and the poor had nothing so some were hungry and others were full. Disregard for one another was prevalent and thus they had despised the church of God. The Lord’s supper is a beautiful memorial of the death of Christ for our sins. The Bread represents the body of Christ which was broken for us. The fruit of the vine in the cup represents the New Testament in Christ’s blood. The Lord enjoined that both are to be partaken of in “remembrance of me.” The Lord’s supper is also to show to the world the death of our Lord. It is to be partaken of until Jesus comes again. (I Cor. 11:23-26). We are to look into our hearts as we partake of the supper being sure we remember his death (I Cor. 11:28). Otherwise we will be eating and drinking damnation to ourselves (I Cor. 11:29). The Corinthians had failed to partake of the supper as they should and in their failure they showed that they despised the church of God. 2. In our day some must despise the church of God because they do not tell people how to get into it. The Lord adds the saved to the church (Acts 2:47). When the people of Bible times asked what to do to be saved they were told “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38). In many religions today when the question of what to do to be saved is asked, people are told to pray a certain prayer or to have faith only and they will be saved. Such was not done in Bible times and cannot be proven by the scriptures. People never became members of the church of God by prayer or faith only. The Corinthians were called the “church of God which is at Corinth” and what made them members was hearing, believing and being baptized (Acts 18:8). The same steps makes us members of the church of God today. Please don’t despise the church of God but obey the gospel so you can be saved and be a member of it. 3. Some despise the church of God because of the Bible teaching on it being the one body of Christ (Eph.4:4). “But now are they many members, yet but one body.” (I Cor. 12:20). When we of the restoration movement show the world this oneness they immediately ask, “do you think that only the members of your church are going to be saved?” We are quick to point out that we have no church but are simply trying to be congregations of the church of God as revealed in the Bible. Involved in this is going back to the Bible pattern for the church. We teach its origin, doctrine and practices as revealed in the Bible. Christ is the Savior of the church which is his body (Eph. 5:23; 1:22, 23). To be congregations of His church we must speak as the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. We must do Bible things in Bible ways and call Bible things by Bible names. We are busy trying to be what the Lord wants us to be. The Lord knows who are his and these he adds to the church of God. Our confidence is in carrying out the Lord’s will to the best of our abilities. We want to be saved and added to the church of God by our Lord. Then we want to be careful not to leave the Lord’s way once we have found it. We want to be faithful until death so we can have the crown of life (Rev. 2:10). 4. Some show that they despise the church of God by making churches pleasing to themselves. They evidently do not think God’s church is good enough because they feel they can improve on it. People should remember that the way of man is not in himself (Jer. 10:23). All people need to start listening to God as He reveals what He wants of men in the New Testament. It is not for us to establish religions that please us but we should fear God and work righteousness so we will be accepted of Him (Acts 10:34,3 5). 5. Some show despite to the church of God by living unfaithful lives. They continually criticize those who are striving to do the right things while they walk as enemies of the cross of Jesus. Of them the Lord said, “whose end is destruction” (Phil. 3:18,19). The church of God is built by God and is a perfect gift. Do not despise it. Be a part of it. Enjoy its benefits.
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