Monday, May 04, 2009

Going up to Glory

Yes, I was in Glory yesterday. I wasn't snatched up as the Apostol Paul was; we drove up the mountain to this neighborhood about 45 minutes from Ponce. It was glorious--the hills around us were lush & green with rain clouds on top. The yard of the house we were meeting had fruit trees, coffee trees and lots of flowers.

We had about 25 people for the service, including 10 or so from the church in Ponce. There are at least 7 brethren who live in this neighborhood who, although they have not regularly attended any congregation live "good" lives, read the Bible, etc. There are even more who didn't come--like everyone else today they "don't have time". Brethren from Ponce used to come up and "hold services" here, even though some of the brethren have been Christians for close to 30 years and most of them for more than 25. Yes, the brethren from La Gloria lead prayer, the Lord's table, perhaps a song but the preaching and teaching was done by those from Ponce.

I was told yesterday that they had not met together for 13 years--a few of them would go to Ponce from time to time to worship with the church there, but most didn't. How did a church like this get to the point that they just quit meeting? I don't know all the details, but it seems that they were dependent on those from Ponce, so when they stopped helping the work quit.

When Christians are new they need help, but as time passes they should mature to the point that they need less and less help. Too often though, brethren become dependent on others--brethren from another congregation, the preacher, etc. "They/he can preach much better than I can, so why should I try?" "I don't really know what to say to a non-Christian so I'll just let Brother _______ talk to them."

God commands each Christian to grow, to whatever level they can. If they don't grow, not only will the church not grow: it will eventually die.


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