If the Lord himself teaches that the Church will struggle with the burden of countless sinners until the Day of Judgment, it is obviously futile to look for a Church totally free from faults.
Those who have found the presence and power of the spirit of Christ breathing in their ministers, either to their conversion, or edification, will be slow to change such a ministry of faith, and holiness, for the liberty of church order.
A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 57.
Thom Rainer did a study a number of years ago asking formerly unchurched people the open-ended question, “What factors led you to choose this church?” A lot of surveys had been done asking the unchurched what they would like in a church. But this study asked the formerly unchurched why they actually were now in a church. The results were surprising: 11 percent said worship style led them to their church, 25 percent said children’s/youth ministry, and 37 percent said they sensed God’s presence at their church. For 41 percent, someone from the church had witnessed to them, and 49 percent mentioned friendliness as the reason for choosing their church. Can you guess the top two responses? Doctrine and preaching – 88 percent said the doctrine led them to their church, and 90 percent said the preaching led them there, in particular, a pastor who preached with certitude and conviction… When it comes to reaching outsiders, bold, deep, biblical preaching is not the problem. It’s part of the solution.
The Secret to Reaching the Next Generation by Kevin DeYoung taken from Don’t Call it a Comeback, edited by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2011, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 27-28. Get this book!
May a merciful God preserve me from a Christian Church in which everyone is a saint! I want to be and remain in the church and little flock of the fainthearted, the feeble and the ailing, who feel and recognize the wretchedness of their sins, who sigh and cry to God incessantly for comfort and help, who believe in the forgiveness of sins.
Before Christ comes it is useless to expect to see the perfect church.
Don’t go where it is all fine music and grand talk and beautiful architecture; those things will neither fill anybody’s stomach, nor feed his soul. Go where the gospel is preached, the gospel that really feeds your soul, and go often.
If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all. And the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.
"Oh," says one, "I will join the church when I can find a perfect one." Then you will never join any. "But," you say, "perhaps I may." Well, but it will cease to be perfect as soon as it receives you into its membership.