By Mike Riley
The sole business of the church is about souls (Matthew 16:24-27; cf. Psalm 49:6-8; Psalm 49:15). In fact, the church is souls in love with God and with one another (Matthew 22:36-40; cf. Romans 13:8-10; James 2:8).
The church is souls worshiping, weeping, and rejoicing together (1 Corinthians 14:15; 1 Corinthians 12:13-27). The church is looking up in praise, inward in penitence, outward in practice, and forward in promise (Hebrews 13:12-15; 2 Corinthians 7:4-11; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 10:12-25; Hebrews 12:22-24.
The church is hearts knit together whose spirits share together (Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:31-37; 2 Corinthians 8-9).
The term “church” in the Greek literally means “assembly,” indicating community and brotherhood. The Lord’s church does not exist simply to “beautify” the neighborhood, but to “personify” brotherhood.
The church is not a physical building of brick or wood, but a spiritual house of saved men and women in fellowship with God and with one another (Ephesians 2:10-22; 1 Peter 2:5-10; Hebrews 3:4-6; Ephesians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 1:1-3).
A good illustration of the fellowship we should have with one another is that of the huge redwood trees in California. These trees are the largest and tallest living things on our planet. Some of them are 300 feet tall and over 2,500 years old.
One would think that a tree so large must have a tremendous root system that reaches down hundreds of feet into the earth, but that isn’t the case. These trees grow in groves — very rarely do we see a tree off to itself. If we were to examine the redwood’s root system, we would find that all of the roots intertwine (scroll down to middle of pg.). No tree is alone, for all of the trees support and protect one another. Each tree is important to all other trees in the grove.
Brethren, the church should be like these redwood trees — souls intertwined with one another in fellowship (Ephesians 4:11-16). Without Christ, the church is nothing (John 15:5; cf. Philippians 4:13). And without fellowship, the church is useless (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:15-17).
As God’s people, we must fellowship one another, in order to demonstrate the love of Christ to a world of folks lost in sin (John 13:34-35; 1 John 5:16-21; cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).
If we are not willing to participate in godly fellowship here on earth with fellow Christians, none of us will ever see that heavenly realm, where eternal fellowship with God and Christ will exist (Revelation 21:1-3; cf. Revelation 3:20-22; John 14:1-3).