Love the Local Church

The local is the outcrop of the universal church.

— P.T. Forsyth

Every Sunday morning, I enter through the doors of a place I consider to be my home, my sanctuary, and (in many ways) my hiding place on earth: Roswell Alliance Church. As I enter, I am always filled with joy to be in the house of the Lord, and that I am about to worship the One true God with friends and family.

I thank God every day for bringing me to Roswell Alliance Church, guiding me in my service there, and leading me to many great friendships. I have seen many churches in my lifetime that vary from the attendance size, to the buildings, and to the teachings. I can confidently say that right now I am completely content with where I worship.

I don’t often bring up my own personal life into the blog (save for a couple of articles that were based on personal events that occurred), and I have never mentioned my gratitude for my church. There is a great, abundant love that goes to my Pastor Alex Karaninskiy for several reasons: 1) he teaches the Bible accurately and faithfully, 2) he is a man of God and a close friend, and 3) he was the one who invited me to Roswell Alliance and helped me discover a wonderful congregation of Christian brothers and sisters.

Had it not been for my pastor, and him walking with me in my faith, I don’t think I would be the same today. He has taught me many things, and he has inspired me many times to claim that my surety stands on Scripture alone and in Christ alone, to love people with a pastoral mindset, and to rest on God’s call for my life and to be true to it. There are not many pastors or elders like him today, and I will always be grateful for his ministry at my church.

With the rise of mega churches and shallow teaching, finding a good local church is very difficult and almost impossible at times. I got to meet a wonderful couple at the G3 Conference who opened up to me that they were finding a local church that was faithful to the Scriptures, biblical in practice, and were godly in their views. My heart ached for them and my heart was constantly in prayer because I can’t imagine how difficult it is to not be a memeber of a congregation, or to be in a church that lacked the Scriptures. Thankfully, they have found a body of believers they are in communion with, but their tears were many in between finding churches. That is why I am grateful that I am with Roswell Alliance Church becuase it is not a shallow church, but a church that stands for objective, biblical truth.

We must always remember that there are few things that are greater than the fellowship one has with the people of the faith. The writer in Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) said the following concerning fellowship, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Until Christ comes back, it is important to be rooted in a local church that stand on the basis of  the Word of God, practices godly ministry, concerns themselves with missions, has biblical worship, and has a body of believers that will be there for you. Accountability, fellowship, and discussions on the Bible are of much value to anyone who considers themselves, as Paul reffered to it in 1 Corinthians 12:13 (ESV), “baptized into one body.”

I am absolutely grateful for the worship, biblical exegesis, and communion with my fellow brothers and sisters at Roswell Alliance Church. I have made good friendships with many who are there and I know that it will last for a long, long time. Are there disagreements? Yes…but name me one family that doesn’t. That is why we shouldn’t just be looking for the “perfect church” that fits all of our criteria that might actually be based on legalism, but one that will encourage us to strive to become like Christ until He comes back. I thank everyone who is at Roswell Alliance Church for being incredible people and people who grow daily, young and old alike, in a new-found life found in Jesus Christ. May we all continue as one for the sake of Christ, and His glory.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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