If you spend enough time in church you will soon be enlightened to the fact that sometimes we, as Christians, are not very nice to one another. You see Christian tearing down Christian. You hear gossip from one believer about another believer. You see people in the church gang up on an individual in the church for no apparent reason other than they are human. In this crazy day and age that we live in with society turning away from God and the church no is the time to stop the madness that is tearing our brothers down. What is the point? Who really gains from hurting people that are around you, especially in the church. (Full disclosure: I was reading in I Thessalonians 5 today and it brought this post, nothing specific.)
I Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up.” This is pretty straight forward. This verse starts with the word ‘therefore’ so hat was said before is important. Paul is talking about the second coming of Jesus and eternal life. Verses nine and ten say this, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but obtained salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him.” Paul is saying here that a time will come when it is all over, and we are either in Christ or not, and Paul follows that up with encourage one another. Paul is telling the Thessalonians that in order to be sure that our brothers and sisters in Christ remain in the faith we need to encourage them.
One of the biggest complaints about the church is that the people within it are so judgmental and mean. I have been in church all 31 years of my life and I fully understand where that sentiment comes from. It definitely does not come from God, Jesus or the Bible. The Bible tells us over and over to encourage each other, just like in the verse from I Thessalonians that we just read. There are many others; Hebrews 3:13, “encourage one another daily.” Romans 1:12, “We may be mutually encouraged by one’s faith.” Acts 11:23, “encourage them to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” On and on, throughout all of the Bible.
How great would it be if the people of the church would build up and encourage the people of the church. Instead of griping and complaining at someone they said thanks, and good job. How awesome would it be if the church was know for being welcoming and nice instead of judgmental and mean. It is the duty and responsibility of all believers; ministers, missionaries, and people that come on Sunday morning, to be encouraging and uplifting to everyone they meet, but especially to the brothers and sisters in Christ that they know.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples—if you love one another.
Until next time, God bless.