Christians Are The Church of the Present – Not The Future Or The Past
When a person becomes a Christian, the Bible says that person is added to the church. In Acts 2, the Lord was adding people to the church daily (Acts 2:47). Once they came to be in Christ, they were naturally added to the group of people who are in Christ. This point might seem so simple as to almost be superfluous, but I believe we may have missed one important aspect of it.
At special events—youth lectures, Bible camps, vacation bible schools, and others—young Christians are sometimes told that they are the future of the church. This is—they are told—the reason they must soon begin to take their faith responsibilities seriously.
But, if we assume the young Christians are the future of the church who will soon take their faith seriously, should we also assume that elderly Christians are the past of the church who no longer need to take their faith responsibilities seriously?
Neither of these ideas can be supported biblically. When the Lord added people to the church daily, some of them may have been in their younger years, and yet they were added to the church like everyone else. Some of them may have been well into their older years, and yet they were added to the church like everyone else. In both cases, they were called God’s people regardless of their age. And they all had responsibilities toward Jesus.
Let’s be sure that our church is a church at work. Not just that a certain segment of our church is at work, but that Christ is living and active in all of us. We might have different abilities at different stages of life, but the work of taking the light to the world must be shared by people of all ages. If a person is in Christ, his or her responsibilities to serve the Lord matter in the present—not just in the future or in the past. If you are a young Christian, you are a Christian now, and you must behave like one. If you are an older Christian, you are a Christian now, and you must behave like one. Christ’s church exists in the present. Let’s not put our service for him just in the future or just the past.