A Church and A Legacy
I knew an old man. We’ll call him Bob. He lost his wife a few years ago to a long-term battle with cancer. Until his death, he lost the will to live, and the church they were apart of for 50+ years has had its own rough ride, leaving a near empty church.
Bob spent most of his life getting things done his way, without much regard for anyone else. In his last days, Bob was no longer able to stay at home, hated his living conditions (which were pleasant), and didn’t care about anyone when they came to see him when a couple of family members travelled to and fro frequently to take care of certain needs. He became a frustrated and grumpy old man, no matter what good things those around him tried to do for him. Everyone served him his whole life, giving him what he wanted, and now he wanted very little to do with any of them, and most of his children and grandchildren are creating a wave of sin in their paths of life. What a legacy.
It’s made me think about what kind of old man I want to become, if I ever reach that point. I want to be the complete opposite of Bob. I want to leave behind a legacy of theological solidity that influenced, to some degree, everyone I knew. I want to have influenced those I know toward God’s gospel. I want them to know me as someone who became more and more gracious in my dealings with people, while at the same time remaining immovable and direct when conversing about God’s doctrines. I want to have reflected a small part of the gracious Creator who has been so gracious to me. I want to be that kind of old man.
I also want to be a part of a community (whether large or small) of Christians when I grow old, who all enjoy a common unity and enjoy being together whenever they are able. Most of the time, that only happens in a Biblical church. It reminds me of the very first church:
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. – Acts 2
Wow! A church family who had all things in common (referring to theological unity around one gospel purpose) and they were hawking stuff to pay for whatever their neighbor needed. They enjoyed meals together regularly, and in their different homes. Plus, people outside the church respected them, to boot! Sadly, I know of very few churches that truly meet this description. I often thank God that He’s directed me to a church like this.
I wonder if that would have changed anything for Bob? I know it would have. I know that if Bob had put himself in a position to be a part of a stable, Biblical church, then, no matter what happened, he would have numerous people who not only could care for him, but would want to care for him and help however possible, as part of a church family. Because that’s what Biblical churches do.
To what kind of church do you belong?
How will you be known, and remembered?