For months now our church family has been looking together at what it means to be the church based on the biblical model rather than the mandates of our culture. Sadly, what the church has become in many places around the globe, not only the Western culture, does not resemble the church in the New Testament. But in order to get a thorough understanding of what it means to be the people of God, one must look at more than just the New Testament. In Exodus 19:4-6 we have a very important image of God’s purpose for His people.  ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;  and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” (Exodus 19:4-6 ESV)
This reference to God’s people as “my treasured possession among all peoples” is very important and key to understanding God’s purpose for His church on earth in our generation. If you had been alive in the day of Moses and Hebrew was your language, you would have had a choice of words to use when referring to a personal possession. If you were to speak of a possession which was “movable” (donkey, plow, chair, etc.) you would use one Hebrew word. But if you were to speak of an “immovable” possession (land) you would use another word. Here in Ex. 19:4 Moses uses the word to describe God’s people as a “movable” possession “among all peoples.” God’s people were to represent their Creator to all the other nations and as “priests” their lives were to serve a mediatory purpose as they lived and spoke in such a way to point other nations to God.
Tragically, the church in our culture has become little more than an immovable building filled with programs and events. We might use the right language, but our actions clearly indicate that many churches have little understanding of the gospel, God’s mission or the responsibility of God’s people to be a light piercing the darkness to all nations. We hunker down in our state of the art, million dollar music halls and we invite the lost and wayward to come. We call this “going to church.” The problem is this does not reflect the biblical movement of God’s people. The people of God are the ones moving and going to where the people are. We are the ones who must engage our communities and impact our culture by participating in it as God instructed the exiles to do in Babylon (Jeremiah 29).
For too long Christians have sought to create exclusive Christian societies where we don’t have to come in contact with the bad, sinful people around us. We create “Christian” clubs, “Christian” coffee shops, “Christian” sports leagues because we desire to surround ourselves with those who believe, think and live as we do. The nations will be drawn to God only as they see His glory in our marriages, homes, and communities, but they will never see and know if we do not truly move into the communities where we’ve already resided for years in order that the nations might know our God.
Where will God move you today? Do you see yourself and your family as missionary ambassadors who live, speak and act on behalf of your God? We are citizens of another country, but for now we, ourselves, are exiles in a land that desperately needs to be impacted by the people of God. This will only happen as God daily “moves” us deeply into a dying world to rescue those who will never be drawn to our Sunday performances.