THE CHURCH LIFE BEING OUR NOBLE “RECREATION”
Strictly speaking, we do not need everyone to serve the Lord with their full time. According to the natural law in God’s creation, we cannot work continuously for twenty-four hours a day. Throughout the course of development in history, human beings have come to the conclusion that the most suitable way for our human life is to have eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, and eight hours for eating, resting, taking a walk, exercising, or engaging in other activities, which consist mostly of recreation and amusements. Without recreation or amusements it is difficult for human beings to feel pleasant, but most recreation and amusements lead people to commit sins and do evil. As Christians and as those who love the Lord, we also need to have a part of our time in our living for recreation and amusement. Our recreation, our amusement, is our church life. What a joy it is to come to the meetings to have mutual fellowship with the brothers and sisters, singing, praying, and testifying! When there is no meeting, we can go to preach the gospel to lead people to salvation, or we can visit the new ones to nourish them in their homes, bring them to the small group meetings to perfect them, and bring them to the Lord’s Day meeting, teaching them how to prophesy in the meeting. This is our most noble “amusement.”
I believe that according to God’s arrangement, every brother and sister can afford at least two nights every week either to visit people for gospel preaching, to nourish the new believers, to bring them to the small group meetings, or to help them to learn to prophesy. If we can do this every week, we will have a normal Christian life. If we live in this way, we can bring at least two people to the Lord every year and equip them to be perfected. It is best to not be overly zealous; otherwise, our work cannot be thorough. If we preach the gospel and bring two or three to salvation, we can nourish and lead them week after week. If we lose one of them, we should go to bring another one or two more to be saved and then nourish and lead them. In this way, from the beginning to the end of the year, we will always have two or three under our nourishing and perfecting. We should calmly consider these matters. What I have fellowshipped can be carried out both by those who have an occupation and by those who have a family. Furthermore, this can be done in an unhurried manner, since it does not require us to go out to do this every day, but only two nights in a week. We must do this regularly, ordinarily, and according to a specified time; we should neither be overly zealous nor indifferent. This is to live the normal Christian life, which is the church life in the Lord’s recovery today.
REQUIREMENTS FOR OUR LIVING THE CHURCH LIFE IN THE LORD’S RECOVERY TODAY
For us to live the church life in the Lord’s recovery today, there are certain requirements. The first requirement is to be revived every morning. We need to have a revival every morning like the rising of the sun. In this way, our path is the path of the righteous, which shines brighter and brighter (Prov. 4:18). The second requirement is to overcome day by day. Every day we begin with morning revival; then during the day we continue to live an overcoming life and are thereby renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). The third requirement is to live in the Spirit moment by moment (Gal. 5:25). The fourth requirement is to walk according to the Spirit in everything, to not walk according to the flesh (Rom. 8:4), to have no murmurings and reasonings (Phil. 2:14), and to have no selfish intentions and covetousness (Gal. 5:26).
The fifth requirement for us to live the church life in the Lord’s recovery today is to be in one accord and in harmony with the saints (1 Cor. 1:10), and the sixth requirement is to not be blown by winds of teaching (Eph. 4:14). Among us, the Lord’s recovery has spread to all the six continents, and there are over one thousand churches with people of different races and kinds. It is unavoidable to have different speakings and teachings. Ever since we began to speak concerning the new way in preaching the gospel by knocking on doors to visit people, some who have dissenting opinions have considered that this is not necessarily the best way to preach the gospel. Although they may be right, we must care for the true situation. If the way of our gospel preaching cannot stir up the spirits of the saints to be priests of the gospel, activate their organic faculties for gospel preaching, or create the opportunity for every brother and sister to preach the gospel directly to others, that is not the way that God desires. Therefore, if we probe deeply into this matter, we will see that only by personally visiting people to preach the gospel can the saints exercise their function of gospel preaching. Generally speaking, this is something that cannot be accomplished by other ways of gospel preaching. For everyone to go out to visit people personally and preach the gospel directly to them is to practice the scriptural way and the most proper, normal way. We cannot say that all other speakings are wrong, but it is easy for them to become winds of teaching that toss people about so that they do not know what to follow. As a result, the saints cannot be in one accord and in harmony with one another, and the church suffers loss.
The seventh requirement for living the church life in the Lord’s recovery today is to not preach anything different from the teaching concerning God’s New Testament priesthood of the gospel (1 Tim. 1:3-4). We should not be blown about by the winds of teaching; furthermore, we should not preach or teach different opinions in the church. We have no dissension; we simply work according to God’s New Testament economy and avoid speaking about anything else.
The eighth requirement is to pray watchfully, labor diligently, and struggle earnestly to carry out every step of the duties of God’s New Testament priests of the gospel (Matt. 26:41; Rom. 12:11; Col. 1:29; 1 Cor. 15:58). For the church life in the Lord’s recovery today, we must watch and pray. It is only by this that we can be moved by the Holy Spirit and manifest our organic functions. Furthermore, we need to labor diligently, being serious and thorough, not being slack or slothful, but struggling earnestly according to the power which Christ operates in us.
The ninth requirement is to await the Lord’s coming by living and working in the light of His judgment seat (Phil. 3:20; 2 Cor. 5:10). In the Lord’s recovery we need to be those awaiting the Lord’s coming. We are the heavenly citizens, not people belonging to this earth. Our commonwealth exists in the heavens, from where the Lord will come to receive us. We are waiting for His coming, and when He comes, we will receive either His reward or His punishment before His judgment seat. Therefore, today we should live and work in the light of His judgment seat, awaiting His coming. These are the requirements for us to live the church life in the Lord’s recovery today. May the Lord bless every one of us. Blessed are we if we receive this word and do accordingly.
(The Church Life in the Lord's Recovery Today, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)