I Timothy 3:1-16
I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. I Timothy 3:15 (NKJV)
In the area of the country where I live (north Louisiana), there are many lumber mills and paper mills. A part of these large operations is always many elevated conveyor belts that carry wood and wood chips along in the process of producing their product.
The elevated conveyor belts are like the Church. The Bible says that the Church is "the pillar and support of the truth" (NASB). If truth is going to be delivered to the world -- if truth is going to have impact and bring forth fruit -- the church of the living God is the delivery system. We hold truth up and carry it to the desired destination.
That is the job of the Church! We are called to deliver Jesus to the world. We are called to deliver truth to all levels of our world. All our buildings and progams, all the decorations and reputations are NOTHING compared to the ESSENTIAL TASK. The Church is to be SALT AND LIGHT in the world.
So what happens if the Church fails? What happens if we get off track? Isaiah 59:14 says:
"Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street."
At a paper mill, if the elevated conveyor belt collapses, if its pillars are broken, then the wood product will fall and be wasted. If the Church fails, then truth will fall into the streets, justice will cease, and righteousness will depart our land.
It is important how we conduct ourselves. It is important not just because it affects the health of our own individual lives. It is important because we, as the Church, are the delivery system of truth to the world. How we carry the truth determines how the world will be reached. That is the great call of God to the Church today.