Excitement Within God's Family
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Is it old-fashioned to have a burning love for the church?

I was born and raised in a Christian family. At fifteen, I surrendered my life to Christ and was baptized shorly after at a small Church convention in former communist East Germany. Intensive personal prayers developed in my heart a solid conviction that God was calling me into ministry. Two years later, contacts were made to the Fritzlar Bible School, and by the leading of God's Spirit I made it across the former highly dangerous Iron Curtain from East to West Germany in January 1951.

After almost forty years of pastoral work and service, of national and international cooperation with many Church leaders around the globe, as well as with interdenomination contacts and sharing, my heart is still as ardent as ever for the worldwide church Jesus is building.

For me, faithfulness to Jesus has always meant as well faithfulness to the church, the spiritual body of Christ. To serve Jesus means to serve as well his spiritual body, the church, the partly visible family of God.

I've seen good and bad changes. Individuals and local churches have sometimes struggled and failed. Others have grown spiritually and fulfilled the Great Commission of Christ.

Modern life and thinking is influencing the churches today. Especially egoistic desires dominate attitudes everywhere. If the church of today loses its self-denial and dedicated attitude, it'll fail soon or later.

On one hand interdenomination contacts and cooperation have opened doors for contructive evangelistic outreach. On the other hand, you can see how easily believers are losing the biblical vision for the church Jesus is building.

It's so easy to say, "Let us be like other successful church groups!" A human-minded tolerance toward the conception of the church that would compromise with easygoing structures may make a church to grow in numbers but not so in its spiritual quality and power.

The living standards for the biblical church are given in Jesus himself. He's our example by his love, service, prayer life, preaching and teaching, evangelizing, and his healing.

Let the church be like Jesus, who's the head of the spiritual body. The head and the body are a spiritual unity. All members are responsible to see and support the total body of Christ, but in the attitude and mind of Jesus. Each individual is a close part of Jesus the head, but at the same time as well a close responsible part of the whole body of Christ.

I'm confident that Family of God, the Church, will continue to fulfill the great task in the world of today, as well as when facing the [third] millennium, because we put our trust not just in the church but in our Lord and head of the church.




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