Purpose

“I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts,”

The sense of openness in the early church was so striking. There were no divisions and the Christians shared with each other sacrificially and continually as there was need. Paul is sending Tychicus to the church in Colosse to find out what they with need and to comfort them in whatever way they needed to be comforted. He did not just trust to hearsay but sent the trusted Tychicus to help and support. 

There was complete lack of suspicion as they all suffered for the sake and witness of Christ. Perhaps today our problem is that we are too comfortable and feel we can always meet our own needs. There is lack of doctrinal and spiritual unity and everything has become fragmented because of the prevalence of the falsehoods and fake teachers that have infiltrated the church of Jesus Christ. There are names that name the Name but are not like the Name! 

Paul was so like Christ that it was easy to trust him and what he said. He is vindicated by the Spirit of God and his word remains with us today. His first interest was the Christian people in the individual churches and everyone could see it because of the kind of life he led. His sacrifice was as the obedience of Christ, who gave all for our sake. 

Today, we have many who feather their own nests and take from the saints of God, leaving many in hardship while they live privileged and well provided-for lives. This should not be. We look out for ourselves and not the things of Christ or the struggling people of God. Church money is spent on fixtures and fitting and salaries and members suffer with low paid work and are barely able to meet the temporal needs of family. We have many ways to justify what we do, but there should be no gaps in the provision for each other in our church societies. 

How much is spent on paying staff to do outreach? Why does everyone not work at a job to provide for their own needs, as the Apostle Paul did? Why is there one privileged person who must be supported by others to do “church work?” It has a negative impact on the fellowship and a disempowering effect on the body of believers. 

Actual church members remain inadequate and unable to share with others the good news about Christ and the heavenly home. Our characters are suspect as we remain reticent and infants in reaching out to others, saints or sinners! We are passive recipients of talk that seems to go nowhere.

If Paul and Tychicus operated like we do today, the church would have died a long time ago. There is a distinct feeling of winding down and a terrible apathy about spiritual issues in too many places and in too many Christian lives. We are accountable and we are failing the younger generations. Predator leaders prey on the flock of God, it is true, but the sheep allow it and appear spiritually gullible. It is a non-virtuous circle of lack of personal devotion and a dirth of sound doctrine being taught. The lack of both feeds on the failure that this produces, and our churches are reduced to social circles like the world, and just as unjust. 

The preaching of the gospel is forgotten. Neither Saint nor sinner benefit from this and the church shrinks in every way. Leaders are desperate for money to keep going and so pander to the emotional needs, rather than the faithful preaching of the Word, another non-virtuous circle ensues. The Lord weeps. Paul would weep. We do not. Apathy reigns and our purpose is lost. What if Tychicus would visit us today? Who would he turn to, to help the churches of God? Each looks out for its own. We need the Lord Jesus to rescue us again from this present evil age. The sleeping saints need to awaken and search for God again, repent and turn from indolence and self-satisfaction. We need the honest and open preaching of the eternal Good News that transforms lives and turns our hearts to the Lord for good. 

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