I meet so many people who have a problem with the church. Some have been hurt by the church and others just get tired of religious tradition. I certainly understand. I have been hurt by people in the church and I too get tired of religious tradition. But I still have to come to grips with Jesus bold statement; “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it.” (Matt. 16:18). And then Paul the apostle tells us that Jesus is coming back for a radiant church without any stain or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27). From my vantage point, I still see lots of stains and wrinkles in God’s church.
If Jesus has faith for his bride that he calls the church, then we should also. When my bride walked down the aisle on our wedding day, had she slipped in the mud on her way into the sanctuary and was covered with mud, my faith would not have wavered. I knew she was going to be my beautiful bride, and I would have done all that needed to be done to make sure she was cleaned up and radiant, without having any stain or wrinkle. Jesus is committed to cleaning up his church.
If you speak negative things about my bride, you will be in trouble with me. If we speak negative about the bride of Christ, we will need to answer to him. I love the church, not necessarily all of the organization, but the true church, the family of God called out of darkness into his amazing light…the global family of those who love Jesus and his kingdom.
My friend Lee Grady wrote recently, “British preacher Charles Spurgeon reminded his generation that God does not have a Plan B for reaching the world. The church is Plan A. ‘Some Christians try to go to heaven alone, in solitude,’ he wrote. ‘But believers are not compared to bears or lions or other animals that wander alone. Those who belong to Christ are sheep. Sheep go in flocks, and so do God’s people.’ I encourage you to find your flock, pray for your shepherd, love God’s people and use all of your spiritual gifts to bring the lost into a community of faith where they can find shelter from the coming storm.”
Great advice. Don’t leave home without it.
okay. This is such a privilege to be able to discuss what you stated here about the church. You know we all can find things to prove what WE want to see in the Bible.
But we must must keep with what it says NOT WHAT TRADITION TELLS US! First of all, I do not want to argue just to reason together. Secondly, you referred to Matthew 16:18, When Jesus said I will build My Church, He was talking about ‘Bodies of People” not a building. This Body of People can be anywhere (including alone). The Word must apply internationally. There are many in prison (ALONE) FOR THE GOSPEL. They can feel guilt from what you said, because they cannot go to a building. Paul used his gift from prison. Many of us in the West think very narrow minded, God’s thoughts and ways are higher than our. If God wants you to go there, then go. But do not put a yoke of bondage on others if for other reasons (maybe God called them out of the building) for His purpose. Stop the tradition of men. That was the situation with the Pharisees & Jesus. They asked Him, “By what authority you do these things”? The Pharisees could never fathom, God using someone outside of their system. Am not an angry person, it’s just that I have seen how God saved many outside the buildings and used them. Thank God Balaam donkey did not think that he had to go to a building before God can use him. Please think about what am saying. God is too big for Him to only want to used organized buildings. Think Please. In Christ, sara, your sister.
I completely agree that the church is God’s people, NOT a building. That is why I never call the church a building in my writings…the church is a group of His people called out of darkness into light…a spiritual family. Blessings, LK
I agree with Charles Spurgeon when he says God does not have a Plan B for reaching the world. James says it this way “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”