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.