What is the Church?Tuesday, June 15, 2021
A building that is dedicated for worship is not the Church in the eyes of God. The building will not be caught up to meet Jesus Christ when He returns, instead it will be destroyed.
St Matthew 24:2 (KJV) says, “There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
With that said, there seem to be much confusion in the world today about what is the Church in comparison to a place of worship. It is customary for the saints of God to meet for worship, to teach, and testify about the works and goodness of their Lord and Saviour. As such, the place where they meet to edify, strengthen, and comfort one another is referred to as the church. However, the Church is not so much referring to the building but the people; practising believers of the righteousness of God. These believers live in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ, and that they (the Church) will be presented to Him as “a glorious Church, not having spot, nor wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish”. (Ephesians 5:27)
Notwithstanding that, it is important to note that people attend church for various other reasons. There are many people that are just cultured churchgoers. There lifestyle is not in accordance with the principles of the Church, but they will never stop attending. Additionally, there are those who are afraid of the whispering criticism from others if they should stop attending, so they continue nevertheless. While there are others who attend so that in cases of death and other requirements such as employment, they have a place to refer to. But not everyone who meets for worship at church knows (personal encounter) God, while they may know about God.
So, what then is the Church? The Church is the body of Christ or the bride of Christ. This group includes no unrepented hypocrite, no rapist, no robbers, no murderers, no false prophets, no fornicators or adulterers, etc. Rather it includes those who have turned from there wicked ways and are practising righteous living. They have loved their neighbours as themselves and they have love for the Lord with all of their heart, soul and mind.
Hence, I want to discourage and caution anyone who feels he/she can use the lifestyle of churchgoers to judge whether or not they will follow Christ or go to church. Walking with the Lord is a personal thing. All of us, irrespective of our position or status, are required to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We are individually responsible for the way we live our lives. As such, we should not use the unpleasant and shady lifestyle of others as an excuse for not being obedient to God. Seek to know God for yourself and fulfil the plans He has for your life. Let His will become dominant in your life.
For those individuals who are mere churchgoers, let me remind you that it is not only the Bible that some people will read; it is the life you live.
Do not live your life in a way that will scatter God's people. Therefore, be ye steadfast and walk circumspectly and uprightly. Don't let it be said to you by the Lord Jesus, “ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
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