“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter. and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mathew 16:18(KJV)
I will build my church…
There is no disillusionment strong enough to invalidate the word of Jesus.
There is no wave of darkness strong enough to prevail over the church of God.
Jesus is committed to His bride: He will build His bride. And the gate of hell will NEVER prevail over it.
Perhaps this is a rejoinder to multiple voices on virtual platforms about the state of the “Nigerian church” in the past week. I have an issue with that phrasing, but this isn’t about the semantics of conceptualisation. It is about the inherent anger against church leaderships because of the experiences of people in certain fellowship centres. I read: “The Nigerian church has lost it. Thank God I am not a Christian.”
In all fairness here, the initial statement is largely a reflection of the second.
The church has not lost it and cannot lose it because her foundation and builder IS Christ. Your primary concern should be if you are truly and indeed part of it, not that you assume so. Have you believed the good news? Has the gospel been preached to you? Have you confessed the Lordship of Christ?
Now, I speak to you, dear child of God. Have you been hurt and disappointed? Have your innocence been corrupted? Have you been fed the bread of errors and fears? My heart goes out to you. The issue is not the church, the same way religion isn’t, as many are wont to make it the fall rhetoric for every wrong. It is always about the heart of men. Men make religion good or bad.
The church is made of people, saved, but nonetheless flawed, some, quite sadly, are not saved in our current fellowship, never having really heard the true gospel of Jesus, never having really experienced the inner witness and conviction of the Spirit, nor in a fellowship walk with the Father. Though they worship with us, they are not part of us. What we have now is therefore a potpourri of sorts. However, the true church, the biblical church, as conceived and defined by God, is about the saved children of God, who might nag, fight, bicker, complain, murmur at times; frail people who make mistakes. They might sin even though they are not sinners nor love to revel and walk in darkness. But these are the same earthen vessels that God, in His eternal wisdom, has decided to put His treasured Spirit in. They are the ones Jesus is building by the Word, by His Spirit and those He has given ministry gifts to for their perfecting, until they all come to the fullness of His stature (Ephesians 4:7-16).
Jesus is building his bride on the rock of this confession: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). The revelation of Christ is the foundation of the church. It is on that immovable rock that the church is established. It is also the test of a true church.
I see many believers conflicted on principles when we speak of unfiltered, unquestionable allegiance to the church. It is a no-brainer. I know we are at a time in the history of the church when dotted lines of differences have been amplified by names. But the church of God is not in a name. The church of God is not even about pastors who (claim to) speak in the name of the Lord. So, the gaffes and errors of her leadership don’t define her. The church of God can worship in a place, but it transcends geography. It is not bound by space. The church of God is THE BODY OF CHRIST. Let that sink in. And no matter the errors you hear of at certain “centres”, for absence of spiritual maturity, the body of Christ IS STILL PURE because she is connected to Jesus.
You cannot be part of the body of Christ and your first instinct EVERY time is to criticise her. You defend the honour of your family and not make them a public specimen of your misplaced, self-appointed crusade for change. Why do you think the church of God is any different? For erring members; the bible is clear about how the church addresses wrongs within her. Let’s stick to it. Whether you are addressing a character flaw or a doctrinal error (which is core), your motivation shouldn’t be to speak against the church. When you speak against the church, you speak against her head – Jesus.
May I also remind you: His sheep hears His voice. He will keep His own.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Amen.