Thursday, December 3, 2015
“I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
What do you think of the church? No, not the building where you attend. No, not the roll that has your name on it. No, not the one that has a street or location in its name. No, not the one that has a street sign that denominates you from your neighbor. No, not your denomination. No, not the one that has absolutely nothing to do with your salvation. I’m referring to what our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God said he would build when talking to his apostles (Matthew 16:18). The one God added folks to in 30 A.D. (Acts 2:47).
Do you think what he built was an after thought? Do you think it was a substitute? Do you think he came to establish something else, but failed, and the church is the results of that lack of insight? Since God is omniscience (infinite knowledgel), are we to believe He did not know puny human beings could pull the rug out from under Him? Did He not know that man could manipulate Him into giving them an inferior substitute by simply telling Him, “NO!”? Did this rejection never entered His divine mind? Do we have an absent minded God that we can make a fool of? If so, then we can do it the second, third, or fourth times.
If it is true that God substituted the church because the Jews rejected His kingdom, then what is it that Jesus built?
1. Jesus is its builder (Matthew 16:18). Jesus built an after thought.
2. Jesus referred to it as “my church” (Matthew 16:18). Yet, it wasn’t planned, nor desired by God. It was made necessary as a substitute because man manipulated its existence.
3. The gates of hell will never overcome it (Matthew 16:18). Yet, the Jews found a way to overcome the kingdom by simply rejecting it, causing God to substitute something that is inferior, but stronger than what it replaced!
4. God refers to it as “the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 12:27; Ephesians 4:12). Yet, Jesus’ body is second choice! A substitute.
5. It is described as Christ’s house (Hebrews 3:6). But, it’s only a second, inferior choice.
6. Jesus is its head and it is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23; Colossians 1:18). Jesus is head of God’s second choice, which is an inferior substitute!
7. God adds those believers to it that are being saved (Acts 2:47). So, we belong to something that is a hand-me-down substitute for the real thing!
Did God unknowingly send His Son to be a failure, who retreated to heaven after leaving us with nothing more than an inferior substitute called the church?
My answer is, “No,” because my God is not that small. First century saints were in the kingdom (rule of Christ). That is what they had been added to (Acts 2:47).
“Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints IN the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and BROUGHT US INTO THE KINGDOM OF THE SON he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:12-14)