What is the Church?
THE EDITOR, Madam:
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 says “there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down”. With that said, there seems 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, in essence, is not so much referring to the building, but the people who are practising believers of the righteousness of God.
These believers live in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ, and that they 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).
So what, then, is the Church? The Church is the body of Christ, or the bride of Christ. This group does not include unrepentant hypocrites, rapists, robbers, murderers, false prophets, fornicators or adulterers, etc. Rather, it includes those who have turned from their wicked ways and are practising righteous living. They have loved their neighbours as themselves, and have love the Lord with all of their heart, soul and mind.
WORD OF CAUTION
I want to discourage, and caution, anyone who feels that they 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 the only bible some people will ever read 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.