As long as the church of Jesus Christ is present on this earth, lawlessness remains under great restraint. Second Thessalonians 2:7 puts it well, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.”
In Israel's northern city of Caesarea Philippi, among the ruins of a worship centre dedicated to the Greek god Pan, a cave exists that was long believed by those who worshipped there to be the doorway into the netherworld. It was in the vicinity of this grotto, the alleged gateway to hell, that Jesus promised: "Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it" (Matthew 16:18).
From Pentecost in the first century to the present day, Satan has attempted to destroy Christ's Church—yet it endures. From a small group of Jewish outsiders in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, Christ built His Church to reach even the remotest parts of the world. Despite controversies, wars, and denominational splits, the Church continues to be the means through which God announces to a dark and dying world that light and life have come in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
For these reasons, and many more, we learn about and appreciate the body of Christ, the Church.
One of the first things I learned as a pastor is that if a church is going to impact its community, the church leadership needs to understand the SHAPE of its people so ministry can be gift-based and passion-driven.
Romans 12:14-21 paints a picture of the church using peace as his base colour with pronounced shades of humility and blessing.
God’s work is sacred. So when a person engaged in ministry repeatedly defies God’s high and holy standards, that individual is to be removed.
When I think back to my years in university, I can’t justify church-skipping any more than I can defend missing class. I had a million excuses though. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t like the music, it was too far, etcetera.
Finding a church home, like finding a house to live in, is one of the most important decisions you will make as a believer. It is worth putting time and effort into it.
The church is a place like no other. You’ll rarely find such a supportive community elsewhere in life. When you hurt there are people who will stay with you and suffer with you.
What makes a church different than a lecture hall? Chuck Swindoll addresses that question in this message.
When you’re swimming in the ocean, it takes intentional effort to keep from drifting away. If you take your eyes off the shore, you’ll likely end up somewhere you never intended! And the same is true of our churches.