I will build My Church

Matt. 16: 18, “I will build MY Church”

In the above verse we find the only recorded instructions Jesus gave to his disciples about the church. "I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." He didn't ask them to do it. He didn't give them a blueprint of an organization. He simply said he would build his church and it would be strong enough to withstand any assault by darkness.

So it only seems natural to assess how he's doing. If he's been at it for almost 2,000 years, what do we have to show for it? People know better than to say he hasn't done well, but they also know the church is fragmented by division, scandalized by immorality, vilified for its arrogance, exposed by its misplaced priorities and far from replicating the ministry Jesus found in the Gospels.

We either have to conclude that Jesus hasn't done an exceptional job, or consider that there is a vast difference between what he calls church and what we do.

Is the Church that Jesus is building the different buildings used for meeting holding.

To see the true Church we have to look past the institutions and buildings we call church and find those people who are living in him. Don’t confuse the Church with buildings called churches. Yes, many people frequent the buildings called church who are part of God's Church and hopefully they are growing to know him better. That's not   question, but to see God's work in the world, you have to look beyond the groups that call themselves church and see the bigger picture…all those God is calling to himself.

If not, we'll confuse the religious systems with the church and miss the great thing God is doing in preparing himself a bride. We must be careful to call Church what God calls Church, or we'll end up saying things that don't make any sense. For instance, one young couple left their chosen affiliation because they simply had enough of the manipulation and control. Tired of the backbiting, bored by being a spectator on Sunday mornings, wearied of being manipulated to do more for God, and burned-out on too many responsibilities, stated they had left the church.

How could that be? The Church is not something you can leave, unless you've left Jesus.

Of course they hadn't and they only meant that they had left organized religion in hopes of finding a more authentic expression of his life than the group they were in. But that is a very different thing than leaving the Church. Let us be careful with our terms. When religious organizations use the term, 'church', it is easy for us to get confused, thinking that's what they really are. But they are not. They might be gatherings of people who are part of the Church, but in and of themselves they are not the Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ could never be contained in any organization, and in fact, the way He works makes it impossible to fit in the most skillfully constructed structures.


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