Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with a group of retired Pastors and even though they are not serving in a position, everyone of them is still serving Jesus through preaching, teaching, writing and encouraging. Since then I have been thinking a lot about the church and it’s modern day condition and I just feel led to proclaim: The Church Ain’t Dead! (And I said “ain’t” on purpose to get your attention!)
I think that a lot of church folks have become convinced that the church has seen it’s best days and the majority have become content reminiscing about the good ole days, way back when… Most of the people in our communities seem to have the attitude that I can live with it or without it. I think they like having us on the corner, just in case, because you never know???
As our world becomes more and more secular and less and less Christian, one might be tempted to think that it’s all over for the church, but that would be a mistake, because Jesus said: “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!” (Matthew 16:18)
The real issue at hand is: Whose church is it? Some buildings are occupied by folks who think that the church is theirs, because they have been there all their lives and their Momma, Daddy and Grandparents too. Some folks think the church belongs to them, because of the community it’s located in. It’s a place to celebrate the births and a spot to be buried when death knocks on our door. There is another group of folks that think the church is a place we go every now and then to be entertained, a show to go to on Sunday to prove just how spiritual I really am.
These buildings, locations, congregations, tribes, communities, stages, and productions are not the church, although it is possible for the church to be found at some of these places. The CHURCH is the body of Christ and is made up of men, women, boys and girls that have a real life changing relationship with God through Jesus. Jesus is the head and people are the body and this is the church that is promised a beautiful, blessed and magnificient future.
I think we sometimes forget that the ONE who made the promise died, but is not dead. Jesus is ALIVE and his promise is more alive today, than it has ever been. Those retired fellows that I sat down to have lunch with, believed it back in the younger days when they were just getting started and they still believe it today as their life and ministry here on this earth is coming to an end.
And we need to believe it too! We need to believe it, claim it and live it, everyday and in every way we can, because God is worthy, His Word is faithful and His promises are true. The CHURCh is not dead, it just needs to wake up to it’s RESURRECTION power and reclaim God’s ground…