Set The Tone| Church
— “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mark 16:18
That was Jesus talking. He was a carpenter, after all, so we might expect Him to whip out a hammer and nails and order the disciples to gather wood to build the First Church of Jerusalem right on that spot. Plans for a kids’ wing would come later, with a gym and bowling alley. That’s how we’d do it, but is that what He meant? Of course not, but we live and speak as though it was. “I’m at the church,” we say. Or, “Someone needs to clean the church.” “We need to build a bigger church.” At some point, Jesus’ followers stopped defining church the way He did and decided that the church was a building.
The church Jesus founded would not be confined to a single site. His church would be the people who believed and followed Him. Its foundation would be the words that Peter spoke: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v.16). The entrance into His church is through a single narrow doorway called Repentance. Every repentant heart that agrees with Peter’s confession and bows to the lordship of Jesus becomes another pillar in His church. The church Jesus established that day has not eroded with time, crumbled with age, or been deserted when the fad faded. It is stronger than ever, spreading around the globe and continuing to snatch people from the gates of hell. Anyone can construct an ornate facility that attracts thousands with show-stopping services. But that’s not the Church. Jesus only admits into His church sinners who’ve surrendered to Him.
Final Thought: Are you certain that you are part of the church that Jesus built? How do you know?
Prayer: Lord, I want to be sure that I’m in your church. My actions haven’t looked like it. I now confess Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I renounce my sin and surrender to follow you. Save me and make me part of your church. In His name, Amen.