Thursday, October 14, 2021

Don't Be Caught Off Guard!

Where Is the Church Heading?

I hear preachers and church growth experts say that the church is in trouble.

I suppose you could look at things that way. But there are some things written in Scripture that tell me that the church, the kingdom of God is here to stay.

When the kingdom of God was prophesied in the book of Daniel, it was described as “a kingdom which will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 2:44)

When Jesus responded to Peter’s bold confession of faith, He said, “upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades* will not overpower it.” (Matthew 16:18)

The book of Acts records the beginning of the church and its spread during much of the first century A.D. Whether one considers the opposition and obstacles described in Scripture or secular history, it is clear that Christianity continued to spread during difficult circumstances.

It is evident that there has been and always will be opposition to God’s church. However, God is more powerful than man and His church will not die out or disappear.

Where Is the Bible Heading?

That’s a silly question, right? Not really.

How can the head of a church organization affiliated with Christ make religious decrees regarding doctrine and morality that conflict with the Bible? It is truly baffling that some churches that claim to be of the Christian faith have denied the Bible or, at least, parts of the Bible. After all, the church was not the product of a man or a religious organization. The church was of divine design and came about through fulfilled prophecy. The church was established by God in spite of the confusion of man. It is mystifying how churches deny God’s word.

How can individuals claim to be devoted to Christ yet crave the personal testimony (stories) of average people over the saving message of the gospel of Christ in the Bible? Surprisingly, this man-centered, emotion-driven thinking is rooted in a philosophical shift in thinking from only a few centuries ago; a departure from God’s word. It is mystifying how man has become the centerpiece in many Christian groups.

It would seem that churches and individuals have overlooked that Jesus relied on the Scriptures as did his apostles. Jesus never denied the written word of God. Jesus depended on the Scriptures, quoted the Scriptures and explained the Scriptures. The apostles did the same.

The Apostle Paul wrote that “all Scripture is inspired by God….” (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Psalmist wrote, “The sum of Your word is truth….” (Psalm 119:160) Jesus echoed those very words in John 17:17.

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matt. 24:35)

The Bible is not heading anywhere; it is here to stay. The real question is about faith in God’s word. There are many voices speaking against God and His word. Some are subtle and inviting. Others are bold. We are sure to be caught off guard when we listen to those voices.

Jesus spoke of the return of the Son of Man and asked, “will He find faith on the earth?” The question remains. Your answer is dependent on the voice(s) to whom you are listening.

Don’t be caught off guard.

Mark Stinnett
October 10, 2021

* The “gates of Hades” was a metaphor for death.