Lifelines November 8, 2020

In a world characterized by perpetual change and uncertainty, the Lord’s church offers the welcoming embrace of stability and assurance.  Conditions on planet earth can be altered in a moment, but our Father is steadfast and dependable.  Relationships within the family of humanity disintegrate, but our Savior is a promised presence forever.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is never snatched away when we aren’t looking.  Our God is amazingly consistent, and His church will stand into eternity.

The Lord is both architect and builder.  It is designed for permanence.  It is invincible and eternal.  The promise was made through Nathan to David that the Lord had a plan.  There would be an everlasting kingdom and throne that would come through his descendants (2 Samuel 7:16).  Centuries passed before the Son of God came through a sometimes-sketchy family tree to fulfill that promise (Luke 1:31-32).  The indestructible kingdom of heaven was at hand.

Jesus first brought up the topic of His church with a direct question for His apostles (Matthew 16:13-20).  We might ask it this way, “What is the word on the street about me?”  The street always has lots to say about controversial people, and this was no different.  Opinions were all over the spectrum, and then He hit them with THE question, “What about you, who do you say that I am?”  It is a fundamental issue.  What do we say?  Our answer will determine a lot about our view of His church.

In that conversation, the Lord made it clear that the church was His to build based upon His true identity.  Peter answered the question correctly because His source of information was the only true and accurate one.  It was not gathered from human intellects or a board of directors but from God Himself.  That is always the right place to go for answers to any questions about the eternal kingdom.  What does the word of the Lord have to say about it?

Years later, Saul sought to eradicate the upstart religious group.  Bad mistake.  The Lord’s kingdom cannot be conquered by anyone, and the living Savior struck him blind so that he might see more clearly.  It turned his life around, and he became the conduit for God’s message about this extraordinary church.  He reminded the Ephesian elders that the church was bought with divine blood and required vigilant care by leaders selected by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28-30).     The church of Christ is unlike anything else in the world.  God planned it from eternity, and it will stand into eternity.  Christians have been part of the Lord’s plan forever.  Jesus endured nails piercing His hands and feet to make it His own.  Yet, there seems to be minimal respect for it today.  It is seen as unimportant.  It has never been that way in the eyes of God, and His are the ones that really matter.