Summary: The Church is not a building
I Will Build My Church - Part 1
Matthew 16:18-19 (KJV) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
• This is the first distinct mention of the church in the New Testament, given by Jesus who is the Builder of the Church. We do not build the church on our own; we simply cooperate with the Master Builder!
• THE CHURCH IS NOT A MATERIAL BUILDING
The word is never used in Scripture to refer to a material building (140 times in NT). The language used of the Church could not be applied to a building. ("The Lord added to the church. Herod vexed the church. The church was persecuted. Paul saluted the church. The churches had rest.") Only in the traditions of men can people "go to church."
• THE CHURCH IS NOT A DENOMINATION
Denominationalism is contrary to Scripture, evidence of carnality and divisions. Denominations are usually formed around a form of church government, a doctrinal emphasis or truth, a personality that God used in some revival, or an experience. The tragedy is that each revival of truth finds its bitterest enemies in the previous group that had light from heaven, but stopped somewhere along the way! History repeats itself in each generation. The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history! We must constantly guard against the degenerating cycle of Message - Man - Movement - Monument. Notice that Jesus does not say He will build His CHURCHES, but His CHURCH. There is only one church - and its message has never changed!
• THE CHURCH IS NOT "PLAN B" IN THE MIND OF GOD
The church was not merely instituted after the Jewish rejection of Christ, but rather was prophesied through the entire Old Testament.
• All nations were to be blessed by the seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18)
• All the families of the earth were to be blessed by Abraham's seed (Genesis 26:4)
• All kindreds of the nations would worship the Lord (Psalms 22:27-28)
• In the last days all nations would flow to the house of God (Isaiah 2:2-3)
• The Gentiles would seek the Root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:10)
• Many nations would be sprinkled with the blood of the Messiah (Isaiah 52:15)
• Many nations would be joined to the Lord in that day (Zechariah 2:11)
• The Name of the Lord would be great among the Gentiles (Malachi 1:11)
• In His Name the Gentiles would trust (Matthew 12:21)
• THE CHURCH IS THE CENTERPIECE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The kingdom of God is much larger than the church, because it includes more than the church - the whole universe, all the angelic hosts, and all the Old Testament saints. However, the New Testament church is the CENTERPIECE of God's Kingdom and its most important part. If you live between the Day of Pentecost and the Rapture, YOU MUST BE IN THE CHURCH TO BE SAVED! Jesus said the prophets who gave these prophecies - and even the angels - would love to participate in the things happening in our age.
Matthew 13:16-17 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
1 Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
• Moses would love to have seen the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5-9)
• Isaiah would love to have seen Pentecost (Isaiah 28:10-12)
• Joel would love to have been in the Upper Room (Acts 1-2)
• THE CHURCH IS THE ONLY THING GOD EVER HAD TO BUY
God created everything else, but the church cost Him dearly! We are privileged beyond measure to be part of the Church of the Living God!
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood
• THE CHURCH IS THE ONLY THING THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN