Summary: Had the church been built upon any other person than Christ, it would never be able to withstand the torment of Hades. It is not one of the wonders of this world - it is THE wonder of this world.
A huge metal structure was built in 1889 for an international exposition. It was larger than anything that was built like it before, and it was considered by many as a ‘monstrosity that was to grotesque to see.’ But the creator, who had spent over a year building it, knew it was destined for greatness. His name was Gustave Eiffel, and his creation was the Eiffel Tower in France. Today it is one of the architectural wonders of the modern world and stands as the primary landmark of Paris, France.
Many people scoffed at Mr. Eiffel when he made the statement that he was going to build a structure that the entire world would love and travel to see. Mr. Eiffel knew that what he was thinking was correct, no matter who might have said he was wrong.
Today, I would like to talk about the church. We will discover that the church, with all its problems and faults is truly a divine creation. It is not, however, one of the seven wonders of the world. It is “the” wonder of the world. It is an annoyance to many and inconsequential to others. And, it is all- important to a few. God had a plan for His church. Jesus was the great architect. Mr. Eiffel knew his creation was destined for fame, but Jesus knew His creation was destined for God’s glory.
Today, we are going to talk about two related subjects. 1) What Jesus did for us, and 2) what we should be doing for Jesus. Let’s talk about …
1. WHAT JESUS DID FOR US
The first thing Jesus did was give His promise.
MATTHEW 16:18 says,
‘And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’
The first thing we see is that Jesus made a promise. He said He would build His church and the gates of Hades would not overcome it. Before we go on any further, we need to understand what a promise from Jesus really is; a statement that we can bank on. We can totally accept it as fact, even though it may not have happened yet, we know it surely will. What Jesus said will happen … will happen – period.
When I was in the Navy, I was stationed for a few years over in Japan. The base I was on was located a short distance from Yokohoma, and I used to like going down to the docks in Yokohoma and watch the large ships come in and get tied down. You could walk by the edge of the pier, fairly close to the massive ships. I always felt quite insignificant – almost invisibly small – when standing near those large ships. And the ropes always amazed me. Those ropes were almost as big around as my waist was then, and about 16 of those giant ropes were tied to a cleat that was as big as some cars. I tell you it was a mighty impressive sight to see!
But the image I want to plant in your mind this morning is that Jesus’ promises are like huge mooring lines that stretch up to the Throne of the living God. And as securely as those car-sized cleats are that hold that ship steady, Jesus’ promises are even more securely attached to the immovable kingdom of Heaven, and they will hold us even steadier.
Jesus has given me a promise that is so good I have to repeat it to myself every day. I want to share that promise with you this morning. Rolling Hills Christian Church is not my church nor is it your church. This church belongs to none other than Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. And as the owner of this church, Jesus has promised to make it grow. It doesn’t matter how He is going to grow this church, it only matters that He loves us enough to give His promise to us. And He never breaks a promise.
Now, it might not be in my lifetime that this happens. He could have put me here to see the first seeds planted. I don’t know when it will grow, but I do know that as long as we put our total faith and focus in Him, it will grow – for His glory. Jesus said, “I will build my church…” This is His church and He will do the building. As any architect uses others to lay the groundwork, Jesus is using us to lay the groundwork for building our church.
Jesus gave us His promise. He also gave us a purpose.
That purpose is found in MATTHEW 28:19-20,
‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them n the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.’