Summary: This message is about the days that we are living in.
Where Do We Go From Here
“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.”
The Greek word for church is “ecclesia” meaning a called out assembly or congregation whether it be political or national or spiritual. God called Israel out of Egypt; they congregated in the wilderness and they were called “the church in the wilderness.”
When the Old Testament covenant was done away with, the church in the wilderness ceased, but the church that Jesus is building will never cease. He said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” His church is not the same as what we call Christendom; it is in Christendom in the same way it is in the world, in it but not of it.
There are those who profess they are Christians but know not the Christ as their personal Savior. Matthew chapter seven and verse twenty-one says, “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, many will say to me in that day Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And then will I say unto them, I never knew you.”
Titus chapter one and verse sixteen states, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” In the book of Second Timothy chapter three and verse five, “They have a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.”
It is only the blood-washed, born-again, Spirit-baptized believers that make up the church that Jesus is building, which is called the mystery, the body, and referred to as the building.
Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church.” Leading up to this declaration He asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I the Son of man am?” They began to say you are John the Baptist or one of the prophets raised from the dead. Then He said unto them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Jesus told Peter that flesh and blood had not revealed that truth unto him, but he had received it by divine revelation. Peter realized that Jesus was the anointed One, his only hope for salvation.
The scriptures teach us that He is the foundation upon which the church is being built. “For other foundation can no man lay that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Isaiah stated, “Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, and a sure foundation.”
Christ is not only the foundation; He is also the head of the body, the church. The church is more than a religious organization; it is an organism, and the church is alive with the life of Christ made living in each member of the body.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized in one body, and every member is given a measure of faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. You can’t join this church by signing a card, or shaking hands with the preacher, you must be born again.
When Jesus appeared unto the eleven as they were eating, He chastised them because of their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe the report of them who had seen him after He was raised from the dead.
Jesus gave to them the commission saying, “Go ye into the entire world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
So we read that scripture, and we debate water baptism, and have been taught that speaking in tongues and miracles was only for the early church. When they asked Peter what they must do to be saved, he said you must repent and be baptized and you shall receive the Holy Spirit, he made it very clear concerning the promise stating, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to them afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The church that Jesus established has moved from its early teachings and practices. The early church was birthed in great power and authority, signs and wonders following. Someone has stated, “That the world has become churchy and the church has become worldly.” I believe that the church is moving away from its original mandate.