On June 2, 2023, a 160-year old church building in Spencer, Massachusetts, was struck by lightning and burned down. As historic as was the building, it must be kept in mind that the real Church is the worldwide family of believers who have accepted Jesus as their Savior. A fire can destroy a church building, but nothing can destroy the global Church of believers. In fact, God is continually building His Church.
How does God build His Church? The answer is one soul at a time. Jesus accepts people as they are to become part of his “congregation,” which consists of broken people with hurts and struggles, but who have been forgiven and redeemed by the shed blood of Christ. My dad had a saying, “There is no perfect church, and if you find one it won’t be perfect any more.”
When Jesus called his first disciples to be his first “Church members” did he choose them because they were religious and righteous people? No. They were ordinary sinners like you and me. The Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament was an enemy of Jesus and a persecutor of Christians until his conversion. However, the real Church dates back to the Old Testament when Moses was chosen by God to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, even though Moses had been a murderer in his earlier years. Aren’t you glad that God does not choose to build his Church based upon our past life?
The exciting thing is that God can use all believers to help build His Church. Every Christian with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, has a spiritual gift, the purpose of which is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ”(Ephesians 4:12).
If all the church buildings in the world were burned down, the souls of the redeemed would still remain. God’s Church crosses all cultural and racial barriers. The cross is the great equalizer! Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, there is neither slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Nothing all through history has destroyed God’s Church! The residents of Spencer, Massachusetts, will most likely erect a new building, but in the interim they can still worship with other local congregations which are part of God’s global family of believers.
How about you? Are you a member of God’s Church? If so, in what ways can God use you to help build it, with your gifts and talents?