…The Church Eterna
By Dr. Francis Akin-John
The church is in turmoil today. Why is this? The church —the body of Christ—will never fail; however, when “churches” turn away from God’s Word to chase after the worldly system, they stumble and fall. What is the true church?
- The church belongs to Jesus Christ. He founded the church. He is the great cornerstone and the foundation upon which it is built (Ephesians 2:20). The church does not be-long to pastors or con-gregations but to Christ alone. It is His dwelling pla-ce on earth, through the lives of His followers. We have no right to bring worldly ways into His church.
- Jesus died for the church and is over the church. “He is the head of the body, the church…that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Coloss-ians 1:18). If we were to examine church programs today, would Christ really be preeminent? Believers should reflect Christ in every way. What a respon-sibility. What a privilege!
- The church is to be built up in His Word. Many churches now mold their programs around the community—not the Word of God. Church bulletins often reflect this by ann-ouncing grand programs and activities with little to no emphasis on God’s Word. The Lord did not design the church to cater to peo-ple’s wishes—the Lord breathed life into the church to learn, pro-claim, and live out His truths. We are to build one another up in the Word of God (Jude 20).
- The church is to fellow-ship together. When Jesus birthed the church, believ-ers submitted to the tea-ching of the apostles—the inspired Word of God. They also joined in fellow-ship together, prayed to-gether, and shared the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:42). For them, this fellowship was a taste of Heaven on earth.
- The church’s message is Jesus Christ crucified, ri-sen, and coming again. As people observed their wit-ness for Christ, they shou-ted, “These…have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). Is the church today making that kind of impact? Or has it become complacent like the church at Laodicea, whom the Lord rebuked by say-ing, “You are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot” (Revelation 3:16)?
- The church’s mission is to make Jesus Christ known. Making Christ known is not a command exclusively given to prea-chers. I believe one of the greatest priorities of the church is to mobilize the laity to do the work of proclaiming the Gospel. Why?