"The Lord's Church"
Larry R. Ping II
The grand words of an old hymn state, “The kingdoms of earth pass away one by one, But the kingdom of heaven remains; It is built on a rock and the Lord is its King, And forever and ever He reigns.” The Lord’s church is the subject of the hymn “The Kingdoms of Earth Pass Away.”
Dan. 2:44 contains the prophecy upon which this song is based, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom , which shall never be destroyed…” The New Testament is over-flowing with information concerning the Lord’s Church.
1) The Lord’s Church Was Built By Christ. “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” (Matt. 16:18).
2) The Lord’s Church Must Be Told Certain Things. “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church” (Matt. 18:17). There are important things the Lord’s church needs to hear. When discipline is exercised, the Lord’s church needs to hear about it. The Lord’s church needs to hear God’s Word preached (II Tim. 4:2).
3) The Lord’s Church Is Added To By God. “And the Lord added to the church” (Acts 2:47). Would it surprise you to know not one single person has ever joined the Lord’s church? The only way to be a part of it is for the Lord to add you!
4) The Lord’s Church Is The Collection Of The Saved. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Into the circle of the saved is where the Lord adds those who “repent” and are “baptized” (Acts 2:38-41). If one expects to enjoy heaven for eternity, he must have been added to the church. Have you?
5) The Lord’s Church Is Not The Building. Luke wrote “great fear came upon all the church” (Acts 5:11). He also referenced “the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem” (Acts 11:22). I have never witnessed a building shaking with fear, nor have I seen ears on the meetinghouse. The Lord’s church is the people who make it up, not the bricks and mortar.
6) The Lord’s Church Can Be Persecuted. According to Acts 8:1 there “was a great persecution against the church.” Later, we learn “Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and hailing men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). Paul noted “Yea, and all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Tim. 3:12).
7) The Lord’s Church Needs To Pray. “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5). Sometimes, the Lord’s church just needs to assemble to pray.
8) The Lord’s Church Needs To Assemble. Barnabas and Saul “assembled themselves with the church” (Acts 11:26). Paul wrote about “when ye come together in the church” (I Cor. 11:18). It is commanded, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb. 10:25), for it is there we are provoked “unto love and good works” (Heb. 10:24) and where we receive much needed exhortation, encouragement and edification.
9) The Lord’s Church Needs Elders. Elders were ordained “in every church” (Acts 14:23). At one time Paul “called the elders of the church” from the city of Miletus (Acts 20:17). When one is sick, James instructs “let him call for the elders of the church” (James. 5:14). These men meet divine qualifications found in I Tim. 3:1-7 and Tit. 1:5-9.
10) The Lord’s Church Was Purchased With The Blood Of Jesus. Paul instructed the Ephesian elders to “feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). This is why John said, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5).
11) The Lord’s Church Needs Servants. Paul commended “Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea” (Rom. 16:1). There is much work needing to be done in the Lord’s Church. This includes small tasks, larges tasks and everything in between. We are to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58).
12) The Lord’s Church At Times Can Be Despised. “What! Have ye not houses to eat and drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not” (I Cor. 11:22). To despise in this place is to “find of little importance; to look down upon.” In Corinth, they were finding the Lord’s church of little value when they exchanged that which was spiritual for something physical. The truth is, there are many and various ways one can despise the Lord’s church. May we not be involved!
13) The Lord’s Church May Assemble Anywhere. We read of “Aquila and Priscilla…with the church that is in their house” (I Cor. 16:19). As well, Paul penned a letter to Philemon, and “to the church in thy house” (Philemon 2). The command to assemble (Heb. 10:25) carries with it the need for a place to assemble. It might be in a house, a building, a hotel, a storefront or a bank.
14) The Lord’s Church Is Headed By Christ. Jesus is “to be the head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22). He is the “head of the church” (Eph. 5:23) and the Lord’s church is “subject unto Christ” (Eph. 5:24). Since Jesus is the head of the Lord’s church, our headquarters are in Heaven (Php. 3:14). Since our head, Jesus, will never die, the Lord’s church will never be rendered headless.
15) The Lord’s Church Needs To Support Gospel Preachers and Preaching. Paul once thanked the Lord’s church at Philippi because “no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only” (Php. 4:15). Paul wrote about this important subject in I Cor. 9:1- 14. Without the preaching of God’s Word, no one could hear or believe (Rom. 10:13-17).
16) The Lord’s Church Is The Pillar And Ground Of Truth. Paul made this abundantly clear in I Tim. 3:15. No college or institution is the pillar or ground of truth, only the Lord’s church. The Lord’s church will survive this current epidemic, and any other which may decide to come. What say ye?