Jesus Christ, asked the religious leaders of his day, when they questioned Him if He was the Christ.,
have you not yet understood, I fed the five thousand with the five loaves and fish, and four thousand with loaves of bread and fish.” Then Jesus turned to His disciples and asked them “who are the people saying that the Son of Man is? In other words, who is Jesus? Is He really the Son of God, God in the flesh or is he just another lunatic who is running around saying He is God?

Then Jesus asked His disciple the same question, “Who are the people saying that I am?” They responded with several identifications.  “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15. He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17. This is the most important that everyone has to answer. Who is Jesus Christ?

With believing in Jesus Christ, with trusting Him, with acknowledging Him as the Son of God, God in human body, Jesus promised He would build His Church, a group of believers, a living organism, to spread the Gospel of Jesus. Not another Gospel, but the one true Gospel. I offer the Message Translation to capture that moment.

“Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. 18 And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. 19 “And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.” 20″ (Message Translation)

First, some people need help understanding Jesus’ words. When Jesus said, “This is the rock on which I will put together my church.” The Greek New Testament word Jesus used here means “bedrock” or a massive rock foundation. The Greek word Jesus used when He told Simon Peter, “You are Peter, a rock”, means pebble, or little stone. The two are do not equate the same size rock. The Apostle Paul wrote in First Corinthians 10:4, this passage says that the children of Israel drank of a spiritual ROCK, which was CHRIST.  To drink of Christ is to fill your inner self with the knowledge of Him.

Second, Jesus said, “my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.” (16:19) Jesus church will grow to unlimited boundaries. And not even the “gates of hell will be able to withstand it.” Jesus words should encourage us! Not even the Devil has power over the Jesus Church. Jesus followers, “born again” saved by faith in Jesus, have His power in them. The gates of the devil’s strongholds are not strong enough to keep Jesus’ followers from going into his encampments and setting the captives, those held in captive to sin and as sinners, FREE!

Jesus also promised that the church, His followers have access to the Father. It is not like in the Old Testament when the Jews had to go through a High Priest to have their prayers heard, or their sins forgiven. Because of the Jesus, death, burial and bodily resurrection, He has made it possible for us to have access to the heavenly Father. We not only have access to the Father but we have access to the heavenly power the “energy,” but also the keys to heaven. This means that we are able to show lost people, those without faith in Jesus or His forgiveness of sin how to have it. The Church has been given the Great Commission Mandate to go spread the Gospel of Jesus to the world and it begins in our Jerusalem.

Third, The keys “open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven.” Nothing should keep us from taking the Gospel to lost people. This is the Good News! We have the authority to go spread the Gospel, 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “You are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through you!”  (NIV)  To be an Ambassador means with full rights and privileges as though the King or President himself is the one working.

This is What My Church Will BE! This is the title of this article. But sadly, many churches and church leaders are living as though they are powerless. They lead their churches without direction for evangelism, and like they have no access to our heavenly Father. I have heard pastors make the comment that it seems that America is becoming a darker place to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. There is more acceptance to immoral depraved life styles and sin than acceptance of a preacher, the Church and God’s Holy Word.

Now is not the time to cease from spreading the Gospel. Now is not the time to stop conducting door to door evangelism, giving our Gospel Tracts. Now is not the time for the Church to retreat into a corner. Now is the time to make Jesus known. The Church needs to proclaim Jesus Christ more than ever. Loudly. Clearly. Passionately. Does this mean the Church will be accepted? Does it mean Christians will be heard? Not at all. It may mean we face more persecution. Isn’t that what the early faced? Why does the Church in America feel it must be acceptable before being heard?

God’s Word says that Jesus is a stumbling stone. The Gospel is offense to sinners. I the past weeks I have heard the pastors of my church preach that sinners do not want to be reminded they will accountable to God, that they will face God on the Judgment Day. So they want to remove anything that will remind them of any accountability to God.

Is the Church being what Jesus intended it to be? Or are we joining in by comforting the sinner in their sin so they do not feel judged? When we read John 3:16, we learn of the greatest LOVE, God’s LOVE for sinners. He gave His One and only Son Jesus so that no one would perish, “go to an everlasting hell.”

The greatest act of love, an act of Love louder than any other act the church could ever express is to tell a lost individual about Jesus Christ. This is called EVANGELISM. Spreading the Gospel is the greatest act of love the church can be. Jesus Church loves lost people when it is evangelizing. Jesus said, “My church will be expansive” and full of His energy, His power.

Dear Heavenly Father, let us live as You have intended us to live as a Church, a body of Your believers. Let us evangelize the world beginning with our Jerusalem. Let us pray for the sinner to come a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name we pray.

 

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