What do you hear people say about the church today? While those who consider faith irrelevant may speak of it dismissively, many believers also give it a failing grade, based on disappointments with their local congregation. But there is a bigger picture.
Though local churches may close, God always preserves His saints and raises up new communities of believers.
For God’s perspective, let’s recall what Jesus Himself said: “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18). Though local churches may close, God always preserves His saints and raises up new communities of believers.
Stop and think about how the church began and how it has continued—one can conclude only that it’s the work of God. The body of Christ began with just 120 people, who gathered to pray and wait for the promised Holy Spirit; 10 days later they received “the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead” that first Easter (Eph. 1:19-20 NLT). Throughout the ages, the church has been persecuted, infiltrated with false teaching from within, and attacked by demonic forces from without, yet all this time it has been supernaturally kept by Jesus Christ.
If you feel discouraged with church or complacent about its importance, remember we, too, have God’s Spirit and prayer—the same sources of power given to the early believers. I pray these devotions will help you recognize that the church remains a vital part of God’s redemption plan, as well as a source of encouragement and spiritual growth for His people.