“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18, ESV) What does it mean when Jesus says, “My church”? We can simply say this belongs to Him, He owns it, and He has full authority over it. The church is the representation of Him, who He is, and what He stands for. If a church is without Jesus, then it is not of Him. And if a church is not of Him, to Him it is not His church. Pay careful attention now, my dear friends, if the church we are attending and the body we are engaging with and agreeing with, is not for Christ Jesus, then it is not His church and it will not have His power to stop the gates of hell from prevailing against it.
There are many who claim to be believers in Jesus, so what do they believe about Jesus? Do they believe what Jesus stands for? This is not just a question, but it is a decision you must clearly make for yourself. Through this you will be able to see are you truly a Christ-follower or simply have the title of Christian.
“Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” (John 14:6, NIV)
He is the truth! In John 17:17 (NIV) it says, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” Truth only comes from the Word, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrew 4:12, NIV) When you hear the word, if it does not pierce your soul and spirit, and has no teaching, rebuking, correcting, or training of righteous in your thoughts and attitude, then it is not the word God-breathed (2 timothy 3 16-17). Without truth, there is no repentance, and Jesus said, “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3, NIV)
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…” (Matthew 5:31-34, 41, NIV)
Are you His sheep? His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27), and will do what the Master does (Luke 6:40). Following Christ is not for self-love, but to love one another in truth (1 John 3:18). Many would like to be called Christian, but do not desire to be Christ-followers. They want to go to a feel-good church, but not a church which speaks truth and repentance. They seek their rights at humans and no longer humbly submit to the righteousness of God. If repentance is a hard message for you, then please be aware of the sin of pride in your life. Jesus came for sinners, and washes our sin away, but we must go through the process of sanctification with His truth. May all who want to be His sheep listen and walk in His truth.