Ready for some truth? This one will be hard to swallow and it is even harder for me to say but, well, it needs to be said.
You CANNOT love Jesus and reject HIS church.
The whole point of Jesus giving up his place in heaven to put on human skin, to be hated, spit on, rejected, tortured, and killed was for His church.
In our American, “it’s all about me”western way of thinking, we like to think that he died and rose again just for us, but that is sadly a lie from the evil one.
Real talk? Jesus died for His church. The church is his bride. That church includes those who call on His name, who accept Him as their Savior and who follow him wholeheartedly as disciples.
Can we be hurt by the institution of the church? Can we hate the hypocrisy? Can we feel left out? Can we feel like it is not relevant?
Of course we can.
The church is made up by a bunch of imperfect, broken people trying to walk in the way of the PERFECT one. We get it wrong all the time. But guess what? He knew we would; that’s why there is grace upon grace.
Remember that old saying: wherever you go, there you are? If you are a follower of Jesus, if you have put off your old self and put on the new, then wherever you go, you are the church. You cannot get away from it or separate from it.
Instead of writing the church off because we are disillusioned or hurt, we must remember how much Jesus went through to pay the price for the church.
He paid his life. God gave his Son.
So I challenge you and myself to BE the church that Jesus died for. Be the church you wish you had. Look at what he actually says about his church and what it means to follow him.
Love. Learn. Be. Follow. Obey. Love.
This is the journey of a disciple of Jesus, the journey of the members of His church.