FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK
There is lots of pressure on the church today. With all the shutdowns, many churches have seen their giving drop to unsustainable levels. Even as we begin to open a little, many churchgoers are unwilling to regather. Will the church survive? I am reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew Sixteen, “…I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” That promise is on the heels of Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt. 16:16-18). So, the answer to the question as to whether the Church will survive is a resounding “YES”. While individual local churches may succumb to the pandemic shutdown, the body of Jesus Christ is growing in strength and maturity. He is building His church and government shutdowns will not overpower it.
It is important to understand something about the meaning of the term “church”. The Bible calls it the body of Christ (Eph. 1:23, 4:12; 1Cor. 12:27). And the body of Christ is made up of every born-again believer in Jesus Christ regardless of where they live or what local fellowship they attend. We are fellow members of Christ’s body with all the born-again believers in the Morongo Basin and throughout the world. And this is the church that Jesus is building. It is so much bigger than just one local fellowship.
Does this mean we are to be merely spectators while Jesus does all the work? No!!! In Ephesians Four the individual members of the body of Christ are metaphorically called “joints” and “individual parts”. So, in talking about the growth of this body it says, “from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Eph 4:16 NAS20)” Each of us needs to be working properly, supplying ministry to the rest of the Body so that it can continue to grow toward maturity.
I believe this pandemic is a plague, permitted by God to get our attention that the return of Christ is very soon (Lk. 21:11). Jesus compared His followers who would be alive just prior to His return, to the household staff who had been given jobs to do while their boss was away (Mk. 13:34-37). They are to do their jobs and stay alert for their master’s return. The job of the church is clear: we are to work to fulfill the Great Commission (Mt. 18:18-20; Mk. 16:15; Act 1:8). Our enemy has tried to use the pandemic to divide the churches and get the church members to stop working. But we are not ignorant of his schemes!
Join us for the Easter celebrations this month. Good Friday Service sponsored by the Pastors Fellowship will be at noon at Crossview Bible Church here in Yucca Valley. And Living Hope Church will be hosting the Community Easter Sunrise Service here in our Amphitheater starting at 6:00 a.m. By the way, this is the 70th anniversary of the Sunrise Service!
Indeed, Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; and He will build His church! May God bless you richly.
In Christ our living hope,