Points from the Pastor's Pen
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Mathew 16:18-19
When Jesus used the word church (ekklesia), his disciples weren’t hindered by our contemporary preconceived ideas as to what it meant…
Ekklesia literally means called-out.
According to Vines Bible Dictionary: Ekklesia is a body of citizens gathered (called out) to discuss the affairs of state.
“To the Greeks in Jesus’ day an ekklesia was an assembly of people set apart to govern the affairs of state or nation. To the Romans, it was a group of people sent into a conquered region to alter the culture until it became like Rome. Realizing this was the ideal way to control their empire, they infiltrated government, social structure, language, schools, etc., until the people talked, thought, and acted Roman.” How is the church doing this?
“When Jesus said He would build His Church, He was without question speaking of a body of people that would legislate spiritually for Him, extending His kingdom government (rule) over the earth. His statement that the gates of hell will not overpower it makes much more sense when we understand this...Jesus is saying that the kingdom government of hell won’t prevail over His kingdom government on earth which is the Church. He follows that declaration by saying He would give to His ekklesia the “keys”...Christ’s church would have keys (authority) to lock the gates (government) of hell and release the gates (government) of heaven.”
“The church of Christ is not supposed to be a group of harmless, irrelevant, mind-your-own-business worshipers who gather once a week, tucked away from anything public, just to practice their particular mode of religion.”
“We are to invade our culture, workplace, city, nation, with the might of God’s kingdom and spread His life and rule everywhere (Great Commission). The Acts church turned their world “upside down” (Acts 17:6). They upset the status quo everywhere they went.”
If a society or culture remains the same after Christ’s church shows up, then the church is not being the CHURCH.
Acts 13:36 Served here literally means “under rower”. It was used of the several rowers in a ship’s galley. The key to their success was the synergy created by rowing together...to take turns rowing would have accomplished little.
We row “together” creating an unstoppable thrust of kingdom life into every sector of society: religion, government, education, the arts, media, business, and family.
Is our church rowing together?
Your Pastor and Friend,