The Baptist Beacon
The Perfect Church
by Rick Oliver
"Endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace" so states Eph. 4:3. "Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children. And walk in love as Christ also has loved us, and given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor." Eph. 5:1-2. Too many times we lose sight of this as Christians and we often follow self or man rather than God. The apostle Paul in his writings to the churches dealt with many problems, from idol worship, false doctrines, and fornication just to name a few, but in every aspect of his teaching he tells us to pattern our lives after Christ, abstain from the sin which would hinder us and that Jesus reign in our hearts and rules over the church. The Holy Spirit is our evidence and we should follow His leadership.
Today we see denominations and churches in shambles. People are looking and searching for the truth. Is there a right church? Jesus only set up one church and when man thinks he's in charge there certainly is no perfect church. Satan has infiltrated and persecuted the church to the point that many have lost sight of it. Over recent years Baptist's have been divided, deceitful doctrines have crept into once sound churches and it is simply because of men following after man's theology and Satan's influence over ones self and not following after God. "God is a spirit and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." The Holy Spirit anointed the church on the day of Pentecost and He will remain in the church till the Lord returns. It is the Holy Spirit that lets you know you are saved. God does not need man or a systematic altar practice to save souls. God uses men to preach the Gospel, by God called preachers, but it's by His Holy Spirit that He convicts, draws, and saves an individual, through their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God receives all the honor and glory. The Lord's church has always depended on Him to do the saving.
A sign of the true church is that it is spirit lead, there is love one for another, and that Jesus is the center of worship. Satan is trying to destroy from within. Where the truth is being preached, Satan is trying his hardest to hinder it.
We as Missionary Baptists believe that we are holding to the "old time way." The old fashioned knee route way to salvation. The born again experience where God's Holy Spirit lets you know you are saved. Let us not lose sight of Christ's commission for us. Now more than ever we as churches need fellowship one with another. If we have differences we should come together in love "endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." Man's pride in himself is one of Satan's greatest tools. "God is not the author of confusion." Lack of communication is a hindering cause in any relationship. As for the perfect church, I believe we will see it in the day glorious, "even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify it and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Yes, we must stand for the truth, but those who are standing must stand together. United our lights can shine forth into this world that lost souls may see that truly there is a difference.