This post is part two of this post
So what did this gifted writer talk about when he said, Get the church out of the club? If all this is NOT church, then who is the church, or what is the church?
Jonathan Parnell defines church as a community of Christians who live as the on-the-ground expression of the supremacy of Jesus by advancing the Gospel in distance and in depth. The church is a people of “God’s possession to proclaim the Excellencies of Him who called them out of the darkness into his marvelous Light” (1 Peter 2:9), a people called the church. The scriptures are clear also on who is the church. The church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27). Christ has already paid the bride price. It was an expensive affair. He did not just pay with anything else but by His blood. It cost Him His very own life to redeem her, to purchase her from the world to Himself (1 Corinthians 6:20). That bride is waiting for the grand feast, the wedding of the lamb where she will be married to her Groom, according to the scriptures and will be with Him to all eternity (Revelation 19:7). Meanwhile, she is preparing for that Grand Day.
The Church, the bride of Christ, therefore cannot mix itself with a world that it has been redeemed from. She knows, even though not entirely, how much it cost to purchase her. She knows her role is to express the supremacy of her Groom in a lost world. Her Groom warned her that the world would hate her, just like they hated Him (John 15:18-25). That was a warning that they should not expect to be celebrated. He reminded her that the world “would be against her not on her side” (John 15:19). He told her that without him she could do nothing, that she had no potential of her own (John 15) and so cannot believe in herself. Paul reminds her that she should “not be unequally yoked with non-believers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). This did not mean that she should not be mingling with non-believers, but that she should not have fellowship with them or be yoked with them. John tells her “not to love the world, and all that is in it” (2 John 2:15-16).
You see, the church, those who have been redeemed, those who have been brought from darkness into His marvelous Light, cannot therefore fit in the club. Whatever is in the club is NOT the church. The church will never even enter there. It cannot fit. It is too low a standard to conform to. The church of Christ is strong. It is spiritual, it honors her Groom. It multiplies from the grassroots. It expands when it has been persecuted. It is a spiritual force. She is the agent that her Groom uses to expand His Kingdom. It is recorded that ‘the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.’(Acts 9:31). The church walks in the fear of her Groom and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
The local gatherings of people, scattered all over the world, is the expression of that church. The church is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). The Church is the flock, a holy temple, the building, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, the bride and she has a mandate- and she will multiply like the in Judea and Samaria. The church has NOT died, it cannot die. It has a mandate that is not physically visible but its fruits are evident. The church will make disciples until the “earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord like the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). She is unstoppable; she will triumph fully when her Groom is revealed.
So comedies like Pray and Prey cannot mock the church. That is NOT how the church lives. The church is HOLY and PURE. She knows that her Groom is coming and cannot therefore defile herself with the pleasures of this world. They are nothing compared to her “blessed hope, the glorious return of Her Lord Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). So let no non-believer be deceived that the church is dying, that it has lost its saltiness. The church of Christ is ALIVE and “God knows those who are His” (2 Timothy 2:19).
Let the mockers be warned however that “God is NOT mocked “(Galatians 6:7). And those of us, who claim to be part of this church, the body of Christ and are participating and sitting behind the screens to watch and be entertained, be warned to, you may actually not be part of the Church. Examine yourself, like Paul tells the Corinth church, whether you are still in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).