What is the Church ?
It is not the building; it is not made up of four walls; nor is it the religion. The word “Church” is derived from Greek and means “those called out to gather.” It is, therefore, not the structure in which men and women come together to worship God.
The Church is us, men and women gathering to worship God wherever we are. That’s why when we are on a mountain, the church is on that mountain; when we are under a tree, the church is there too. This church does not resemble the one built by Solomon or Zerubbabel. The church is wherever we are. You are the church; I am the church!
Therefore, it is you who must wake up, and I must wake up too. Wake-up calls in the word of God are frequent, as we can see in the following passages:
“Come, let us return to the Lord! For he has torn us, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bind us up. After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up, that we may live before him.” Hosea 6:1-2
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
As the word of God asserts, we are surrounded by witnesses who are the angels, archangels, seraphim, and cherubim. How will you escape? Where will you find reason?
The apostle Paul tells us that all these witnesses surround us, and because we know that we can never be right, we must quickly cast off every burden and sin that easily entangles us to run the race well and achieve victory.
As Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” we can cast all burdens on Jesus, the chief and perfecter of our faith. Have confidence, for he stands ready to bear your burden, your sin, whatever their nature, so that you may become free and light if you give yourself entirely to him.
Let us not waste time judging and criticizing people around us, for it is a sin. God has not appointed us as judges over people but as witnesses and intercessors. That is why the Egyptian asked Moses who made him a judge over them. Paul even asked who can judge the elect of God.
Jealousy, hatred, theft, disloyalty, impurity… are sins. Paul says that sin easily entangles us. Note the word ‘easily.’ People can lie easily, insult easily, slander easily, or envy easily, or even watch pornography easily.
Sin easily entangles us, and yet we should resist it, especially as the apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:4:
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood; that’s why you cannot be right.”
However, in the Old and New Testament, there were people who resisted sin fiercely, even at the cost of their lives. These people will be your witnesses before God because they resisted sin to the point of being beheaded.
Some commit sin as easily as drinking water. And these are the same ones who always blame the devil, whom they hold responsible for all their shortcomings: “I tithed, it’s the devil; I criticized people, it’s the devil…”. These are actually the desires of the flesh. You do what pleases the flesh.
Have you ever resisted sin to the point of shedding your blood? Stand firm and resist sin. It was said in Daniel 3:6-18 to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
“Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace… Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
So, unload your burdens onto Jesus and resist sins. Everyone can lie, but you can resolve not to. You did not convert for others; others did not save you. Paul says that if we go back to sin, we put Christ back on the cross. So, do not bring Christ back to the cross; resist sin! Resist theft, corruption, lies, alcohol, and all other forms of sin.
Why do you let sin easily entangle you? Resist! This is especially important since it is written in Hebrews 10:26:
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.“
You lie deliberately, commit adultery deliberately, envy deliberately, hate people deliberately… Let’s resist sin! Jesus was also tempted; he did not escape temptation but resisted it. I have never seen anyone lie down on the road, seeing a truck coming, and say it’s the devil. It is said to resist sin to the point of shedding blood.
Paul says not to reject the Lord’s reprimands. Christians nowadays do not want God to correct them; they do not want reproach. Yet, Paul says that for you to go to heaven, you must accept God’s reprimands, corrections, and punishments. Let’s return to the Lord, turn around.
The Church has taken a path, and we are at a level where we must quickly turn around. When Israel had a good relationship, good communion with God, walked according to His will, and did what was pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, they found themselves in grace, blessing, protection, success.
But as soon as they turned away from their God, problems and misfortunes besieged them. God met them with difficulties and misfortunes to bring them back on the right path.
This is what Paul reveals by stating that the Lord chastises those He loves. If a legitimate child makes mistakes and is allowed to do so, then he is a bastard. Otherwise, all fathers always show the right way to their children. If they do wrong, parents correct them. Therefore, it is not God who will let us do whatever we want. Many Christians, when they do wrong, and church leaders reprimand them, change churches.
Which pastor, responsible for leading you before God and making his report, will let you do foolish things and applaud you? That’s why the same Christians keep changing churches. Accept that the Lord corrects you. If He wounded us, He will also bandage our wounds.
This text is an excerpt from the book “It’s Time For The Church Of Jesus Christ Awakens” written by Prophet Emmanuel SAWADOGO .