From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Governments shut down churches during the pandemic. Does it seem right for politicians to have this kind of authority over God’s people who need to be obedient to Scripture which says, “Do not forsake assembling together” and to take care of people? — C.C.
A: The church that the Bible speaks of isn’t just a particular building or congregation but the spiritual fellowship of all who belong to Jesus Christ.
The church is far greater than a building or meeting place. It includes the whole family of God — that vast unseen fellowship of men and women throughout the ages who belong to Christ. The Bible says, “As much as depends on you, live peaceably with all [people]” (Romans 12:18). This is something churches strive to do.
However, many churches have molded their programs around the community — not the Word of God. The Lord did not design the church to develop programs and cater to people’s needs — the Lord breathed life into the church to proclaim His truths, and while Christians care for those in need, it doesn’t replace making disciples as the Great Commission commands (Matthew 28:19).
It’s important for local church leaders to keep in touch with the spiritual state of their “flock,” to discuss their level of Biblical knowledge, and to teach them how to study God’s Word and pray. While some churches thrive and others diminish, nothing can come against “the church of the living God.” Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18, KJV).
Jesus Christ is the head of His church. He purchased the church with His very own blood and says, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2020 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.