Do We Belong to A Church or THE Church?
Today in church I jotted myself only one personal note about the content. This is unusual for me.
In a 30 minute sermon, I can often write 10-12 things down to research or that I thought about off-topic during the sermon. Today I heard something that caused me to pause.
I heard the word Hell used.
As a literal place.
Now many of you are confused or surprised by that statement.
If you were sitting here with me you’d probably be like, “Duh. You were in church. People talk about Hell in church.”
And I would agree with you, BUT.
But I’m tired of hearing people say the contemporary church doesn’t preach Hell or the blood of Jesus anymore.
We do talk about Hell and the blood of Jesus.
I heard about both of them in our sermon today. I partook in communion with the understanding that I was taking of His (Jesus’) body and His blood.
Of course I know it was products purchased at a store. Of course I know the analogy makes a lot of people very uncomfortable. Of course I know.
I know because the idea of Hell as a destination has frightened me.
I know because I was confused as a child how we could eat the body of our Savior and drink His blood. It’s gross. It’s wrong. We’d be cannibals.
I know because being a Christian isn’t about comfort and warm-fuzzy feelings:It’s about sacrifice.
I raise my hands in praise. I sing songs that might seem a bit like secular music. I read the Bible on my phone, tablet, laptop, and yes, my printed King James Version, too. I believe that mission work is more than important: It is necessary for life.
But I need to make it clear. Regardless of what type of church I attend, I need you to know that I believe in Hell as a literal place. With no Hell, there would be no Heaven. I believe it is worse than we even imagine it to be. And I don’t wish Hell on anyone. I hope for salvation which leads to Heaven.
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. Matthew 16:18
The message hasn’t changed.
As we witnessed many (13ish?) baptisms today, I can’t help but believe He truly does turn the old into NEW!
From Hell to Heaven.
From death to life.
From sinner to saint.
I am a member of the church.
Not a denomination, not a contemporary church, not a traditional church, not a specific building, not a specific saint, not even a specific congregation (although I do serve and gather with one), but I am a member of THE church that Christ refers to as “My church”.
It is my sincerest hope and prayer you can say the same thing. If you can’t, and you have questions, please ASK. Please question. Please don’t worry about how “dumb” a question might sound. There is no judgement here…only love.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/29372296@N00/19782534395">St Mary's Church in Hunstanton</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>