From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Going to church doesn’t make one a Christian, nor does every church building represent Jesus Christ. Satan often invades Sunday school and Bible classes, and even the pulpit. Many people sit in some churches week after week without hearing the whole Gospel and learning what it is to be born again.
The true church on earth is made up of individuals who have repented of sin. The building is not the church, but those who follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Jesus established the church for the purpose of fellowship and instruction on how to live in obedience to God and His Word. The Lord didn’t design the church to cater to people’s needs, establish community programs, or blend into the community by embracing what the world enjoys. When this happens, the world’s ideas and interests infiltrate the church. The Bible warns of this: “For certain [people] have crept in unnoticed … who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).
The Lord breathed life into the church to proclaim His truths. The church should never seek pleasures but seek after God. The church is a storehouse of spiritual food whereby the inner man is fed, nourished, and developed into maturity. If it fails in this, it is not fulfilling its purpose as a church.
We must pray that the Lord will lead every believer into fellowship with others who desire to glorify God in everything we do. “Know how … to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)