What Type of Church Does the Lord Love to Bless?
During my recent candidation trip I taught 2 sessions on the following topic: What type of Church Does the Lord love to bless? This is an essential question to consider since all of us want the Lord’s blessings upon our own lives & upon the ministry of our particular local church. No one wants to devote time, money, talents, and resources to a sinking ship. As believers we want to be in the sphere of God’s love and in the center of His will.
Now if you believe that the Lord doesn’t really care about what goes down here on earth, particularly with reference to His Church, just read Revelation 2-3. There we discover 7 letters from God to 7 real churches. God wanted these churches to know what they were doing well but also to understand what they needed to change, and in some cases, what they needed to repent of. The Apostles wrote many inspired letters to various local churches to help ensure there spiritual vitality. We have many of these inspired letters in our NT canon.
We also have of course the ultimate example. Jesus Christ loved the church so much that He gave His very life for her (note Eph 5, Acts 20:28). The Church is infinitely precious to God!
In light of these considerations, it is essential that we believers keep ourselves and our churches in the sphere of God’s blessing. I think it would be well worth our time to invest a little energy answering the question: What Type of Church Does the Lord Love to Bless?
God blesses Churches that: #1 Rightly identify and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s first examine Matthew 16:13. Here we find one of the great accounts that transpired during the life of Christ. Matthew 16:13-15 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
We are bombarded with so many questions during our lives:
a) 85 Bears or the 72 Dolphins?
b) Regular or decaffeinated?
c) Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi?
d) Deal or No deal?
e) NASB or NKJV?
Our response to so many questions in life is really not that significant. Not so with this inquiry. Verse 15 contains life’s most important question. Jesus said to the 12, “But who do you say that I am?” If you get the answer to this question wrong you have no hope of spending eternity with God in heaven. If you get this question wrong you don’t have a true Church.
Which is exactly why Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Peter understand our Lord’s teaching on this subject which is why he declared in Acts 4:12, And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
It should go without saying, but let me say it anyways: If you’re a child of God’s, by default you’re also one of Jesus’ disciples; which means He is both Savior and Lord of your life.
So Jesus asks in v. 15, “But who do you say that I am?” And Simon Peter (the spokesman for the 12) answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter received Divine insight to correctly ID Jesus as both Messiah and God! Jesus wasn’t just another prophet, a great human teacher, or a fancy miracle worker. He was God very God (in human flesh)! Immanuel. The Lamb of God who came to die and redeem lost sinners (Mk 10:45).
God only blesses Churches that: #1 Rightly identify and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Lord of the Church (Col 2:18)! Church leaders and pastors are undershepherds. Their is only one Chief Shepherd and it’s His Church!
One only needs to examine Revelation 4:9-11 & Revelation 5:9-11 to catch a glimpse of what’s going on in heaven. Revelation 4:9-11, And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Revelation 5:9-12, And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Is it any surprise then that God blesses churches that are Christ-centered! Churches with Biblical Christology’s. The Church gets to experience a little bit of heaven on earth when she rightly identifies and worships the Lord Jesus Christ!