Matthew 16:13-20 (KJV)
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
“The Christ, the son of the living God” is the Rock of Ages, the promised one for the remission of sin. “Upon this truth” He will build His Church (Eklisia), and the gates of hell shall not prevail!
Also, Jesus (the Bride Groom) is saying that he will build his “church” – he does not say that man will build his church. Man (humanity) has no control of how the Father decides to work within a person’s life (or not) by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many churches preach the gospel, yet it is the Lord God who decides to empower and fill his elect.
All the preaching and “temple building” in the world will not affect God’s will for our lives, as He alone is sovereign moving in his own providence in whom he chooses to do a work.
Only an anti-Christ would dare and assume that they have this power in moving independent of God’s leading.
Unfortunately, this is what a large portion of the so-called “church” has become. I believe this is symbolized in Revelations 17-18, the Chief anti-Christ (Harlot, an unfaithful bride) and her daughters, the offspring of the Roman Catholic Church – even the so-called Protestants who may also be unfaithful to the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
This is those who have a form of Godliness, but not the power thereof, and the faithful are instructed to avoid such as these. The Bible does not say to try to convert or to “protest” them, but rather to simply avoid them.
If one is to repent (change their mind) about such heretical teachings, and earnestly and humbly follow Christ, that brother or sister is then restored to the rest of the brethren.
Moving independent of our Lord’s leading in “building something for Jesus – the do it yourself salvation plan, has become epidemic today, primarily because of the “lack of knowledge” (spiritual) that an Elder is required to understand, along with sound doctrines.
I won’t mention any names, but a friend of mine told me that the Eastern Shore, (wear I live) is about to be invaded by yet another tambourine beating, guitar strumming, hand waving charismatic personalities in which I had fled from earlier in my life from the overcrowded western shore, and back to my roots, I might add! I now feel invaded by the very people I attempted to move far away from!
To me, you cannot have a “mega church movement” as the Lord God moves in individuals and not on mass like a bunch of cattle or Catholics (at the risk of being offensive). Rather the Lord moves quietly amongst the hearts who are still and will listen to him he has done a work within.
I will stop there, as I do not wish to paint people with too broad a brush, but I can tell you that the Lord is the one who builds his church, and this is not done in the flesh like at a carnival; the word derived from carnal!
Be still and know that “I am God” – the Bible teaches; it does not say to build something for Jesus, even in our misplaced zeal.