The church, the body of Christ, will never fail

Published 12:05 pm Thursday, January 23, 2020

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: What are the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches and does it have anything to do with the church today? — C.W.

Dear C.W.: The book of Revelation contains seven letters dictated to the Apostle John to be sent to the seven churches in Asia. Pastors today would do well to take up a serious study of these with their congregations. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:11).

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Christ’s examination of His churches at that time is also an indictment on the church today. While His words sting with truth, they are also full of wonderful promises of what can happen when we heed His warnings and follow His commands, which bring conviction, repentance, and purification. Only then can the church really be effective.

A man once wrote, “For two thousand years the church has been in existence, and we still have war and misery. The church is a failure.” But that would be like saying that penicillin is a failure when a patient refuses to take it and follow its directions, or that sulfa drugs are a failure when the physician neglects to prescribe them.

The church, the body of Christ, will never fail. However, when churches turn away from God’s Word to chase after the worldly system, they stumble and fall. There is a vast difference between godliness and worldliness. There is a crisis today of many professing Christians walking hand-in-hand with the world, making it difficult to distinguish the Christian from the unbeliever. This should never be.

But the church was not designed to stop wars or to solve misery. The church was designed to proclaim God’s love and forgiveness to all people and declare that Jesus Christ came to eradicate sin in people’s hearts. May believers be the church Christ intends it to be.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)