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Christ promised the gates of hell would never prevail

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: My church is no longer the church it used to be. Many say they follow the Lord but don’t really read His Word or preach it. Can this be a Biblical church? — D.C.

Dear D.C.: Within the vast complexities, bureaucracies, organizations, and institutions of Christendom there exists the true Body of Christ. They are the ones who have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27). They are scattered in all denominations, and many are in no denomination at all. This is the church against which Christ promised the gates of hell would never prevail (Matthew 16:18).
There is a group of people, often a minority, in almost every congregation who have personally met the living Christ and can never be the same again. Not everyone in the church belongs to Christ. The word “church” comes from a Greek word, ecclesia, which means “to call out.” The church is composed of all those true believers from Pentecost onward who are united together in Christ. The Bible teaches that the church, the Body of Christ, is His body on earth of which He is the Head (Ephesians 1:22-23).
The church needs to be called back to Biblical authority. Many Protestant churches today are far from the authority of the Scriptures. We desperately need a new reformation.
Only a healthy church can help a sick world. Much social action today is nothing but sheer humanism. The changing of people’s hearts is the primary mission of the church. To proclaim the entire Gospel of Christ is the only answer to mankind’s deepest needs. True members of the church are those who have been transformed by the power of Christ and grow deeper in the things of God as His true disciples.
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)