And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it – Matthew 16:18.
The Lord follows up this assertion with, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” The Lord is in man building up His church, as was represented by Peter. As Scriptures rightly confirm that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. He then promised that He would give us the keys of the kingdom of heaven (i.e. kingdom authority and power) to build His church and to operate as His church. We already have been given authority and power to build and operate as a church – with astounding victory and success.
We’ve been mandated, equipped and empowered to build and operate as God wants us to, we get this from God and not from man. It’s a divine mandate from above. We build people into church, and not form or raise rogue individuals. Church is a gathering or community of followers or disciples of Jesus. He gave us a mandate to build to last. Itinerant people masquerading as believers without submission to and instruction from a church of Christ are rogue, spoilt elements who are breaking from the mandate the Lord gave to His church. These are the ones being devoured and used by the devil to destroy what the church actually stands for. They keep moving from church to church with disastrous consequences to their own lives and those of others. They’re like dark clouds without rain.
We’ve been given a mandate, authority and power to build a victorious church of Jesus, not rogue individuals who are insubordinate, undisciplined and self-serving. Questionable churches are mushrooming everywhere because they’re pandering to the wrong interests of these people. Church is God’s divine establiment to reconcile man to Himself and to restore to man all of His blessings, but not to serve individual self-interests that are out of sync with this. Church exists for our eternal existence, not for the passing existence of this life. As such, when we hold a narrow view of the church we miss the bigger picture. Jesus came to establish and inaugurate His church, and has commissioned us to build it with authority and power – and He’s always working alongside us.