What’s the Answer? The Church or the Christ?

I cannot tell you how many times I have talked with people about their loved ones’ standing with God. This is a good thing. I have loved ones and pray for their standing with God. The thing that has disturbed me about how some have requested me to pray is that they ask me to pray that they get back in church. Honestly, I believe there is a much better prayer to pray. The root of this issue is this – Is the answer the church or the Christ?

The answer is Christ. I pray that people will fall in love with Jesus not an institution. You may think, “But you’re a pastor! You shouldn’t be praying such things or publicly blogging such things.” My response is that no one should exalt a building over the One who died so that those who trust in Him can meet together to glorify Him and grow together in Him. The true church is not an organization but people all over the world who have trusted in Christ to wash away their sins. Believers in nearby locations meet together for worship and growth. The way they do that doesn’t have to fit cultural expectations. The church gathered has taken on many expressions, and many of them are different but still accomplishing the Great Commission. I will not criticize a church because it doesn’t look like mine. God uses us all to accomplish His Kingdom Work.

With all that said, the answer is the Christ. The church may help lead people to the answer and grow deeper in Him, but people will face a Christless eternity if they put the cart before the horse. You can say a thousand prayers, sing a thousand churchy songs, get wet in a baptistery, join a church, and serve on 15 committees and die apart without a relationship with Christ. He is the answer. So here is what I say…Take me to the King!

Author: Matthew Winters (The Comeback Pastor)

Born and raised in Portsmouth, VA, I eventually landed in upstate SC because when God calls I move. I gave my life to Christ in 1987 and surrendered to the call to ministry in 1997. I am a three-time graduate from Liberty University and Theological Seminary: BS in Religion (2003), the MA in Religion (Leadership concentration - 2006), and the Master of Divinity (Pastoral Ministries - 2013). I have served as a worship leader and senior pastor in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia since 1996. After experiencing a divorce, God graciously gave me my wife, Jennifer, whom I married in September 2015. Between the two of us, we have 6 children. I am the Lead/Founding Pastor of Overcomers Church in Walhalla, SC, a church plant that is helping those who have been overcome by life to become Overcomers in Christ. Jennifer and I both love people and long to see them enter into a relationship with Christ and walk in the power of His Spirit. I pray that these thoughts I share will challenge and inspire you to greater heights and deeper depths for the glory of Christ.

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