Nr.59 ended with: “Yet at the same I was not satisfied with what was happening and something was bothering me……!” (See: richardandmarina.net)
Up till now I had mainly been involved in evangelistic meetings and home Bible studies and a number of people had become Christians. When the meetings were finished I would move on to another place, leaving the responsibility of teaching these young Christians to others. But Jesus had said that we were to make disciples, so not just Christians, but true followers of Him. And then that verse in the gospel of Matthew that burned into my heart, Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” ch.16:18b. When asked why Jesus came to earth, most people will answer, “To show us God’s love” or “To reveal God to us” or “To die for our sins” and so on. These are all true, but in Matthew Jesus says that He came to “Build his church.” What did He mean with that?
In the Old Testament God used the Jewish people as His instrument. He revealed Himself to them and they were responsible to pass that revelation on to the world. But they failed and God set them aside, at least for the time being. Then Jesus came as God’s revelation and He was the perfect revelation, He could truly say, “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father” John 14:9b. He then went to the cross and paid our debt, so as to be able to forgive us, and He rose again so as to be able to give us new life. All those who receive Him, John 1:12, are now children of God and together form the (universal) church, which is now God’s instrument. This universal church consists out of millions of local churches all over the world. We came to realize that God wanted us not just to evangelize, but to build or plant local churches, which would be God’s instruments in this sick world. What a challenge! And we became aware of the fact that God was sending us to Europe to do exactly that. Would that really happen? I wasn’t so sure of that the first while that we were in Belgium……! (See: Musings)