"...upon this rock I will build my church;..." Matthew 16:18
Recently my earthly father went home to be with his Lord a bit sooner than we were prepared to accept. Even in the midst of all the sadness of missing my Dad, there's a peace about his homegoing that touches my heart in ways that is difficult to express to others. Just this past week, I had a dream in the wee hours of the morning. The only thing that I brought away from the dream was that I was having a very real conversation with my Dad who was seated and talking with me. Only one word of the conversation was I allowed to keep, and I will hold on to this always. The statement that sticks in my mind is this: "Julie, it's ecclesia here." Now that seems rather odd, at least it did to me, as I'm familiar with the term ecclesiology and knowing that this pertains to "the church." So, I did some searching to uncover this gem that I'd been given.
To my great excitement, I found that Christ used this word some 3 times to refer to His "called out" saints. The passage mentioned above in Matthew is Christ speaking of this group, not some church building or structure. This is His "assembly" of those He has "called out" to be His church.
If you're a believer today, then you too are among these who are "called out." What a special blessing we have in store as part of the "ecclesia" belonging to our Lord Jesus Christ. All the more reason that I know we will one day join my Dad and so many other loved ones, who have preceded us to this place of such bliss.
Yet, while we're here, we have a calling to a life of separation as believers. Even as He has made us to be pure and without spot, He has called us to this place of holiness in Him. Paul gives us an admonition in:
II Corinthians 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
Oh the wonder of that which we have to gain as an inheritance in the life to come. Shouldn't it be worth everything? He has called, have you answered? He will come. Will He find us watching?
In His ecclesia,
There was once a time among us as a people
that we were deeply divided as a nation, troubled at heart, disquieted in our society. Our very founding ideas were being challenged, political advantage was being sought from both sides, both with misguided efforts and motives of selfishness. America was going to be tried, truth was going to be brought forth, but it was going to come at great price!
What was done by force could have come by repentance and prayer, by reviewing the ideas of our Founding Principles, but we choose to cling to ourselves and our own efforts. Yet in the midst of this trial, truth began to come forth in many forms. One was in a song that became a sounding board for the Northern Cause (The Battle Hymn of the Republic).
As the Northern Army was singing this for their support, in reality the vintage of wrath that had been stored up and now being loosed was upon the nation as a whole.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps; They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps; I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps; His day is marching on.
The Northern Army continued to sing, but in the South in the evening dew and
damps, ever so dim it might appear, a spiritual stir was awaking, souls coming
to the kingdom from the camps all over our land, a remembering of our former
ways and our faith in our God.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel; As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal; Let the Hero born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, Since God is marching on.
The Northern Army continued to sing, and so he did, both sides were finding a refreshing cause, a Hero born of woman, and the serpent within our land was being crushed by His heel, our God was indeed marching on in our land.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His Judgment-seat: Oh, be swift my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on.
As the Northern Army continued to sing, indeed was He sifting the hearts of men, quick to answer was many, for our God was marching on!
The Northern Army continued to sing, and our nation was being transformed, ever since we have died to make men free, but we have forgot from time to time that He died to make men holy.
Again today our principles are being challenged, society is being disquieted, our people becoming divided. We as a nation are all but holy, we cannot sing of Christ in our army now, so I just wonder, what song we will sing?
May God bless each of you,