Andrew M. Connally
God’s purpose in sending Jesus into the world was to save sinners: “For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Again, “Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). His program in accomplishing this was urgent and full, for He said, “We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. When I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5).
Yet, He accomplished His Father’s mission, for John declares that Jesus said, “I glorified thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which thou hast given me to do” (John 17:4).
In order to accomplish God’s purpose, He shed His blood. Matthew records, “For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). In doing so, Jesus died for all men, everywhere: “But we behold him who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:9-10).
But, in the midst of such a program Jesus said He would build Himself a church: “And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). We pose this question: If the church has nothing to do with our salvation, what did He want with it when He came to seek and save the lost?
His very blood was shed to purchase the church, for elders are exhorted to “feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Why would He shed His blood to purchase a nonessential institution when His mission was to save the lost?
What do men really think of the church? Most of them do not really think of the church at all! Those who do usually equate it with a lodge or civic club, the thought of which is blasphemy! The way many members neglect it, reject it, reflect upon it is not a bit better! Shame on them! But the idea that salvation is out of it contradicts every statement in the Bible on the subject!