WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE WORD CHURCH?
Do you know that God NAMES His people according to the QUALITY and CHARACTER that they display? Let’s consider a few:
(1.) ABRAHAM--“father of a multitude.” Indeed, he is! He’s the father of Israel, but not only them. He’s also the father of many Arab nations!
(2.) Israel (Genesis 32:28)--“a prince who has power with God and with men, and has prevailed (has the might to endure).” Israel, as a nation, has endured--they’ve suffered and yet, they have retained their national identity, even unto this end time.
(3.) Methuselah--(Now, this is quite a name!) Methuselah is well known for being the OLDEST man to ever live, BEFORE the “great flood” of Noah’s day. Methuselah’s name means--“His death shall bring”--which is actually a PROPHECY. Whenever Enoch shouted to his son BY NAME, here’s what the pre-flood people heard--“When he is dead, it shall come.” Indeed, it happened that way! The VERY YEAR that Methuselah died, the flood came!
So what is the meaning of the word CHURCH? What does God HEAR when He speaks to us by that name? “The called-out assembly.”
Oh, you might ask, how does that APPLY to us as a people? I’ll give you a brief definition, as found in the Strong’s Concordance.
“Church” is “ekklesia” in the Greek language. It’s primary meaning is “a calling out of a religious congregation.” However, there are ROOTS within “ekklesia” which enlarges our understanding.
“Ek” means “out of a place” or “out of a time.” “Kaleo” means “to call” and “to call forth” and “to call aloud.” “Kaleo” comes from “Keleuo” which means “to hail” and “to bid” and “to give a command.” So now, let’s combine the string of meanings and see what we get.
The CHURCH is the EKKLESIA which means to be “called out of a place.” The JEWS and GENTILES in the CHURCH are CALLED OUT of Israel and CALLED OUT of the world to become the CALLED-OUT ASSEMBLY known as the Church.
The CHURCH is the EKKLESIA which means to be “called out of a time.” How can people be “called-out” from A TIME (such as THAT HOUR which will come upon the WHOLE WORLD to TRY them who DWELL ON THE EARTH? Revelation 3:10.) How can a people be CALLED-OUT from A TIME which is WORLDWIDE, unless they’re taken into a dimension where TIME NO LONGER EXISTS? The assembly known as the Church will be CALLED OUT of the VERY TIME which is known as the TRIBULATION, and we will meet Jesus in the air in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. By that method, we are NOT on earth at THE TIME of God’s Judgment. Indeed, we’ll be CALLED OUT of the TIME of it!
When the CHURCH, the EKKLESIA, is CALLED OUT of this world in the Pre-Trib Rapture, it will occur at the SHOUT of Jesus, Who commands “Come up here!” This CALL is A BID from Jesus. It’s TO HAIL--like in a SHOUT. It’s TO GIVE A COMMAND. Jesus will SHOUT, HAIL, BID and COMMAND, “Come up here.” When the Pre-Trib Rapture occurs, the CALLED-OUT ASSEMBLY will be CALLED-OUT (by a shout) from an earth that’s ripe for God’s judgments. We’ll be CALLED-OUT and UPWARDS and into our HEAVENLY MANSIONS where TIME is NO MORE. So we, Church, are INDEED the CALLED-OUT ASSEMBLY--in EVERY DETAIL of the definition!
I thought you’d enjoy that word study. But that’s not all there is to see!
RIGHTEOUSNESS--A “POSITION” OF RIGHT STANDING IN JESUS
Why is the church NOT appointed to wrath? 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Romans 5:9. Because THE BLOOD of Jesus has ALREADY made us READY to be united with Him forevermore. We are MADE RIGHTEOUS in Him ALREADY.
IF we needed to be "purified" by the events of the Tribulation, that means Jesus' SHED BLOOD was NOT ENOUGH to make us pure. We possess the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD through what Jesus did! We are declared BY GOD as RIGHTEOUS--which is THE RESULT of our BELIEF and ACCEPTANCE of Jesus!
Consider this scripture. Allow it to soak deep into your hearts and minds.
“For He (God) HAS MADE HIM (Jesus) to BE SIN for us, (Jesus) Who KNEW NO SIN; that we MIGHT be MADE the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Jesus TOOK our sins on the cross, and received the judgment of God for them--for us! Every sin ever sinned from the Garden of Eden to the end of the Millennium was placed upon our SAVIOR! ALL that SIN fell upon Jesus, Who is the SINLESS One. Our sin infiltrated His Holy Person, and He became REPUGNANT before God. When the Father JUDGED our sin in His only begotten Son, Jesus FELT AND EXPERIENCED the SEPARATION FROM GOD which SIN BRINGS, so much so, that He cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Psalm 22:1. Matthew 27:46.
Every sin of every man and woman (past, present and future), fell upon the flesh of the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD! Jesus took ALL that sin (IN OUR STEAD, acting on OUR BEHALF) so that God could JUDGE it in His Own Son (instead of upon us). Jesus PAID God’s PENALTY for ALL those SINS! John 19:20--in which “finished” means “completed”, “made an end to”, and “filled up”. Jesus PAID the PRICE COMPLETELY “for us” so that we can be “set free”! Jesus did it so that we MIGHT be MADE the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Him!
The word MIGHT is there in 2 Corinthians 5:21, because being set free of our sins contains a CONDITION. We must ACCEPT the GIFT that God gave to us in His Son--(which is God’s GRACE to us). We must BELIEVE that Jesus PAID THE FULL PENALTY upon our sins! We must BY FAITH “know” that our sins are FORGIVEN TOTALLY by what Jesus did on the cross for us. We must “realize” that NOW we STAND as RIGHTEOUS before our Father in heaven, BECAUSE of what Jesus did at the cross for us! Jesus paid the price TOTALLY and there is NOTHING ELSE that we NEED to do (except to believe and to receive). By FAITH in what Jesus did at the cross for us, we thereby gain God’s acceptance of us though the precious blood.
Since we stand before God, made righteous through the blood of Jesus, we will NEVER be punished for our sins! This is WHY the true Church will NEVER EVER be cast into the Tribulation to receive chastisements for sinning. The punishment has already happened--JESUS TOOK IT--and He will NEVER permit one of His BLOOD-BOUGHT ones to SUFFER under God’s judgments.
Furthermore, the RIGHTEOUS are ALWAYS removed from the PLACE and the TIME when God punishes the wicked--ALWAYS!!! (This is another teaching that requires a separate series.) But I will list the examples of Enoch and Noah, Lot and Rahab.
Do you believe that the blood of Jesus has made you righteous?
Some people are so caught within the CONSCIOUSNESS of their own sins, failures and guilt--that they cannot see what Jesus has accomplished. Caught in guilt and unworthiness, many fall prey to thinking they must achieve “righteousness” by the good works they do.
They have the picture BACKWARDS. Jesus DIED and ROSE AGAIN to make us righteous. As we really believe that, then in the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS, we are able to walk and obey in a manner which pleases God.
I can list several scriptures which SHOW US THE WAY to walk in the righteousness given to us by Jesus. Be sure to look these over and study them.
Romans 6:3-11. Romans 8:1-2. Ephesians 2:8-10, and especially verse 10.
And WHEN we sin, live by the instructions in 1 John 1:9. I call that scripture “the daily (and sometimes more than once daily) cleansing” verse.
We can WALK in the RIGHTEOUSNESS that Jesus gave us. We can experience guilt-free lives. We can be MORE THAN CONQUERORS in Jesus! Romans 8:37.
We can walk in confidence, joy and peace--and not be under the weight of guilt and condemnation. We honor God by believing His Word and Promises--as we walk in the VICTORY that Jesus has given us.
The RIGHTEOUS are always REMOVED before god pours out His judgments. Before the judgments of the Tribulation, God will remove the RIGHTEOUS ones of the true Church of Jesus Christ. He’ll tell Jesus: “Go get them, Son.” And 1 Thessalonians 1:16-17 will be fulfilled.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!