Ephesians 5:26-27, “To make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
The church is destined to greatness; destined to glory.
Satan's ploy is to prevent the believers from reaching this. He creates doubt by lying that if you serve God, you are worse off. Many excuses are given to prevent people from believing God and serving Him. People are made to believe that they are being deceived when they hear the Word of God. By repeating these lies, the world is made to believe that it can do away with serving God; it is something that is not important or needed in life.
Believers, on the contrary, deny these lies and resolve to serve God. They believe that people should serve God. Moreover, it is a good thing to do so. Believers meditate on the love of God. We do not intend to empty ourselves like what those involved in transcendental meditation do. We instead fill our being with the love and presence of God. Through meditating more on the promise of God that the church is destined to glory, the more it becomes real in our lives.
By meditating on the Word of God, we realize that as believers, God did not plan for us to lead simple and ordinary lives – get married, have children, work and then die. We realize that these are all earthly, temporal and transient considerations. We are not called to do just some unimportant thing in this world. We have a higher purpose. We seek the glory of God and give ourselves for the kingdom's sake. Since our lives are involved in the eternal kingdom, we will be a part of this and we will share in the glory of the kingdom of God forever.
Notice the words of Apostle Paul in Romans 8:29-30.
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
The church is destined to glory. We, as part of this church, are called to be part of this glory.
Let us make then our calling secure. By being sure in this calling, we will avoid stumbling in the faith. Security in this calling will help weather whatever challenge is thrown our way. Making one's calling secure will result to eternal security. Apostle Peter gave this advice in 2 Peter 1:10,
“Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall.”
Does anyone still think about stumbling in the faith? Is there a constant worry that sometime along the way, you will run astray? The opposite frame of mind must be adopted. Find joy and assurance in the calling of God. Believe in the Word of God that was received from the sent ones of God. Follow Apostle Peter's advice and avoid the pitfalls in the faith.
As part of the church, we have something to work for. We are striving for the future glory of the church. This should be our goal, our foremost priority. In Philippians 3:14 (KJV),
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
Notice that Apostle Paul used the word 'apprehended.' It is a word associated with the police or military. He said that he was apprehended by Christ; similar to a criminal caught by the police. Apostle Paul said that Christ must have a reason for apprehending him. Whatever that reason may be, he is pressing on towards it. There is a reward which is the future glory; it is the reward of God's calling.
This caused Apostle Paul to move on from his past towards the calling he received. He decided to abandon everything to answer this call. Believers should follow this. We should not live in our past. Forget the past be it sin or failure. Ask forgiveness for the sins and learn from the failures. Live in the present time and for the future. We cannot undo what has already been done. God placed us in the church to attain this glorious destiny of the church. The church is designed by God to help the individual, however weak he may be. God's provisions in the church are more than adequate so that those whom He called will be sustained successfully and triumphantly towards the glorious end of the church.
The apostles are primary of God's provisions in the Church. In Ephesians 4:11-12,
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
The office of administration was placed by God precisely for achieving the glorious perfection He intended for the church. Not only did God make a plan; He also had a way for us to carry out the plan. That way is to remain in the church.
No other group of people is intended by God to achieve a glorious end. As mentioned in Matthew 16:18, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The Church is equipped with this great power; no other group was promised this.
This effectively disproves the belief of the Roman Catholic Church that there are three kinds of Church – the suffering church, militant church and the victorious church. The first one is composed of those in purgatory while the second one consists of those living in this world.
Hell, or purgatory for that matter, will not prevail against the church. The church is destined to glory. This is to be done through the ministry, teachings and modeling of the apostles. It is the sworn duty of the sent ones of God to prepare the church. They have this serious business of preparing people to face the Lord. In Colossians 1:28,
“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.”
It is understood that not all people believe in Christ and in the existence of heaven. The people that they will prepare to attain this glorious end are those in the church; the ones who accepted Christ.
One of the things taught in the church as part of this preparation is prayer. In Luke 21:36,
“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
Through prayer, we are able to prepare in attaining the glorious end. We are given a picture of what awaits us in 1 John 3:2,
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
All this will take place in the rapture, this will take place. The condition of the church is described in Ephesians 5:27, “And to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”