"McClellan was better at organizing than fighting. He was highly intelligent, but couldn't wage a successful campaign. He always had an excuse for not engaging the enemy: his men were outnumbered (actually, they were not); he needed more troops; and it wasn't a good time or place or season for a battle. Once, Lincoln was so frustrated at McClellan's failure to act that he sent the general a telegram that read, "If General McClellan does not want to use the Army, I would like to borrow it for a time, provided I could see how it could be made to do something."
Jesus mentioned the Church just two times during His earthly ministry. He mentioned the Kingdom 100 times. Which do you believe He put greater emphasis on? Let's look at the two mentions of the Church. We will start with the second, more obscure reference found in Matthew 18. This mention is in regards to conflict and discipline within the Church. We see that Jesus realized that interpersonal relationships would become a challenge for the Church.The first mention is the famous discussion that took place at Caeserea Phillipi. Jesus and His followers have just travelled a great distance to this location. It is a great, rock wall with a stream below it. Jesus asks His followers, "Who do the people say I am?" They respond, "Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist or one of the prophets." Jesus replies, "Who do YOU say I am?" Peter responds with his famous confession, "You are Messiah, the Son of the Living God." Jesus then mentions the Church: "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."That's it. Just those two mentions. One in reference to conflict, the other in reference to a body or congregation who will advance on the gates of Hades, and will break through those gates.What? - you ask. Where does it say that? "The gates of Hades will not overcome it." We usually look at this from a perspective of the Church defending itself from the Enemy. But gates are defensive in nature. Gates do not advance. Therefore, we can conclude from this passage that Jesus is expecting His Church to be advancing against the Enemy. This goes along with the 100 mentions of the Kingdom. We are to pray, "Thy Kingdom come...on Earth as it is in Heaven." We see Jesus say in Luke 17:21, "...the Kingdom of God is within you."The Church is not the end, but instead is a MEANS to an end. The focus is on advancing the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men. We are to be offensive in nature. We are to be actively on the battlefield, attacking the strongholds of the Enemy. But what are we doing?
The Church is better at organizing than fighting. The Church is highly intelligent, but doesn't usually wage a successful campaign. The Church always has an excuse for not engaging the enemy: we are outnumbered (actually, we're not); we need more troops; and it isn't a good time or place or season for a battle. Could it be that Jesus, the LORD of Hosts, is sending us this messsage? "If the leaders of the Church do not want to use the Army, I would like to borrow it for a time."