“The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” Acts 2:47
In our western societies we are seeing the loss of Christian values in all areas of leadership at an alarming rate. This is a reflection of a similar loss in the general society. As a society we have made ourselves judges of God’s word instead of allowing God’s word to judge us and we have deemed His word as unworthy of our acceptance.
Some conclude that it is only a matter of time before the church ceases to exist because it is irrelevant in modern society. As a percentage of our population the number of true Christians may be decreasing in some regions. It may even be that the total number of true Christians is dwindling in some regions. However, even if this was so, true Christians are still being added to the church of Jesus Christ daily with no subtractions.
In many countries there are few Christians due to persecution that has caused emigration or even death. This has meant that there is a lesser witness but there have been no subtractions from the church, the body of Christ. Paul wrote, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8) and, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (i.e. more of Christ; Philippians 1:21).
Jesus said, “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). He also said, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). There will be no subtractions from Christ’s church. This led Paul to write, “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
God has been pleased to maintain a faithful witness throughout the ages and He will do so until the consummation. In the meanwhile the number of true Christians alive on the earth at any given time may rise or fall but the number in His church is always increasing, never decreasing.
In countries that are most hostile toward the Gospel of Jesus Christ people are being added to His church, none are subtracted. Every person who puts their trust in Jesus Christ is a reverberation of the victory won at Calvary and a testimony that Jesus Christ is still building His church.
Those who oppose and persecute Christ and His church cannot see the millions who have already entered His church and who are forever sealed. None will ever be subtracted.
The day is approaching when Jesus will call His church home. It will be at the right time and on time. Whenever that day is Paul wrote, “for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11) and exhorted us to live in the light of our imminent departure to first meet Him but also to meet all others who are members of His church. What a glorious day when we all meet together and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. None will be missing!