Pastor Jim Stultz
Historic Cathedral Burns
It seemed that everyone was heartbroken as the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris France burned on Monday April 15. The structure which is over 800 years old sustained substantial damage. The day after the tragedy many were beginning the discussions of rebuilding this architectural treasure. The fire rocked the city of Paris. Reflecting on this incident I am reminded of other churches that have been damaged or destroyed.
Churches throughout history have been destroyed by hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, and even bombs. Our own church sustained damage when a sprinkler head malfunctioned and went off causing our ceiling to collapse. Every one of these man-made structures are susceptible to destruction.
Our Lord told His disciples in Matthew 16:18: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”. Jesus of course was not referring to any man-made structure as His church no matter how beautiful or extravagant. When He said that He would build His church He was referring to the church that is made up of people. People who by faith have received Him as the Savior from their sins. People that are from all walks of life, from all races and nations. This church He calls His bride. He loves her and gave His life for her.
This is the church which He says that the gates of hell shall not prevail against. This universal church is made up of every genuine believer in Christ. Nothing shall destroy it. Fires and floods cannot destroy it. Hurricanes and tornadoes cannot blow it down. Even the Devil cannot shut down the church which is the body of Christ.
The damage to this historic cathedral is a terrible loss. Losing any facility that is built to the glory of the Lord is tragic. But we should always be reminded that no matter how much we love our own church building; that the real church, the one that Jesus built is made up of people and nothing can destroy it.