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Some of our brethren have concluded that the change agents have already won the battle, that the Church of Christ here in America is finished. Some folks are genetically pessimistic. They live under a dark cloud and think and drink despair. I, for one, do not share their dreary, hopeless view.

The Lord’s church does not consist of a few large, wealthy churches in the big cities of America. She has some 10,000 colonies meeting here in America, and twice as many abroad. It is true that some 300 or so of her more prosperous assemblies have abandoned the sacred way ordained by Christ, but they surely don’t represent the whole.

It is true that some of her people, who are in the education business, have traded their commitment to the ancient code of Christ for the heady brew of liberalism and postmodernism. Like silly adolescents, they are in rebellion to the Father’s will. But universities and colleges are not the church. She existed before they were born, and will continue to exist without them.

Yes, some of her members are enamored with worldly greatness. They want recognition, power, and influence like they see in the great megachurches of their religious neighbors. So intoxicating is the thought of having thousands sitting at their feet that they gladly compromise any and all of the Master’s rules to achieve that goal. But the Savior’s church is more than a handful of megachurches with their Hollywood-type preachers.

The church is the physical expression of a divine concept. She is the reign of Christ in the hearts of men (Matt. 6:10). The church existed first in the mind of God (Eph. 3:9-11) long before she was purchased by the death of her founder (Acts 20:28). Her existence and survival do not depend on any one crop of her members, nor on property, papers, schools, or charitable organizations. The regenerative power of the church is in the word of God, which is the seed of the kingdom of heaven (Luke 8:11). If one generation of Christians fail, the seed still contains the life of the church and can carry it to the next generation. The survival of the church does not depend on one nation or race of Christians. If all of us in America fail, the church is not finished. People in Asia, Africa, and South America are pressing into the kingdom, storming her gates, seeking entrance. She will live on and flourish in their less secular societies.

If preachers succumb to the allurement of the world, the brothers and sisters of their congregations need not do so. It is often the case that humble disciples in the pew will continue to hold fast to the faith when their aspiring preacher turns his back on the primitive faith. Such has always been the case. If the bulk of our brethren grow weary of following Christ in the old gospel paths, you and I need not do so. True, there is a corporate aspect of Christianity, but there is also an individual aspect. Each one of us shall give an account of himself unto God (Rom. 14:12). As we often sing, “I am resolved to follow the Savior,” so may we live. Others may turn their backs on our Master, but, “I’ll never forsake my Lord.”

I refuse to dilute, compromise, or adulterate my faith and my worship. I refuse to exchange the pearl of great price for an imitation crafted by man. I will not abandon the kingdom of heaven for one of earthly origins. I will not flee in the face of the enemy, but will be a good soldier of Christ (2 Tim. 2:3), fully prepared to fight the good fight of the faith (1 Tim. 6:12). If others fail, the Church of Christ will live in my heart and home; and I will labor to multiply her numbers and promote her cause so long as I have breath in my body.

John Waddey