I hear this question a lot: “What will the church look like in the future?” We are in a time of general uneasiness in our nation and the even greater context of our world. Confusion is reigning as we recover from an absolutely insane election cycle. People are wondering about the future of the church more than in recent history.
As believers, one question that continues to be asked in the midst of all the confusion is “Where will the church be?” Certainly, there is no one answer. No expert or statistic can forecast where the church will be in four years or even beyond that. The church could look completely different in the next four years. The church could also look largely the same.
What we must understand, as Christians, is that the work of the church does not depend on the political or cultural climate of a certain country. God’s movement in our nation is not dependent of our president or Senate. He does not need a Republican or Democrat majority at any level to move or bring revival.
If we truly believe that the church is built upon the “rock” of the Messiah Jesus Christ, then we have to believe that the gates of hell will not overcome it. No one outside of God dictates the growth or movement of his church except him. He alone is sovereign over his church. Our climate and preferences do not determine how God will work and move in our country.
We must also look back upon church history. The church was born in persecution, and it has grown in persecution. God has preserved his church through far more uncertain times than we are currently experiencing. By his grace and for his glory he has brought the church through times of intense persecution, martyrdom of the saints, and exile. His church has endured. His church has stood strong. His church has continued to bear gospel fruit throughout the ages.
So, we can have hope, even in times of uncertainty. The reason we can have hope is that our hope is not found in the Oval Office or current statistics. Our hope is found in the unchanging love and grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church will stand and endure, because the church is built on the gospel., which will never change.
I don’t know what the church will look like in the future of the USA. It may be smaller. It may be larger. Who knows. It may be largely based in houses. But I do know that the church will be still be around, in one way or another. There is not a force in the world that can get rid of the church.
So let’s move forward in hope, rather than fear. Let’s have hope in the fact that the gospel will endure. And because the gospel will endure, the church will endure. God loves his church, and, in love he wants his ministry to be done on earth through the faithful work of the church. Hope is far better than fear. Let’s have hope in the Lord and his gospel in the work and future of the church.
Soli Deo Gloria.