The Invisible Church
May 27, 2008 1 Comment
The Church is not a building. She is a people. People who regularly attend church services go to church but may or may not be part of the Church.
This from J.I. Packer’s brief but treasure-packed Concise Theology,
There is a distinction to be drawn between the church as we humans see it and as God alone can see it. This is the historic distinction between the “visible church” and the “invisible church.”
Invisible means, not that we can see no sign of its presence, but that we cannot know (as God, the heart-reader, knows, 2 Timothy 2:19) which of those baptized, professing members of the church as an organized institution are inwardly regenerate and thus belong to the church as a spiritual fellowship of sinners loving their Savior.
Jesus taught that in the organized church there would always be people who thought they were Christians and passed as Christians, some indeed becoming ministers, but who were not renewed in heart and would therefore be exposed and rejected at the Judgment (Matthew 7:15-27; 13:24-30, 35-43, 47-50; 25:1-46)