The Ideal Church
No doubt the readers of this book have heard a thousand times, and people of about every faith and order talk, about the ideal church, and you have often wondered what kind of church it was. Well, if you will listen to me a minute I believe I can tell you just exactly what kind of church an ideal church is.
God has given a whole Bible to a whole world, and in this Bible we find that God has provided a salvation from all sin for all men, provided through the atoning blood of a crucified Saviour. An ideal church is a church where the pastor preaches a whole Bible, and where the preacher himself is red-hot, for God said His ministers were a flame of fire. Again, God’s ideal Sunday school superintendent in this ideal church is a man that is in perfect harmony with the Bible and with his pastor, and he is in perfect harmony with the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, so that makes the Sunday school superintendent blood-red. The Sunday school teachers in such a church would be a band of Blood-washed saints, and of course they would be snow-white and so filled with love and grace and glory that it would be perfectly easy for them to impart Bible truths to their classes.
And in an ideal church the official board is so upright in their dealings with their fellow man that their very lives might be said to be sky-blue, and the members of such a church as this would be as straight as a gunstick. And there would be so much glory in their souls that it would be continually shining through their faces until you could take a rag and wipe enough heaven off the faces of such a pastor, Sunday school superintendent, teachers, official board, and membership that it would put sinners under conviction throughout the length and breadth of their community.
Then of course there would be a revival of old-time, heartfelt, Holy Ghost religion in that church the year round. And such a company would give one-tenth of their income to the Lord, and there would always be money in the treasury to pay all the running expenses of the church. There would never be such a thing heard of as a church entertainment; there would be no broken china, and no lost spoons, and no ice cream freezers to carry back home, and of course there would never be such a thing as a church fuss, and from such an institution would go out pastors and evangelists, and missionaries to all quarters of the earth would be sent out by such a body of believers.
Such a church as this would be an ideal church. And while probably you never saw one just like that, you have seen some people in probably every church that you know anything about that were just such people as we have described. You can see at a glance if every member in every church were like a few that you do know, we would have such a church as we have just described. And this brings up another thought.
We know that it is God’s plan to save the world through the church, and every honest, thinking, serious man will have to admit that God cannot save the world through a worldly church. And that proves that it is God’s plan to save the world through a holy church, and the hope of the world today is in the church. The hope of the church is in the amount of holiness it has in it, and the danger of the church is in the amount of worldliness it has in it. It is more than likely that every division that has ever been in the church was produced by worldliness in some and holiness in others.
For holiness and worldliness have never gotten along and never will. Therefore they can never be brought in harmony with each other and can never work together. The object of holiness is to leaven the whole lump and land them on the shores of eternal bliss, while the object of worldliness is to leaven the whole lump and sink the whole cargo into the pit of outer darkness. So, bless God, I am pulling for and hoping for an ideal church on earth. While I may never see one that everything in it is ideal, bless God, I have seen some that had some ideal members, and, bless God, that is encouraging.