The word church is an Anglo Saxon term that was borrowed from the Greek word Kuriakon meaning “house of the Lord” and oftentimes when we use that word today that’s what we are talking about: the building where the church meets. But in the Bible the word we read as “church” is actually a translation of the Greek Word “Ekklesia.” Many people have pointed out that this is a compound word of two smaller words: “Ek” which means out and “Kaleo” which means to call, so together it can be said that the church is literally the “called out.” The original form of the word goes back to Athens where the citizens of the city would be called together for important events. In my mind this is a wonderful definition of the Lord’s church.
We should love the church, or the “called out” ones. As we develop many friendships with God’s people at church and take opportunities to help them, we enjoy the times we were able to visit and to help one another. The relationships that are built and developed over the years are a natural development of what should occur in a healthy church. Though we all have different backgrounds and are in different places in life, we share many commonalities. We experience the joys and sorrows of life, we face struggles with health and situations, and we continue to walk by our faith that we have in God. By being called out of this world, we are placed in a community that is greater than any other this world has to offer, Galatians 3:28.
But one day we will join another community. We will be called out in a different way. As our body reaches the end of its purpose, our soul will be called up to the Lord. The Bible tells us that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” Psalm 116:15. We will then be in a place where there is no more death, no more pain, no more tears, because those things are passed. We will then see the face of Jesus. While we mourn the passing of our loved ones, we look forward to the day in which we can go and be with those who have gone before, 2 Samuel 12:23. We will then be among the community that has received its reward and calls others to follow by our works.
But there is coming a day, when these two worlds will be joined for all eternity. The Lord will end the world with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet. The clouds will be rolled back and every eye will see him. And by his side will be the saints who we will see once again, 1 Thessalonians 3:13. On that day those who remain on this earth will be caught up on the air. We will give an answer for our lives and we will be together forever more. As Paul describes these events in Thessalonians he tells us to comfort one another with these words. On that day we will be called out, we will be together again, and all things that separate us will be done away. Its days like today that cause us to long for this time and say the words of the Apostle John, “Lord come quickly.”