The mere mention of the word church generates a wide range of reactions in this secular, post-Christian, consumer-driven society in which we live. Many people respond favorably because they are actively involved and often center their lives around the church. Others grimace, either from guilt that they don't attend, bitterness from a bad experience, or indifference from a lack of interest. Whatever your feeling is, one thing is biblically certain: The church, locally and globally, is God's main way for bringing people into a saving and sustaining relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus told His disciple Peter, "Upon this rock I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18), which is the first time the word church appears in the Bible. Not long after that, the Holy Spirit swept onto the scene at that fateful Pentecost celebration (Acts 2) to fulfill Jesus' prophecy. Since that monumental day, the church has grown from a fledgling band of believers to a thriving force that spans the globe. And one day Jesus will return to claim His "bride" and host the wedding supper of the Lamb. As you read, consider your own personal place at the table, making sure your reservation is secure. In the process, you'll gain an increased appreciation for the church and a greater desire to serve her cause. About the author: Todd Gaddis has been a pastor since 1990 and currently serves at First Baptist Church in LaFayette, Georgia. He has written for Focus on the Family, Leadership, Pray, War Cry and numerous LifeWay publications. Before entering the pastorate, he worked in public relations and fundraising for a Christian college and also as a corporate sales representative. His books are: Prophecy 3.0 (2012), Upon This Rock (2011), The Spiritual "It" Factor (2010), Journey to the Center of Love (2009), Reclaim Your Body, Restore Your Soul (2008), Money and More (2007), The Great Curse Reversal (2006), Escape from Wits' End (2005), and The Compliments of Christ (2004).
Upon This Rock by Todd Gaddis was published by Guardian Books in June 2011 and is our 50119th best seller. The ISBN for Upon This Rock is 9781460000625.