Christian Pilgrim


62. Sighing over the Visible Church

True believers are those who sigh over the poor state of the outward appearance of the visible church, because it is far from reality, a bad witness to the world and truth is cast to the ground, yet it bears the name of God and of Christ:

Psalm 42:1-4 - "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday."

Ezekiel 9:4 - "And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."

Zephaniah 3:18 - "I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden."

Christ wept over the state of the visible church and the ignorance of the people:

Matthew 23:37 - "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

Luke 19:41,42 - "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes."

Note Christ was not weeping over the lost here, because He says that these things are deliberately hidden from their eyes (by God); but rather He was weeping over the state of His visible church. He will gather His "children" from out of it, i.e. His elect.

John 11:33-38 - "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it."

Note that Christ here was not weeping because he loved Lazarus as the Jews thought (although he did love Lazarus), because Christ knew full well that He was going to raise him from the dead. Rather He wept because of their unbelief of the truth.