Read Matthew 7
Though the Church is a visible display of God’s Kingdom here on earth, what we see often isn’t the same as what God sees. The visible Church comprises many who may not be true followers of Jesus. Some of the people who are “in” the Church aren’t actually “of” the Church. Good fruit is the evidence of authentic and genuine faith in Jesus and cannot be divorced from the life of a Christ-follower. However, as Matthew 7:21–23 suggests, good works are not what save us. Only God can see people’s hearts and know if their works are motivated by love for Him or love of self.
Unlike the visible Church, the invisible Church is made up of solely true followers of Jesus who produce fruit motivated by love of Jesus and not love of self. In Matthew 7:21–23, we see a group that claims to be the Church, but in reality, they aren’t. Christ is aware of their illegitimate claims based upon visible actions, and His awareness suggests He is also mindful of a group of legitimate members of the Church whose actions are often invisible.
In Matthew 3:12, Jesus separates the wheat from the chaff, indicating the two are mixed and only He can see the full extent of the difference and divide them. Again, in Matthew 13:24–30, we see good seed sowed, but it grows together with weeds that were planted by an enemy. Both will be harvested, but the weeds will be separated out and destroyed, and the wheat will be stored in the sower’s barn. This parable shows us again only Jesus sees and knows those who are truly His.
Pray for encouragement for all who are part of the invisible Church.