He is old, battered, and worn down, but he is the last male northern white rhino in the world. With poaching as severe as it is, this 40-year-old rhino is under constant guard. Forty armed rangers have been enlisted to protect him. Even though they already removed his horn to deter poachers, the guards still come under gunfire regularly. With only five northern white rhinos left, efforts have been made to breed the few remaining rhinos, but they have been unsuccessful so far.
What makes the rhinos so appealing to poachers is their horn has a hefty price tag of $30,000 per pound. Some rhino horns can weigh upwards of 6 pounds! These horns are prized in Asia for their medicinal qualities, supposedly reducing fevers and preventing seizures. In reality, the horns have about as much medicinal value as “biting your fingernails.” Sadly, these rhino’s are walking the edge of extinction (GrindTV).
Over time poachers have done horrendous damage to animal populations and our environment. As long as it brings a paycheck, people are willing to poach. Interestingly, there is one particular thing that has been poached for thousands of years but still survives. Some have purposely tried to drive it to extinction (Galatians 1:13-14). Sometimes even the leaders have given people permission to try to kill it off (Acts 9:1-2). At times it was critically endangered. What have people tried so hard to destroy? The church.
Thankfully, the church is still in existence today. While people had to flee to differing places and go into hiding, the true church of the Bible never went extinct. The way to find the true church is to find those who are doing “the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 12:50; 7:21-23). In other words, these are people who obey all of God’s commands in Scripture. During these times, the people identified themselves as the “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16), or sometimes just as “the church” (Acts 11:22; 20:17). Today, the true church is still identified by these same names. The name is not label or a title, but a description. It is the church [group of people] who follow Christ. While many claim to be a part of the church, the only way to really know for sure is to compare it to God’s guidelines in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3).
The best part of all is that the church will never go extinct. As much as people may try, the church has divine protection. Daniel 2:44 says, “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
This kingdom (the church) was established in Acts 2 and has never ceased to exist. While people have and will try to destroy the church, it will “endure forever.” This is just how important and special the church is to God. If we truly want to follow the Lord, then we must be a part of His church (Acts 2:37-47)!