Sunday, January 31, 2010

What a Church Really Is

Many Christians still believe that the church is a place they go to where they can pray, listen to the Word being preached and worship God. Some even believe that they have to go to this certain place to be in God's presence. Well, before I go any further let us have a look at exactly what the word "church" means.

Throughout the New Testament the Greek word used for "church" is "ekklēsia" which means; the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth; an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting; a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly (Thayer's Greek Lexicon Dictionary). So this clearly means that the church is not a place or building people go to, but instead it is the gathering of the people at any place.

My next statement will probably have people up in arms, calling me blasphemous, but I will say it anyway: If you believe in your heart that the place or building you go to is the only place where you can be in the presence of the Lord, you are actually putting your faith in wood and brick and this means you are committing idolatry. Yes, by believing this you are in effect viewing a building as an image of holiness. Remember, God searches the heart.

Let us go to Matthew 18:20 - "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (KJV)

So… according to Jesus Christ… if my wife, my sister, a friend and I get together at my place in His Name… then that gathering is a local church. I was one time called before a local church council of one pastor, three elders and two deacons, because of my believing in the Word that came from Jesus' mouth. They told me to stop believing that the Lord is in the presence of just two people. The pastor especially insisted that that is not "the way things work". They also insisted that to be able to enter heaven you must "belong to a church" and that God is only in our presence when we are gathered at the building which was sanctified as God's house.

Oh and I was also told that the body is not God's temple as stated in 1Corinthians 6:19 - "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (KJV). They believe the church building is the temple of the Lord. Needless to say, my wife and I never returned to that "church" again. I mean these so-called men of God, as they say, shamelessly and blatantly contradict the Word of God.

Well one could say I had a taste of Mark 13:9. (I'll leave that for you to read up on).

So in closing I say that contrary to traditional and cultural belief, the true church has nothing to do with a building. The true church is the gathering of two or more believers in Christ at any given place or time to fellowship and learn more about our Father through His Word with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


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