the old church new church
The preachers say, “Go to church on Sunday and don’t forget to bring your money!” Jesus said, “Go out into the highways and the byways and compel them to come in!” And he wasn’t talking about a building; he was talking about into the kingdom of God, into the love of God! Luke 14:23. The average church preacher says today‚ “Be sure you feed me‚” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep!” John 21:16. The average church today says, “Let’s build a great building!” Jesus said, “Go out and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19 the average church says today, “Let’s organize a big denomination!” Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20. The average church today says, “Be good, go to church and you’re a Christian!” Jesus said, “He that keeps my commandments, he it is that loves me.” And they said, “What are the greatest commandments?” he said, “to love God, and love thy neighbor as thyself.” wow!—nothing about going to church! The greatest commandment of the church today is, “don’t miss church on Sunday!” Jesus said, “Don’t miss the will of God! Go out after the lost. Don’t wait for them to come to you.”
There are a number of important issues that Jesus and the modern church don’t see eye to eye on.
There is also no mention of a church BUILDING throughout the entire New Testament. Jesus never once taught that His followers were to meet in a specific BUILDING or the “house of God”, as they’re wrongly called today. In fact, He taught just the OPPOSITE! When He was asked WHERE people should go to WORSHIP, He answered, “Believe Me, the time is coming, and now IS, when you will worship the Father neither (at the temple) on this mountain, nor (at the temple) in Jerusalem! For the TRUE WORSHIPPERS will worship the Father in SPIRIT and in TRUTH! For the Father SEEKS such people to worship Him!”–John 4:23,24
We are told in Hebrews 1O:25, “Let us NOT FORSAKE the ASSEMBLING of ourselves TOGETHER, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us ENCOURAGE one another, and all the more as you see the Day (of Jesus’ Return) approaching.” The Lord knew that we needed united fellowship with other Christians for our own inspiration and for spiritual refreshing, and for being strengthened by His Word. There’s just something about UNITED prayer and fellowship that really brings down the Lord’s BLESSING!–See Acts 4:32-33.
It’s important to understand, however, that meeting together for fellowship and spiritual renewing–whether it is done in a church building, a great Cathedral, a private home or a thatched hut–is NOT our “SERVICE” for the Lord. Many people have the mistaken impression that by merely going to CHURCH and giving an offering, they have FULFILLED their obligation to God.
Obviously this is not all, because a Christian’s obligation, as Jesus COMMANDED us, is to “PREACH the GOSPEL to every person”!–Mark 16:15. Our actual WORK and SERVICE for the Lord is in our everyday LIVING for Him, in our WITNESSING to others, showing them love and pointing them towards Salvation. THIS is our service to God!
In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus sent His disciples out to minister to the people. It was a great deal of work, and when they’d FINISHED their SERVICE, Jesus said to them, ‘Come ASIDE into a QUIET place, and REST a while.'” Likewise today, there is a great difference between our SERVICE for the Lord and our “gathering ourselves together unto Jesus”, and “coming aside to REST” to be re-inspired! Verses 3O-31
Another interesting point brought out in this passage is the fact that it isn’t necessary for Christians to have a fancy religious building, cathedral or so-called “house of God” to meet in for fellowship and time with the Lord. For its first 2OO YEARS of existence, Christianity had NO buildings, and Christians just met wherever they could. Jesus said, “WHEREVER two or three are gathered together in My name, THERE am I in their midst!”–Matthew 18:2O.
All throughout New Testament times, the Church thrived and grew and got along fine without any church buildings or “houses of God”! Apart from holding secret meetings in forests, catacombs etc., the only meeting places that Christians had were their HOMES. Repeatedly the Apostle Paul refers to “the CHURCH that is in your HOUSE”.–Romans 16:5; 1Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2. Note that the house itself was not the Church, but the “Church” MET in their houses!
Mr. Pastor, is filling your heart with the things of this world, cars, building huge buildings, and making business out of religion and
calling it “prosperity” or “God’s blessing”, the true message of Jesus Christ found in the Gospels? If you want to be a businessman, fine, do it with all your heart, but don’t bring your business to church, or worse, make church your business! Jesus whipped the money changers out of the temple that day. Don’t you remember reading that in your Bible? Today many of those money—changers have become the pastors and spiritual leaders of our communities. If Jesus was here today, how would He rate your church in this matter? Has that spirit of business entered the true temple of your heart. 2 Corinthians 6: 16. If the upkeep of your church and salary and car or cars takes most of your congregations hard-earned savings, then who is going to pay for their children’s food, clothing and schooling? Is your church only for the rich?
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock”. (1 Peter: 5:2,3)
Make Jesus your first and true Love today by praying the following prayer.
“Dear Jesus, please come into my heart, I believe you died and were raised from the dead in payment for my sins and mistakes, please give me Your free gift of eternal life in Jesus Name, Amen”.
Read: Matthew 23:1-10
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