This is another basic biblical subject that people have manipulated from its original meaning to a more desirable, less convicting watered-down translation. The vast majority of people mentality see the church as a building with a pastor and staff to take care of all that spiritual stuff and good Christians only need to attend and pay tithes to God. In fact, many Christians choose to ignore the original intent of Jesus in Matthew 16:18 (ESV), And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; because they feel it’s onerous (burdensome, oppressive, or troublesome). So, humans over centuries have lightened their load in evading the conviction and responsibility that comes with being the church by inserting the words “go to, belong to, or attend.” I go to or I belong to, or I attend church name, that puts things into a group setting and makes it a lot less personal. Which, by the way, is what we’re teaching our children! For example, grab a dictionary any nonbiblical will do, and look up the word church you’ll find that a church is referred to as a building. However, Easton's Bible Dictionary, church- in the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. Matthew 18:20 (ESV), For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Far too many Christians for way too many years have used church (the building) as a religious bathhouse. All Christians must go into the world and mingle with the unclean (that is where we live) and many will get caught up in sin in doing so because of the human desires and motives they have yet to overcome. The sinner doesn’t hide their disbelief whereas some Christians harbor a secret distance with God that may come from distrust, doubt, and fear which they choose to hide. These Christians will run to the church house on Sunday to be cleansed by the pastor for the sins they’ve committed because of their indecision and seize the moment to enlighten everyone by hearing about their works for God during the week. Religious people have always had a boasting box (a building to display how religious they want you to think they are.) Remember, “A good deed done is just that, but an act of life-changing kindness is always prompted by The Holy Spirit!” If Jesus wants the world to know, He’ll tell them. We are warned about such in Matthew 6:2 (ESV), “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
Many of us today have intertwined way too much of ourselves throughout our testimony. Although it is true it’s about us, we are not to be the main character or hero in our story, we are that man in the ditch as recorded in Luke 10:29-37 and Jesus is our main character when Luke speaks of the Samaritan who saved the man’s life. Now that’s church! Living with Jesus 24/7/365 is the church, displaying the very character of Jesus to cause others to seek out what separates us from the rest. My wife and I have had the opportunity lately to visit other churches and I’m astonished at the number of them that seem to be just going through the motions of being religious. Not meaning to sound judgmental, but what is going on in those homes? So many people of faith haven’t or refuse to figure out what is written in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV), Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. If we truly believe, this then we are God’s church, under the authority of Jesus our Christ and being built up daily by God’s Holy Spirit! It doesn’t have to be announced publicly, as people witness Jesus working in you daily!
Father, help us to understand your simple solution to this evolution of man’s church. Help us learn, believe, and trust what is written in 1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. Teach us how to actively follow Jesus to be your church! Help us to remember when gathering together that we’re representing you and let us desire deeply to gather together often. I pray 1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV), 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!