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A couple of friends and I get together once a week to study the Bible. A question came up as to what is "the church". We know it is the a body of christians with Christ as its head. It is the flock of saints that accept Christ as our savior. The Bible does not mention a place or a building or a denomination. When Jesus spoke he did it on the road or on a hill side or at a friends home, not a temple or set building. The apostles also traveled and spoke to people outside of a set building. When Peter and Paul wrote letters they addressed them to the christians of this city or saints of that city, not a specific church as we think of it today. Does'nt it seem some where along the line that Christ's church, his body of saints, has evolved from one apostolic, one catholic(universal) church into many individual churches. This may be neither good nor bad or alittle of both. But my question is what is the church suppose to be today? If Jesus, the Christ, walked among us today would he be pleased with our churches? Maybe, I do not know. I go to church on Sundays
and enjoy the readings and the sermons and I walk away with a greater appreciation of God's love. But as our minister asked last Sunday, we do we, as a church go from here? If we were to follow Christ's and the apostles example we would go out into the community and carry his word to the non-believers. Our church does not do this and alas, nor do I. One of the members of our study group said we as a small group are the church. I don't think so. Yes, I find the small group Bible study enlightening and very important but I do not think we can call ourselves a church. Maybe I am wrong. As a small group we do not go out and minister to God's people and I think that is important. As an individual, on my own, I do not know how to go about this-maybe I am afraid. I am confused as to what I should be doing as a church member other than serving on the various parish committees and giving my tithes to the church- I feel there is more to God's plan than just this. Interesting questions and I would appreciate anyone elses perspective. I do pray for the Spirit to enter my heart and soul and guide me in my quest to be a better christian. Thanks, Rob
 

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Rob,

You are being fed and that is good. You have the desire. You have the word. Live your life as Jesus has said and the opportunitees will come. Others see you. If you let them know you are a Christian they will watch you. Live your life and those that God sends to you will come. Continue to study and know the word. I know to us it sounds so simple just to say that "God loves you". If you believe that Jesus is the son of God sent here to earth as a man, to be sacrificed for our sin, so that we can live with God in heaven, forever. Can it be that simple?? Yes
 

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church

Remember,HE said" were more than one assemble in my name i am there"

A building does not make a church its the people involved.
 

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my question is what is the church suppose to be today?

This is a quote from the Encyclopedia Brittanica, 13th edition.

"The most notable thing about the life of the early Christians was their vivid sense of being a people of God, called and set apart. The Christian Church in their thought was a devine, not a human, institution. It was founded and controlled by God, and even the world was created for its sake. This conception...controlled all the life of the early Christians, both individual and social. They regarded themselves as separate from the rest of the world and bound together by peculiar ties. Their citizenship was in heaven, not on earth, and the principles and laws by which they strove to govern themselves were from above. The present world was but temporary, and their true life was in the future. Christ was soon to return, and the employments and labors and pleasures of this age were of small concern...In the everyday life of Christians the Holy Spirit was present, and all the Christian graces were the fruits. A result of this belief was to give lives a peculiaryly enthusiatic or inspirational character. Theirs were not the everyday experiences of ordinary men, but of men lifted out of themselves and transported into a higher sphere."

That from a secular writing, has the Church lost its influence? You can answer that.
Jesus said He would build His Church in the 16th chapter of Matthew. It was something He was going to do, it was still in the future. On the Day of Pentecost the Church came into being. The 1st mention of the word, Church, is in Acts, chapter 2, verse 47. "And the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved". To belong to the "True Church" requires one thing. To receive Christ as Savior. The price of admission is the shed Blood of Christ.

I could go on and on about what I think is wrong with the Church today, but that would take up too much space. I'll list a few things.
First, we have allowed the world to control our idea of the word "church". The early Christians met in homes or houses. They didn't have buildings and didn't need them. And the growth was incredible. The reason for the Temple was for the High Priest to offer the sacrifice, once the veil was torn in two, that building had no more purpose in God's plan. Think of how much money is spent on buildings in America alone. If the money was used for missons and Bibles, where would we be today?
Denominations. People have different personalities, different styles of worship, different things they like to do. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with denominations control of the local Church. Every church should be autonomous, that church, and the Elders that lead it should answer to no one but Christ. He is the Head of the Church. Not boards, and administrators, and on and on.
Pastors. I say this carefully because I know how hard Pastors work and they need our prayers. The responsibility they have for the flock they lead. Most of these men have been called to serve the Lord. But, I want to challenge you to show me one place where it says in the Bible that a local assembly is to be led by one man. Its not there, if you find it, please show me. Christ warned about seeking high position. The local Church or Assembly is to be governed equally by Elders. There are many gifted men who aren't serving as they should because one man is in charge. That means they aren't able to exercise their God given gifts, they don't grow and mature as they should.

What are we to do?...Prove yorselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. Philippians 2:15,16

Paul said that these days we are living in would come. Read II Timothy. We are getting close to the return of Christ. Look at the Middle East. Look at the crime we are seeing in our country, "as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah".
Preach the gospel, that's what you are to do, that's what I'm to do. In season and out of season. Tonight, tomorrow, ask the Lord to bring someone into your life so you can witness to them. He will, you just have to be available, are you?
May God Bless you,
Father help us to be men that live for you. Help us to shine as lights for we live in a perverse and fallen land. Our children are being taken and abused, and there is no outrage. God help us, to present the Living Savior to a world that is bent on self destruction. He is our only hope...in His name, Amen.
 

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Thanks guys, You have been a great help. What you said has hit home. Rob
 

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There is much wisdom in all that was said above. The 'church' is a living temple and each individual Christian is a 'living stone' that needs to be rightly fitted into this living temple. The glory of God used to reside in the Holy of Holies in the temples of old, but now the Kingdom of God dwells within us through the Holy Spirit. Too many institutional churches have incorporated the ways of the world and the ways of man above the law of God and this has forced many sincere Christians out of the organized church. This has produced a large home-church movement as well as many forms of underground church systems throughout the United States and the rest of the world. But, you will notice on the evening news, that the media still believes the "church" is actually the Roman Catholic Church (primarily) or in some cases another common social institition. The believers are the church and where two or three are gathered in His name He is there. I rejoice that I live in a time when there is a stronger distinction between simply "being religious" and actually being a Christian.
 
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