I have been studying and teaching Bible doctrine for over 48 years and the shepherding teacher for home based Churches. Sola Scriptura
Churches Take On an Appearance of the World Around Them.
Church Buildings Have Become a Distraction From God’s Call to Believers Alone.
- Churches have taken the verse 2 Cor. 6:17 and have in de facto removed themselves from the world which is contrary to John 17:15-19: Jesus never wanted His own separated from the world physically but sanctified [set apart] by the Truth. They have become monuments to the man-made gospel and the professionals that man the helms.
- Ephesians 4:11-12 makes it very clear that it is the individual saints that are to do the work of the Gospel under the tutelage of those called by God to lead and teach. Yet what do we find in the majority of churches: the work of the Gospel has been left up to the trained professionals. Their education has instilled within them that those without their educational background are not really capable of reaching others for Christ effectively without their leadership. In turn the cleric class has made the laity class lazy in many aspects of their witness to their own family, neighbors, co-workers and with all whom they regularly come into contact.
- Charity [agape] of the believer to meet the needs of their family, fellow believers and neighbors has been replaced by the tithe. Responsibility for one’s own finances now reside in the hands of another. Those who teach that it is an act of worship have never read Deuteronomy 14:22-29, the Law of the Tithe. Charity, our greatest outward demonstration of our love of Christ has been set aside for salaries, benefits, mortgages, utilities and if anything should be leftover; outreach may be considered or some small needs of a member … if available.
- The greatest ill of all is that the Word has been left to the professional to teach as they see fit. They have become as the rabbis of Jesus’ day: their interpretations carry more weight than the Word itself to many who attend. Who needs a Bible when in attendance as the overhead will more than suffice and the sermon, which excludes any interaction with the gathering, is very often only topical. Two things then occur: 1) the people hear only what the preacher has to say; 2) those who truly love our Lord go hungry: but everyone at least fulfilled their supposed obligation to God by showing up.
- The traditions of man at their worst. Colossians 2:8
The New Kinder Gospel Omits the Law.
Churches Have Forgotten that the Gospel Begins with the Law.
If a church wants to keep everything positive to both attract and keep the crowds coming: the Law is the last thing most churches would consider broaching. Occasional references to the Old Testament usually suffice but seem to avoid getting too deep into the Law of God. The Law has become a topic that is off limits to the leadership within churches as it dissuades many who have no inclination or ears to hear.
As John Bunyan once stated: ‘The man that does not know the nature of the Law, cannot know the nature of sin and he that does not know the nature of sin cannot know the nature of the Savior.’
When was the last time anyone has heard a sermon based upon Psalm 19:7 - ‘The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; …’?
Salvation, or should I say membership is so easy today. Whether one attends a legalistic [strict adherence to specific rules] , or charismatic [outward appearance of spirituality] or evangelistic [rules are more relaxed] or the prosperity / positive [most anything goes] church: everyone has a specific formula for success in one’s supposed Christian walk. The victim becomes the true Gospel once delivered; that which born again believers are to be at war defending. [Jude 3]
It has been years since I heard anyone within a church setting testify to the weight of the sins becoming unbearable which led them to cry out for mercy.
Today it has become - accept Jesus through your own volition, though there is not one verse to support the doctrine of acceptance, save that of our Lord accepting us. Acts 10:35; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Ephesians 1:6 The prayer of the publican in Luke 18:13 says it all, ‘And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.’
Churches today are filled with many that have never dealt with their sin problem before a holy God, but have found a loophole in avoiding the Law. Say the correct words and accept that you need Jesus to help you turn your life around, be water baptized in the correct manner as the local assembly deems fit and begin living as part of one big happy family … just be sure to follow rules as they put forth. Voila, heaven is now secured and the game is afoot. Welcome to the religious community and you may actually see some good changes in your life. Just beware of Matthew 7:21-23.
In China a Building Can Be a Death Sentence.
Where There is a Crowd; Lawlessness Will Surely Dwell Among Them.
Why is it that the ‘two or three’ principle of Matthew 18:20 has been relegated to be only a small Bible study, counseling session or family event but not for the Church? The context of Matthew 18:15-20 is that of dealing with sin between one another within the body of Christ. The end product is either restoration or expulsion of the offender. The logistics within large gatherings without division coming to the whole assembly is now left up to the leadership to make the final decision, though verse 17 states that it is to involve the whole assembly.
The Church is built upon the foundation of the prophets and the apostles with Christ being the Chief Cornerstone. Eph. 2:20 Remember that Jesus did not come to build the Church, He came to fulfill the Law. Hence, God has chosen to build the Church with Christ as the Cornerstone using the apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor teachers to equip the saints for the work of building up the body of Christ. If we truly want to see the Church grow, we are to use the Jesus principle when we gather together.
- When Jesus wanted intimate teaching time with His disciples; He and the disciples would withdraw to a private place away from all crowds. Matthew 13:36; 24:3; 26:36-37; Mark 6:30-32; 9:28-29; 13:3; 14:32-33; Luke 9:10; 10;23-24
- When Jesus desired to address the lost in a more intimate setting He would even invite Himself to their home. Luke 19:5
- Jesus on several occasions ministered in many homes. Matthew 8:14; 9:9-10, 23-24; 26:6; Mark 2:15-17; into the camp of the enemy Luke 7:36 and the list goes on.
- The first century Church, the called out believers, did not gather in set apart buildings as some cults would have you to believe: they met in homes. Acts 2:46; 5:42; 8:3; 10:22; 12:12; 16:32,40; 18:7; 20:20; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2 and 2 John 10. This became the standard for the gathering of born again believers for more than a millennia until what we see today, a tradition established by the Catholic church. A building, set apart, one leader and all attendees sit on their hands, listen and follow the dictates of the one in charge.
There is very little intimacy within congregations today and those who do meet to know our Lord in a deeper way are few and far between in relation to the majority of church goers. Hatred of all things godly is growing rapidly and persecution is on the horizon for every believer. Church buildings will become either vassals of the state or available real estate for sale if not burned to the ground. My advice: Hebrews 10:24-25. Those who love our Lord and long for His appearing need to seek out those of like mind and learn more of the Savior in an intimate setting and eschew the crowds.