Sunday, September 29, 2013

The New Testament Church

 The visible church has so many conflicting voices in these days of apostasy that they can drown out the Master's voice. Jesus said His sheep would not follow the voice of a stranger, but many are doing so for lack of faithful under-shepherds. It makes me think of an old song, "If you can't be with the one you love, honey love the one you're with." That is the world's solution, but we are the Bride of Christ and no substitute will do for us.

Yet many true believers remain in a church fellowship that has gone astray just for the sake of having some place to go on Sunday morning. We tend to be creatures of habit. We get comfortable in our routines and fall asleep spiritually even as we nod off during a boring sermon.

Today's institutional church has become a one-man show. The job description of the career pastor encompasses all the gifts of the Body of Christ in himself. In our modern age he is the only active one when the church gathers. The passive congregation tends to leave all the thinking and doing to the guy on salary.

This is where true born-again believers must break with tradition and rediscover the New Testament church fellowship. So much of modern church structure is not based on the Bible, but on the hierarchical model of the Roman Catholic Church and her spin-offs.

Better to be scattered sheep following the Shepherd than to assemble with the church of Laodicea where you will be fed stubble and be treated as the outsider you truly are.

We really need to get back to the Word of God and gather together in the unity of the Spirit. When we do, God will raise up elders and gifted teachers once again in the assemblies of the saints. We will all be better equipped to tune in to His voice in this last hour as we await our final redemption.

If you already have such a church fellowship, you are truly blessed. You are all working together to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the highways and biways and are bearing fruit for His Kingdom. May God continue to build you up and use you as a light to the lost.

"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit. . . But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ." - 1 Cor 12:4-8; 11-12

"How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification." - 1 Cor 14:26