This article #8 of Observations Gleaned from the Scriptures by JaneEllen.
Interesting Facts in the Bible about The Church
2 Peter 1:20-21 says prophecies come from God. When God gave us His message, He intended us to understand what He meant, not just make up our own meaning of His message. God actually does have His own meaning. He invented communication and He uses it well to tell us exactly what He wants us to know. It’s our job to listen well and learn what He has said. (Stephen Coffman)
2 Peter 1:3 says God gave us “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” If we have it all, there is nothing else we need. [underlining mine] If someone says they have a new prophecy or revelation, how can it be true? Why would it be needed if we already have all things from God?
People attending different churches today have different ideas about what God said about The Church. Think about this: If you differ with someone about something in the Bible, both of you could be wrong, but both of you cannot be right. Only what God said in the Bible is right.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus tells Peter He is going to build His church. In Acts 5:11, it is called “The Church” not “a church”. This is the only church mentioned in the New Testament. People were added by God to The Church after being baptized. (Acts 2:47.)
The Bible does not say Jesus built a church building. He built The Church. The Church is made up of all the taught baptized disciples in the world. In other books of the Bible disciples are called saints. Acts 11:26 says that saints were called Christians first in Antioch.
So the church is made up of taught, baptized, saved disciples also called saints or Christians.
Jesus lived to approximately 33 A.D. His Church came into existence on the Day of Pentecost after His death. (Acts 2.) All other churches were created after the Bible was written. There is no mention of any other churches in the Bible.
So there is only one church mentioned in the Bible.
Since all taught baptized disciples in the world are in The Church, how and where do they meet to worship? As you continue to read the New Testament, you will read how The Church that Jesus built was organized. The apostles went all over the then known world to different towns teaching and baptizing people. (Mt. 28:19) These trips are called the Missionary Journeys. The apostles with instructions from the Holy Spirit (still with them since Acts 2), formed groups of saints (the saved, taught, baptized, disciples). The apostles organized these groups setting elders (sometimes called overseers or bishops) over each group. (Acts 14:23) Each group was comprised of saints, elders and deacons. (Philippians 1:1) No elder (or elders) of one group was ever over another group in another town or towns. (1 Peter 5:2) No elder could decide what their group was to do. (2 Timothy 2:24-25) They had to follow what the Holy Spirit told the apostles. There is no mention of a central organization sending out creeds or directives to multiple groups. There is no person in the Bible in a high position dictating what everyone in a group or multiples of groups must believe or practice. This is not the pattern the apostles used to establish groups. This practice came into existence after the Bible was written. It is not the pattern God gave the Holy Spirit to give the apostles. The Church in the Bible has two parts: 1. All the baptized all over the world (1 Peter 5:9) and 2. A local group made up of saints, elders and deacons also called The Church. (Philippians 1:1)
So taught, baptized, saved disciples in a certain town were organized into groups by the apostles and were called The Church. Each Church consisted of saints, elders and deacons only.
If a church today does a lot of good, and has a lot of wonderful active members, does it matter that it is never mentioned in the Bible?
Does it matter how a church is organized?
Does is matter what a church is called?
Does it matter if a church is named after someone other than Jesus Christ?
Does it matter if a church has a central location or headquarters sending out creeds and directives to multiple congregations?
Does it matter if a church has one or more men making decisions for several congregations?
None of the above scenarios is ever mentioned in the Bible.
To see if it matters, consider the following scriptures:
James 4:17 – So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Matthew 7:21-23 – Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [bolding mine] On that day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
Revelation 22:18-19 – I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the Holy city, which are described in this book.
Are you listening to what God has to say about The Church or are you making up your own meaning of His message?
Until next time, I remain with a song in my heart. JaneEllen