What is to follow are some key points that need to be made clear. Why? Because what is a “church” has become lost over the centuries.
The first and most important point: we are called together as already saved members of the Body of Christ.
Matthew 18: 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Hebrews 10: 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
These verses show clearly that we are to be with Christ when we gather together. Also note that these gatherings are not called “churches” here. Just gathering, which leads to my second key point.
1 Corinthians 14: 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Churches as is seen above is defined as follows in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: 1577 ekklesia ek-klay-see’-ah from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):–assembly, church.
A Christian community and an assembly.
Again we clearly see that these meeting and assemblies are first following that which is taught in Matthew 18 and Hebrews 10. A gathering together as already children of God through the salvation of Jesus Christ.
We are also told by Christ to go into the world and teach the gospel. He never says bring the world into the gatherings. Yet that is what is being done today.
Sinners are being allowed in the building that are called “churches,” for that is all they are buildings. Especially if you are not already one with God through Christ. Churches were just buildings made to make it easier to gather together, which in time allowed a man-made system to be created that as the centuries have passed turned them into businesses and enterprises and in today’s world that is exactly what most are. Gathering in funds to allow the head person in the pulpit to live in luxury while many in the “congregation” struggle to makes ends meet.
Acts 2: 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
A true “church” is called to spread the wealth to all within it. Not to keep it for the few as is done in a business. For that is what today’s “churches” especially most larger ones are all about.
Here is what those in Christ should seek out when looking for a home to gather in the name of Christ:
Is God the center?
How does the pastor live and dress?
Are people within the “church” struggling while others prosper?
Do you feel growth in your spiritual journey toward God?
If any of these answers leaving you doubting then it is best to move on and look for something else.