the role and importance of the church. [open the foregoing]
The following is part of the foregoing article:
“All the instructions to New Testament churches give us a picture of Christians coming together to share their gifts, not to listen to a pastor preach (1 Cor. 14:26). Paul tells the Corinthians that they can all prophesy one by one as long as there is judgment by the church (1 Cor. 14:31). He also tells them to long (“covet”) to be among those that prophesy in the congregation (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1).
Paul tells the Ephesians something very similar. Though he attributes the training of the saints to gifted leaders, it is the saints who build the body (Eph. 4:11-12). He tells them growth will come from their speaking the truth in love to one another and “each part doing its share” (vv. 13-16).
Nowhere do we find the remotest hint that the meeting of a church involved one pastor teaching—”preaching” is the wrong word because preaching means evangelism—a congregation gifted to just sit, listen, and learn.
We find one place where the whole church came together to hear a speaker. That place is Acts 20, where an apostle (Paul) was traveling through and stopped to encourage the saints. It was what we moderns would call “guest speaking.”
A typical Christian meeting, however, involved every member coming to be a part, to share their gifts, and to build the body as he or she had been trained to do by the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers (1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 4:11-16).
The Church as God’s Family
We have wandered from the description of a church to a description of a Christian meeting, a church gathering. I didn’t notice, and probably you didn’t notice, either.
We evangelicals all claim to know that the church is not a building, though our speech betrays the fact that deep down, we don’t. We continue to tell people that we are “going to church,” and we even ask people to ‘meet us at the church.’
Biblically, Christians gave their money to the real church. They gave their mony to people. Almost always, those were poor people, and the purpose was to feed them.
What neither Mr. Eidelman, nor most evangelicals, know or understand is that biblically there is no “preaching” in the church. Paul was a preacher, but he was also a teacher (2 Tim. 1:11). Preaching, biblically, is done to the lost, and teaching to the church.
Further, “preaching the kingdom of God” is a clear reference to preaching the Gospel. Jesus did “talk about the things concerning the kingdom of God” to the apostles before he was taken up (Acts 1:3). When, however, the kingdom of God is preached, Scripture defines this as preaching the Gospel, not teaching the church (Mk. 1:14-15) because the kingdom of God is the Gospel.
Here are some of the evidences for “preaching” being the equivalent of “evangelism” in the Scriptures:
In Romans 10:14 we read that those who do not believe require a preacher to believe.
The Greek word for preach, kerusso, is used interchangeably with euangelizo (evangalize) repeatedly. For example, Mark 1:38 quotes Jesus as saying that he needs to go to other towns so that he may preach (kerusso) in them as well. The parallel passage, Luke 4:43, quotes Jesus as saying that he must preach (euangelizo) to other cities.
We all know that “evangelism” is for the lost, but what we do not realize is that “preaching” and “evangelism” (euangelizo and kerusso) are used interchangeably throughout the New Testament. They are synonyms. Thus, if evangelism is for the lost, so is preaching.
If you follow kerusso through its 61 New Testament uses, you will find that most of them clearly reference evangelizing the lost. There are ambiguous uses of kerusso, but not one of the uses of kerusso clearly suggests teaching the churches.
Clubs own buildings to meet in, and they need buildings to meet in. Unlike families, clubs grow large quickly.
Why is that?
I think the simplest explanation is that they’re easy. Nothing difficult is required of club members. Club members merely gather together to share their mutual interest in some subject or hobby.
When you gather a large number of people with a mutual interest, you will probably have a lot of fun. You may even provoke a deeper interest or a stronger commitment to the subject or hobby that has brought you together.
You will not, however, have formed a family, which means you will not have formed a church.
You may not know you agree with me, but if you lead or attend a “church” that is trying out cell groups or any similar form of home gathering outside the Sunday meeting, then you agree with me. You already know, though you would never use the terminology, that you are running or attending a mere club that is in need of something that will create a family atmosphere. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t be trying to fix it.”
After He arose for 4o days He taught only the Kingdom of God. He did not expel demons or heal the sick; and the CROWDS THINNED.
SEE: Matthew 13
After Constantine the church became the chaplain of empire; but Jesus said My Kingdom is not of this world
Matthew 13: Those not in the Kingdom will be cast into the furnace of fire where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth
Jesus said to His disciples that He was returning in the clouds and bringing His Kingdom–inside us–during the generation of His disciples
Jesus inside us (the hope of glory)–His Spiritual Kingdom returned in 70 AD (while most wait on His physical return)
Bible: Be diligent because the unlearned and unstable do not understand and fall unto their own destruction; and are led away by the error of the wicked