The church is not a place, a day, or a particular hour; it does not require a building, it does not require a denomination, a membership or a 501 © (3). A church does not require a special name or special signs in front of a building. A church does not require a pulpit, advertisement, or social media. Do we need all these things in a family? Why do we need these things in what is supposed to be our number one family? We got this thing all wrong! The church is us; the church is who we are as Born-Again believers. Jesus gave a new definition of family and therefor gave us a lesson on who our real family is. In Mark 3:31-34 we read,
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (NIV)
Jesus did not place his own earthly mother and brothers above his disciples. Up to this point, we can conclude that neither Mary nor Jesus’s brothers were believers. That is amazing! They lived with Jesus, but still miss who He was. Thankfully we see that they did converted later.
This concept of family was strongly attacked by Satan. For such attack the Devil used Emperor Constantine to do what he does best; if he cannot defeat us, and he can’t, then he joins us and causes damage from the inside out. That’s exactly what he did 324 years after Christ, when Constantine declared his version of Christianity the Official Church of the Roman Empire.
Prior to this it was illegal to practice true apostolic Christianity; the church suffered severe persecution; but the church was unstoppable. Folks were meeting in homes; they were sharing their lives; they were not going to church; they knew they were the church… the family of God. See, with Constantine now we have the ordained ministers, the church became popular now, primetime, prestigious, powerful, and rich.
How do we know this was not of God? The gospel disappears in that visible church for a thousand years until the Reformation. The problem is that the reformation kept the building, the ordinations, the format, the pulpit, the tax-exempt status, etc. The devil still has his hands in it. But I am not going to dwell on what Constantine did; I am going to dedicate time in making Bible references that clearly states the way this thing called church is supposed to be. It is not a mystery; it is not deep theology, it is not my opinion and, it is not hard to find.
To be continued…