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WHAT IS THE CHURCH THAT JESUS TALKED ABOUT?
Most Bibles quote Jesus as saying, "I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."
Interestingly enough, even though Jesus was a carpenter, He never built a synagogue. He never built a cathedral. He never built a "Family Life Center" or a steeple-house.
I challenge you to search the world over and see if you can find any visible evidence of a structure that can legitimately claim that Jesus Himself built it with His own two hands.
Either there is no such thing and Jesus failed to do what He said. Or He did built it, but it doesn't exist anymore, so the gates of hell prevailed against it.
"That's silly, brother... of course Jesus did not mean that He would literally build anything."
Exactly. Only a simpleton would take these words of Jesus literally.
Then why does Christendom expect us to believe that the "Church" Jesus built now exists within Catholic Institutionalism, Greek Orthodoxism, or Protestant Denominationalism?
That understanding is unBiblical and not in keeping with the spirit of what Jesus actually said and meant: "I will built MY CHURCH."
If we cannot tell the difference between something Jesus built and something man built then we are sorely lacking in spiritual discernment and we need to ask God for wisdom to tell the difference.
To help you find the church that Jesus built, here are some clues:
1. Digging deeper into the original language of the Bible, we find the Greek word translated "church" is EKKLESIA, which simply means "an assembly of called-out people." We have a lot of emotional attachment to that word "church" but the point is that what Jesus really said and what we think He meant are two different things.
2. The New Testament refers to the Hebrews who came out of Egypt as "The Church [Ekklesia] in the Wilderness". Interesting, isn't it? Can you see a connection with what Jesus said He was going to do for us?
3. This EKKLESIA is founded upon an entirely spiritual concept - the revelation of Christ - which can only come from an entirely spiritual dimension: the Father in Heaven must grant it individually, one person at a time.
4. This EKKLESIA is not a PLACE of worship but a PEOPLE of worship. For example, when Scripture says "the house of God" it always refers to the family (people) of God, never a building for performing religious ceremonies.
5. This EKKLESIA is called a house of living stones, and yet it is referred to as "growing". Inanimate objects do not grow - only living things have the ability to grow.
These clues should help you in your search for truth (or at least make you think twice).
This article is by Chip Brogden of The School Of Christ