The Only Kind Of New Testament Church
The Only Kind Of New Testament Church
Mentioned In The Bible
What is the only kind of local church mentioned in the New Testament? One with a steeple and a cross on top? No. One with a big sign out front? No. One with lots of pews? No. One with a nice pulpit and sound system? No. One with hundreds or thousands of members? No. One with a robed choir? No. One with a youth pastor and a singles ministry? No. One with lots of “programs”? No. One with three “services” a week? No. One with a baptismal font up front? No. One with a nursery and Sunday school classes? No, No, No! Well, then you ask “what is the only kind of local church mentioned in the New Testament?” A house church, no other kind, believe it or not (not synagogues either – check out the article “Where should believers meet on the Lord’s Day?” for a Bible study that covers this issue in detail)…
Rom 16:5 – “Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”
1Cor 16:19 – “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.”
Col 4:15 – “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
Phm 1:2 – “And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house”
Well, you’re not saying that there is something wrong with conventional churches now are you? Yes I am! And its not just my opinion. Check out your own Bible. Conventional churches that meet outside of the home in special religious buildings where people all sit in rows and stare at the back of the heads of people they assume are their brothers and sisters in Christ while playing Simon-says with the guy called the worship service leader are unbiblical churches. That being the case, such churches are a very SUBoptimal environment for achieving the things that Christ purposed for His church – such as close fellowship (the kind you have or should have with your own family) and the bearing of one another’s burdens. Conventional local congregations put on an unbiblical religious show every week called a worship service. Biblical local congregations congregate… they meet together, they meet each other, they know each other, they interact with each other… in other words, their meetings resemble family reunions, not Broadway plays and not Catholic masses. There is no visible clergy/laity, them/us, pulpit/pew, holy-man/regular-guy, costumes/plainclothes distinction. People refer to each other by name, not by titles. There is no preoccupation with building maintenance nor pastor’s salaries but rather with discipleship, soul winning and ministering to one another’s needs.
Got it? Well don’t feel bad if this sounds strange and radical to you. It took me a while to realize that I had been entrenched in something I and others now refer to as “churchianity” which is a form of godliness and outward show perpetuated by the religious establishment of our day. While there are many fine Christians in many conventional churches throughout our land, they need to realize that they are responsible for their own spiritual growth and its not something that can be abandoned to “the clergy”. Yet the structure of most conventional churches promotes this abandonment whereas churches that meet in homes and conduct interactive biblical meetings encourage individual growth and accountability. Don’t believe this? Have you really tried church the biblical New Testament way?
“Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Information About House Churches & Biblical Church Practices:
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Christ Died For The Ungodly
by Horatius Bonar
The divine testimony concerning man is, that he is a sinner. God bears witness against him, not for him; and testifies that "there is none righteous, no, not one"; that there is "none that doeth good"; none "that understandeth"; none that even seeks after God, and, still more, none that loves Him (Psa. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12). God speaks of man kindly, but severely; as one yearning over a lost child, yet as one who will make no terms with sin, and will "by no means clear the guilty." <continued>