Why I Don’t Attend Church-Part 1: What Is Church?


*What is Church?

So, what is this thing that we call church? First of all, church is not something that you can physically attend. It is not a building no matter how great or small.

Acts 7:48-49
“However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that?’ asks the Lord. ‘Could you build me such a resting place?”

Acts 17:24-25
“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs…”

From the scriptures above, it is made clear that God does not dwell in physical buildings. The common belief that Christians are supposed to go to a building once a week to experience the presence of God is false. You cannot “have church” as many say because church is not an event. We do not go to church, as believers in Christ we are the church. God’s presence cannot be found in a literal temple. We (those who are in Christ) are the temple of God.

I Corinthians 3:16-17
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

Why can so many read scriptures like this over and over again yet not understand the reality of what is being said?

The word “church” is derived from the Greek word ekklesia, which means a calling out.

A church is a Christian community made up of Christ’s followers that have been called out from among those in the world. This community can vary greatly in size and is made up of individual members the Bible often refers to as Saints. To be a member, one must believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, repent of sin, and surrender all and follow Him. You do not need to “join a church” if you have been born again. You are automatically a member of the church upon conversation. It is Christ’s blood that has bought you entry into the Church (family) of God.

The idea that Christians must attend a weekly church service is being perpetuated by blending the Old Testament with the New. We are no longer under the Old Covenant, but a new and much better one with better promises! Today’s church, especially in the United States sadly resembles the Levitical priesthood God established through Aaron and his descendants. This priesthood was a precursor, a mere shadow of better things to come. God’s true purpose was to establish an entire congregation of Kings and Priests in his new covenant.

Speaking of believer’s in Christ’s gospel, I Peter 2:9-10 states,

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

New Covenant believers have collectively become the priesthood represented by the Levites under the Old Covenant. What was once reserved for only a special few, and only through direct lineage has now been opened up to ALL who will follow Christ.

When Jesus was crucified, God performed a miracle by having the curtain in the temple torn in two from top to bottom. This will be demonstrated to be a monumental event.

Matthew 27:50-52
“Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened…”

This is one of the most significant events in all of scripture. The purpose of the curtain was to separate the people from the presence and glory of God. Only the High Priest was allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies behind the curtain.

According to history, the temple veils were 60 feet long, 30 feet wide, and the thickness about 4 inches. That would make the weight approximately between 4 to 6 tons depending on the material used. It is believed that it took 300 priests to carry each curtain.

God supernaturally demonstrated that there was to be no more separation between His people and Himself by completely destroying one of the most important aspects of the Old Testament priesthood.

“The rending of the veil signified (as that ancient hymn excellently expresses it), that, when Christ had overcome the sharpness of death, he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Nothing can obstruct or discourage our access to heaven, for the veil is rent; a door is opened in heaven…” Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Jesus, by his ascension into Heaven after the resurrection became the High Priest of a new covenant. This better covenant now allowed all of God’s called out people (ekklesia) to have continual access into the very presence of God.

Hebrews 9:11
“So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world.”

Hebrews 9:24
“For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf.”

Hebrews 4:14-16
“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

Each individual member of the church now has direct access to God through our High Priest, Jesus Christ. There is no longer a need for any human intermediary. God cleared the path that we may now have direct access to Him through the work Jesus did in his life, death and resurrection.

The church now has one head made up of many members (see I Corinthians 12:12-27). The “church” is made up of all of the individual members of Christ’s body of believers. A “church” is a group of believers gathered together. Jesus said, “For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.” (Amplified Bible)

Not long after the Apostles had preached the Gospel around the world and many local assemblies had begun, false apostles and teachers began infiltrating the church. The full manifestation of their influence was manifested during what is known as the Dark Ages. During this time, a self-appointed ruling class in the church separated the people from God. They deemed that only a chosen few were allowed access to God and had the ability to understand and interpret His word. Many were slaughtered and tortured in the most cruel ways simply for possessing a Bible or participating in activities or conversations not approved by the Church.

We are still living in the shadow of the Dark Ages as much truth has been hidden from those in the traditional church system. I hope that through this series of articles, you may find the answers to questions that have kept the church in the bondage of darkness for far too long.

*All scripture references except where noted are taken from the New Living Translation.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing

  2. Donna Barbour says:

    The book of Acts teaches us about the early churhch. The church is suffering because christianity was primarily spiritual, not political. “My kingdom is not of this world, ” said Jesus to Pilate: “if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight…”(John 18:36).

    Donna Barbour
    August 11, 2011

    • Amen and amen again. The church is fighting a spiritual battle through carnal means. Until Christians understand this fundamental difference between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men, the same mistakes will be made over and over again.

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