Have you ever wondered why Christians get all dressed up on Sunday, then go to a building, sit in rows, and listen to one professional person give a monologue sermon? Why do we have Sunday schools, nurseries, children’s churches, and youth churches? Why do churches spend so much money on elaborate buildings and even call their building the house of God? Why will church leaders forsake the Bible, and do almost anything to fill their buildings? Why do we baptize an infant or say a sinner’s prayer and call that salvation? Why do we eat a little cracker and drink a tiny cup of juice and call that the Lord’s Supper? -Teryl Hebert, Biblical Church, pg. 1
Teryl raises some thought provoking questions. I hope that what I have to say here today will satisfy some of those questions. However, I highly recommend reading Teryl’s book for a detailed and in depth look at church history.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
Church goers are always raising this scripture as their focus for church membership and attendance. NOWHERE in the above scripture does it say anything about church membership or attending religious services as being a requirement to be a Christian or go to Heaven. I have never found any verse in the Bible stating what these people claim.
If what these people believe were true then millions of people would never have the opportunity for salvation. Thank God that their claim is false!
There are many people in the world throughout the centuries who have been forced to worship the Lord Jesus in secret places or otherwise be killed for their faith. America is becoming this way. Thank God that He is with us and willing to save us wherever we are. I believe there are many people in the world who would like to hear about Jesus Christ and how to be saved from Hell without being told lies and given a list of requirements.
In the Bible the word “church” is not a building or some religious service. In the Bible the word “church” refers to the body of Christ, the Christians, the saints, believers, the bride of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:18, 24). Out of all the references in the Bible (noted below) about the church only one in Acts 8 mentions the church house and it says that Saul wreaked havoc among the body of Christ because he went into the church houses and hauled off the Christians to prison, which was what the religious heathen did to me a few years ago. How ironic.
Matthew 16:18, Matthew 18:17, Acts 2:47, Acts 5:11, Acts 7:38, Acts 8:1, 3, Acts 11:22, 26, Acts 12:1, 5, Acts 13:1, Acts 14:23, 27, Acts 15:3-4, 22, 41, Acts 18:22, Acts 20:17, 28, Romans 16:1, 5, 16, 23, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 6:4, 1 Corinthians 10:32, 1 Corinthians 11:18, 22, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 14:4-5, 12, 19, 23, 28, 35, 1 Corinthians 15:9, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:13, Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 3:10-11, 21, Ephesians 5:23-25, 27, 29, 32, Philippians 3:5-6, Philippians 4:15, Colossians 1:18, 24, Colossians 4:15-16, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 2:14, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2, 1 Timothy 3:5, 15, 1 Timothy 5:16, Philemon 1:2-3, Hebrews 2:12, Hebrews 12:23-24, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:13, 3 John 1:6, 9-10, Revelation 1:4, 20, Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, 18, Revelation 3:1, 7, 14, Revelation 22:16
For three hundred years worship was conducted in the homes of Christians who were filled with the Holy Spirit… Eventually it became illegal to meet in homes. Worship was only permitted in state-approved congregations with state-trained ministers. -Teryl Hebert, Biblical Church, pgs. 28-29
Today we are seeing the fruits of the state and government intervention in the church. There is a great falling away from the faith. Jesus’ message about repentance, sin, and Hell have been removed. Altar calls and the focus on reaching the unbelievers has dissolved. Churches now focus on happy messages, and having plenty of food, fun and activities to keep people so busy and happy while leaving their money at the door that they have little to no time to focus on the Lord or winning souls. This creates masses of biblically ignorant people who are on their way to Hell but do not know it because no one ever told them what the Bible says, and many now are having so much fun with all their activities that they REFUSE to listen to the truth. Preachers are not seeking to make fishers of men. All they want is money and popularity. They are so content with their security that they do not want to give any of it up to speak the truth. Even the Bible colleges and seminaries have gone apostate.
So getting back to the scripture in Hebrews 10. It is speaking about the true Christians assembling together. People can “assemble” anywhere, and I believe that this verse means more to the minority remnant of saints in these end times who have left the churches and seek the company of other believers to exhort, love and comfort one another during these times of persecution. The verse says “…as ye SEE THE DAY approaching.” This means THE RAPTURE! Church goers are not looking for the Lord to return, but the true body of Christ remnant is.
Most church goers believe that once you are saved then you are always saved, or many think they are saved just because they belong to a church. Others think they are saved because they teach Sunday school, or work in a ministry, or sing in a choir or worship team, or preach. None of these things will make you a saved Christian. There many people who belong to churches, are active in a variety of activities or even preach but they are not saved. There are many preachers who do not know the Lord but can stand behind a pulpit and pull a great crowd with a positive, inspiring word. There are numerous scriptures to support the validity that one can and does fall from grace. If you are a church goer and you once accepted Jesus as your Savior then does your life today reflect what the Bible says a Christian should be? Or do you follow after what others are doing? If your mind is set on earthly things, or if you are living in sin, then the Bible warns us of judgment and fiery indignation.
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26-27
If you are unsure where you stand with the Lord, then why not take time right now to make sure? Talk to Him. Tell Him you’re sorry for whatever sin. Seek Him. If you are living in a sinful lifestyle then leave it and turn yourself around. Ask the Lord to help you. Do not wait until tomorrow. There may not be a tomorrow.
A whole lot of church people no longer know what sin is since most preachers have quit teaching about sin. It is obvious by the way they talk, behave and live that they have become confused between good and evil, right and wrong. The King James Bible is our life resource. Every question we have is in there. If you are a true Christian then you will feel the Holy Spirit convict you when you do wrong. If you ignore those convictions to continue in your own way then the Holy Spirit will eventually leave you and let you do whatever you want to do.
If your church is telling you that you must belong to a church body, or that you must be in their service every time the doors are open, or that you must be tithing to the church then you are in a cult because this is not the Lord’s teaching. It is typical for cults to take scriptures out of context and teach a different interpretation which will serve the leader. It is so vital to read and study the Bible on your own as well as with others. The more time you spend in your own study the more that the Lord will reveal to you personally but He cannot teach you if you never spend any time with Him.
There are two really excellent books I recommend to people. Both are written by Teryl Hebert- The Doctrines of Christ and Biblical Church. Both books are available through his website at http://www.housechurchesusa.com/
To learn more about Jesus Christ and how you can be saved click here.