Revelation

Sep 3, 2009
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4,701
113
Florida
Im going to voice my opinion on something that was posted. I do love my church, and attend irregularly because Im not getting what I need. As my search for another congregation more suitable to me needs continues, I am finding more of the same. Churches in my area are filled with married couples even older than myself. At 55 Im not finding any singles my age, singles groups, or singles events at any church within a two hour drive. The groups I am finding with singles are Celebrate Recovery, AA, and NA which are not for me. As a more than 20 year recovered alcoholic I know NOT to put myself in a place with those whom still continue to fall. I know that the temptation for me is too great, so I avoid situations that might cause me personally to sin. That in itself says a lot about the communities in which I live. Where are young Christian adults going (I see so few in church)? Where are all the saved singles? The middle aged couples? Unless I attend a huge church with a concert like show complete with lights, smoke, and a full band, Im not finding them. What does that say to the world around us?

Now for my opinion. I will disagree; going to church today does not always show the world we are saved anymore than going to a doctor shows we are healthy. What shows we are a member of the body of Christ is how we live our lives, how we treat others, and the love we choose to share freely. Ive been to a lot of churches that would rather dissect me apart into pieces highlighting my sins, than show me the love and fellowship I seek. Without charity, love, and hope what are we? An empty church is still an empty building if it cannot be filled with love to glorify our Father in heaven. Its like church has become a business. That is a very sad fact being Ive lived in 11 states, and have visited far too many than any one person ever should. Its really skewed my views on church, and what was intended in our holy scriptures.

I am disagreeing with the love of Christ in me, as brother Major posted. We don't always have to agree, but we are commanded to love one another.

From my personal perspectives I have witnessed a great deal of support from the body of Christ on these very boards. The moderators here are awesome! I have found internet fellowship, a place to ask for prayer, a place where I can find those in need of prayer, a place to study the word of God, a place to discuss it, all within the comfort of my own home. I think in todays world accurate Christian sites are showing others what the body of Christ is all about, just as much as the churches around that actually get it.

Peace, and love to all reading...
I hear you and appreciate your thoughts and in many ways I agree with you. To tell you the truth, I would feel strange if every agreed with me.

I would also say that Church today IS a business on two levels that feed off of each other.

#1. The business of the church is to preach/teach the Word of God so as to reach out and save the lost.
#2. It is a business in that it has bills that must be paid. Bills such as electricity, water, taxes, insurance payroll.

IF the first business of the church is done properly and correctly then the second thing will be taken care us by the giving of those who get saved and support the church.

Now how we live our lives is of course the Christian thing to do but not attending a church does not correspond to the Scriptures that tell us to "NOT forsake the assembly of believers".

I would also say at this point that a church that does not project LOVE as its method of operation is then NOT a Christian church but simply a religious organization which we need to run away from and not to.

You said...….....
" going to church today does not always show the world we are saved anymore than going to a doctor shows we are healthy."


That actually proves my point. We go to a doctor because we are SICK. Speaking only for me, I do not go to the doctor because I feel good. His job is to make us feel better through the medicine he administered to us because we are sick.

We should go to church because we are SIN SICK. The job of the Pastor/Church is to make us feel better through the medicine of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as it is taught and preached. NOW......if the Lord Jesus Christ is not preached, then that church will certainly become a refrigerator that does nothing but house the "Frozen Chosen".

Jeremiah 8:22............
"Is There No Balm in Gilead?"

Balm, of course, is a medicinal salve. The people were wounded from their sins and idolatries and needed to be resorted. This brokenness is compared to physical maladies and physical cures to illustrate how unnecessarily tragic it was. People had sought the balm of Gilead to help their illnesses for centuries.

So we see various figures used, but the problem's the same - people steeped in sin though the cure is so near which is the blood of Christ!

Allow me to share something with all of you today.

Revelation 3:17-18 is speaking of one of the 7 churches and says...…….
"you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see."

Notice especially the part about them being "blind" and needing to get "eye salve" from the Lord. In great parallel to ancient Israel and the balm of Gilead, and the CHURCH in Laodicea as that church was only 13 miles away from a school famous for its medical knowledge, particularly its eyesalve.



 

AtomicSnowflake

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However......What I post does NOT mean that I am correct and anyone can disagree with me and discussion is the root of learning when it is done in a loving, civil and Christian atmosphere.

NO!. My answer is that SAVED, BORN AGIAN people want to go to church and are there because they are saved!

Those who refuse to attend church and worship the Lord Jesus are actually NOT saved. Are they religious? Probably!
Do they KNOW about the Jesus Christ. YES they do. But know about Jesus does not and has never saved anyone.
- (discussion)-

While I believe I understand where you're coming from, I think it's also important to look at a more complete picture of "church" today. First of all, what exactly IS "church", "the church"... and "fellowship"?

Just as we all have seen demonstrated, even here on these forums, there are many people who would teach misleading, hurtful, unbiblical doctrine... (or you cansimply check out what's being taught on youtube!)...this is also a problem in MANY "churches".

As for myself, and many other people, there are endless accounts of how people have been extremely hurt and damaged by "churches" or those claiming to be "christians"... I hear quite alot about these stories just from people I have known personally... not all "churches" are equal. (And once someone has been hurt so deeply, most will never go back again.. ever. And many will refuse to have anything to do with anyone who claims to be a christian! -So attending a "bad church" can, and often does, do more harm than good---> score for the enemy!

Sometimes people may not be physically or financially able to "go" to "church"... or don't find any in their area that has any godly people in attendance! So we would have to wonder- why put ourselves into a pack of wolves, who pretend to be sheep, when we are seeking to grow, learn, and mature spiritually? So for many people, they have chosen to use their discernment, and seek God's direction using alternate avenues. Often times, this may mean finding sermons, teaching, mentoring, & fellowship in other places- often online.

The truth is, that many churches today are like those you mentioned. Spiritually dead, teaching false doctrines, cults, putting dollars above souls, lukewarm...
The Church at Ephesus.....................They lost their first love.
The Church at Smyrna.......................It was the persecuted church.
The Church at Pergamos..................It was faithful but tolerated false teachers.
The Church at Thyatira......................This church was dominated by a powerful false prophet.
The Church at Sardis..........................This was a spiritually dying church.
The Church at Philadelphia............Faithful witnessing church.
The Church at Laodica......................Lukewarm church.
So, what exactly IS a "church"?
What is meant by "going to church"?
What is "fellowship"?

If we consider the questions, and study the scripture, I think maybe we might begin with what the Bible teaches us these things are. How does the Bible define those terms?

In many countries, people are forced to meet in secret to "fellowship" and study God's word... Sometimes, there is simply just a lack of options- even in the U.S.

I do believe that attending church is necessary- but our definition of "church" isn't always in agreement with what the Bible says it is.
---------------------------------------------

(This topic alone would be deserving of it's own thread... so as not to cause this one to stray off-topic.)
 
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rtm3039

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Im going to voice my opinion on something that was posted. I do love my church, and attend irregularly because Im not getting what I need. As my search for another congregation more suitable to me needs continues, I am finding more of the same. Churches in my area are filled with married couples even older than myself. At 55 Im not finding any singles my age, singles groups, or singles events at any church within a two hour drive. The groups I am finding with singles are Celebrate Recovery, AA, and NA which are not for me. As a more than 20 year recovered alcoholic I know NOT to put myself in a place with those whom still continue to fall. I know that the temptation for me is too great, so I avoid situations that might cause me personally to sin. That in itself says a lot about the communities in which I live. Where are young Christian adults going (I see so few in church)? Where are all the saved singles? The middle aged couples? Unless I attend a huge church with a concert like show complete with lights, smoke, and a full band, Im not finding them. What does that say to the world around us?

Now for my opinion. I will disagree; going to church today does not always show the world we are saved anymore than going to a doctor shows we are healthy. What shows we are a member of the body of Christ is how we live our lives, how we treat others, and the love we choose to share freely. Ive been to a lot of churches that would rather dissect me apart into pieces highlighting my sins, than show me the love and fellowship I seek. Without charity, love, and hope what are we? An empty church is still an empty building if it cannot be filled with love to glorify our Father in heaven. Its like church has become a business. That is a very sad fact being Ive lived in 11 states, and have visited far too many than any one person ever should. Its really skewed my views on church, and what was intended in our holy scriptures.

I am disagreeing with the love of Christ in me, as brother Major posted. We don't always have to agree, but we are commanded to love one another.

From my personal perspectives I have witnessed a great deal of support from the body of Christ on these very boards. The moderators here are awesome! I have found internet fellowship, a place to ask for prayer, a place where I can find those in need of prayer, a place to study the word of God, a place to discuss it, all within the comfort of my own home. I think in todays world accurate Christian sites are showing others what the body of Christ is all about, just as much as the churches around that actually get it.

Peace, and love to all reading...
I belong to one of those mega churches. We have a stage, a band (aka: worship group), a production room, a production team, and broadcast to sever other churches and on-line. I have not missed a weekend, since first attending in January. Since I am a member of the volunteer security team, I usually attend all three Sunday services and, on occasion, the Saturday service. Granted all this attendance is almost "work related," however, I do pay attention to the message.

Now, we have a saying at my church. They are really big on small groups and noted that "A small group is what makes a large church small." At last count, we have over 400 such groups, which meet at church and/or private dwellings. We have a small group for anything you can think of:

groups.JPG

My group falls under the Special Interest category of security and we even have a group focused on firearms. Thenami, you should come over as my group has a vary large number of unmarried 50 somethings. We too have a celebrate recovery group, but they are treated a little different. They even have their own special place to attend services; mostly because we have some who are a little over the top and we feel the need to watch over them a little closer (we have had some try to solicit female members of our guest services team and, at least one was either drunk of high a couple of weeks ago).

Ok, here comes my point. To me, my church is actually my small group "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” Matthew 18:20 (NIV). The actual physical establishment, I see more as the larger community from which all is centered. Yes, this is where the message is first heard, but it is through the small groups that the real study comes (granted, as some of you know, my small group has had some serious drama this past year, but that's another story). However, as a larger community we also have what we call the "Carrying for Miami" ministry where community (big church) members go out as a larger group to feed the homeless, deliver food to needy kids, provide maintenance to some schools, run a mobile dental program, visit the elderly, etc.

I guess this is subject to interpretation. I enjoy going to church because I enjoy how it makes me feel. I feel at home there. I show up early (around 8:00, with the first service being at 9:00). I like to watch people coming into service, I like to watch guest services to their early morning group prayer, and like to meet with my small group (we officially meet on Monday nights) to plan the security process for that particular weekend. I like the first cup of coffee when I meet with the active duty cops that work the services and I like having brunch at the volunteer kitchen. I guess, as my bottom line, when I am physically at my church, I feel like I have temporarily left the "crap" that is our "big city" reality and have stepped into a whole new world that is as it should be.

rtm3039
 

bobinfaith

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Hello brothers and sisters;

AtomicSnowflake
asked the question, "what exactly is a church, what is meant by going to church and what is fellowship?"

The church are all three things; the people of believers in Christ Jesus, the gathering of believers (Christians and the unreached) and fellowship of Christians.
In Acts 1 and 2 was the establishment of the church (the people of believers.) God's presence was made known to these men and women of about 120. His presence was the Holy Spirit that filled the place. At this first church worship the people didn't go in with "personal prayer requests" but spent most of the service in "worship and prayer to God." This is known as the first church gathering and took place in A.D. 30. God saw their hearts and filled the church with the Holy Spirit.

Brother Ray, your mega church are people from your part of the community and who they are today for His glory. God has an anointing instruction for your church family and this is why your church and many are attending worship.

Another church in India is in the middle of surrounding pagans and other gods. But God anointed His church and instruction despite their surroundings. People in these other pagan practices and gods left to join God's church, got converted and baptized. God's result has brought these unbelievers to Christ Jesus.

The same thing goes for the countless number of God's churches (the people) that are in obedience to Him. The churches (people) that are not exercising the greater matters of what Jesus teaches in Matthew 23:23, justice, mercy, faithfulness besides love, compassion and mercy, is what we need to fervently pray for.

In these times in 2019, it is true that churches have hurt some of you, some more than others. These churches that have hurt us are all still God's churches, so those who have hurt you, some more than others, is this God's fault?

I pastor two churches in the SF Bay Area and get this question asked all the time, "if this is the way of the church, then why should I go?" In my personal experience when I got hurt from someone in the church, church leaders or the Pastor, the first thing I did was PRAY and follow God's guidance for me.

In
Matthew 18:15 we are to confront the person who hurt us, privately and in love. I have practiced this with God's results. Of course there are those who pay no heed to what I needed to say to them or how the Scriptures can help us. In those instances I would ask another witness to join a further discussion. Most of the time my brother or sister reconciled with me, privately or with a witness, and we were restored "in the church." I'm only grateful that the circumstance did not have go before the whole church. Once again, it is God's result in His church.

When I couldn't win my brother or sister for Christ, I still loved them and let them go.

Brothers and sisters, please don't avoid the very Word God has empowered you with. Thats why we have a Bible which is God's Word and instruction for all situations and for who believe and trust in Him.

For those of us who have been hurt by
a leader or Pastor in the church, I always asked, meet with them, one on one. Pastors and leaders must be accountable because when they take off the cloth, they're still men and women who fall short, they're flawed and imperfect. They're still men and women.

Sad, but in truth, many Pastors cannot set the example of Christ in the church because they never apply accountability of God's calling, and this becomes false teaching and trickles down to the church family like a cancer. God cannot fill his church with the Holy Spirit. He cannot inhabit our praises because of the false and hypocritical leading of worship. Its possible the pastor was never really called to be a shepherd.

Hopefully, if the Pastor or leader has listening ears, is sensitive to the heart of the hurt, then we have helped the Pastor or leader repent, and become a more effective shepherd to the church. But if the Pastor or leader is resistant then they are in disobedient to God. Further action needs to be taken to have the Pastor or leader disciplined, or step down, immediately.

In Psalm 25 especially in verse 21, when people hurt us, we are to pray for God's protection over enemies who exult over us. Let the world beware! God sees all that is not in obedience to Him in His church and will hold them highly accountable.

This is why Jesus was exposing the seven churches in Revelation 1 and 2. God sees everything!

For those who are so discouraged and won't go to church, 99% of the time its because of people. If something in that church is not fulfilling your need, how about praying about what you can do to bless another who is hurting? God uses us to be an answer to prayer for others. This is how God works within each one of us.

We have so many reasons that we feel is valid not to go to church. I'm going to challenge each one of us, be encouraged and go meet with a "seasoned" minister and seriously share with them why you cannot go to a church.


In Psalm 25:21, 21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

For those who have left the church because you were hurt, David is saying wait for God. Don't wait to see what the other person will do. Wait and be still for God's result in your worship and His church!

In love, I respect everyone's thoughts and am praying to understand this discussion of the church in Revelation and in these times.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas.
 

rtm3039

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Staff member
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Feb 5, 2019
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Miami, FL
Hello brothers and sisters;

AtomicSnowflake
asked the question, "what exactly is a church, what is meant by going to church and what is fellowship?"

The church are all three things; the people of believers in Christ Jesus, the gathering of believers (Christians and the unreached) and fellowship of Christians.
In Acts 1 and 2 was the establishment of the church (the people of believers.) God's presence was made known to these men and women of about 120. His presence was the Holy Spirit that filled the place. At this first church worship the people didn't go in with "personal prayer requests" but spent most of the service in "worship and prayer to God." This is known as the first church gathering and took place in A.D. 30. God saw their hearts and filled the church with the Holy Spirit.

Brother Ray, your mega church are people from your part of the community and who they are today for His glory. God has an anointing instruction for your church family and this is why your church and many are attending worship.

Another church in India is in the middle of surrounding pagans and other gods. But God anointed His church and instruction despite their surroundings. People in these other pagan practices and gods left to join God's church, got converted and baptized. God's result has brought these unbelievers to Christ Jesus.

The same thing goes for the countless number of God's churches (the people) that are in obedience to Him. The churches (people) that are not exercising the greater matters of what Jesus teaches in Matthew 23:23, justice, mercy, faithfulness besides love, compassion and mercy, is what we need to fervently pray for.

In these times in 2019, it is true that churches have hurt some of you, some more than others. These churches that have hurt us are all still God's churches, so those who have hurt you, some more than others, is this God's fault?

I pastor two churches in the SF Bay Area and get this question asked all the time, "if this is the way of the church, then why should I go?" In my personal experience when I got hurt from someone in the church, church leaders or the Pastor, the first thing I did was PRAY and follow God's guidance for me.

In
Matthew 18:15 we are to confront the person who hurt us, privately and in love. I have practiced this with God's results. Of course there are those who pay no heed to what I needed to say to them or how the Scriptures can help us. In those instances I would ask another witness to join a further discussion. Most of the time my brother or sister reconciled with me, privately or with a witness, and we were restored "in the church." I'm only grateful that the circumstance did not have go before the whole church. Once again, it is God's result in His church.

When I couldn't win my brother or sister for Christ, I still loved them and let them go.

Brothers and sisters, please don't avoid the very Word God has empowered you with. Thats why we have a Bible which is God's Word and instruction for all situations and for who believe and trust in Him.

For those of us who have been hurt by
a leader or Pastor in the church, I always asked, meet with them, one on one. Pastors and leaders must be accountable because when they take off the cloth, they're still men and women who fall short, they're flawed and imperfect. They're still men and women.

Sad, but in truth, many Pastors cannot set the example of Christ in the church because they never apply accountability of God's calling, and this becomes false teaching and trickles down to the church family like a cancer. God cannot fill his church with the Holy Spirit. He cannot inhabit our praises because of the false and hypocritical leading of worship. Its possible the pastor was never really called to be a shepherd.

Hopefully, if the Pastor or leader has listening ears, is sensitive to the heart of the hurt, then we have helped the Pastor or leader repent, and become a more effective shepherd to the church. But if the Pastor or leader is resistant then they are in disobedient to God. Further action needs to be taken to have the Pastor or leader disciplined, or step down, immediately.

In Psalm 25 especially in verse 21, when people hurt us, we are to pray for God's protection over enemies who exult over us. Let the world beware! God sees all that is not in obedience to Him in His church and will hold them highly accountable.

This is why Jesus was exposing the seven churches in Revelation 1 and 2. God sees everything!

For those who are so discouraged and won't go to church, 99% of the time its because of people. If something in that church is not fulfilling your need, how about praying about what you can do to bless another who is hurting? God uses us to be an answer to prayer for others. This is how God works within each one of us.

We have so many reasons that we feel is valid not to go to church. I'm going to challenge each one of us, be encouraged and go meet with a "seasoned" minister and seriously share with them why you cannot go to a church.


In Psalm 25:21, 21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

For those who have left the church because you were hurt, David is saying wait for God. Don't wait to see what the other person will do. Wait and be still for God's result in your worship and His church!

In love, I respect everyone's thoughts and am praying to understand this discussion of the church in Revelation and in these times.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas.
Nicely said, brother Bob. You sure have a way with words.

My church weekend starts early, as I am on my way to support our Adoption/Foster Parent Ministry (aka: Hope 4 Kids). This happens one Saturday a month, when the church offers training that is required of all who are planning to adopt or who are foster parents. Today is more like a party for the kids.

Here is the odd thing. Usually, we provide four volunteers for security. We do this, as we have had instances where parents that were court ordered to surrender their children to foster care, have tried to take them back by force. For some reason, while the ministry's pastor puts in his request a week in advance, I appear to be the only one who volunteered (I do every month). Not sure what happened, but looks like I am solo on this one.


IMG-20191213-WA0001.jpg
 
Sep 3, 2009
12,172
4,701
113
Florida
- (discussion)-

While I believe I understand where you're coming from, I think it's also important to look at a more complete picture of "church" today. First of all, what exactly IS "church", "the church"... and "fellowship"?

Just as we all have seen demonstrated, even here on these forums, there are many people who would teach misleading, hurtful, unbiblical doctrine... (or you cansimply check out what's being taught on youtube!)...this is also a problem in MANY "churches".

As for myself, and many other people, there are endless accounts of how people have been extremely hurt and damaged by "churches" or those claiming to be "christians"... I hear quite alot about these stories just from people I have known personally... not all "churches" are equal. (And once someone has been hurt so deeply, most will never go back again.. ever. And many will refuse to have anything to do with anyone who claims to be a christian! -So attending a "bad church" can, and often does, do more harm than good---> score for the enemy!

Sometimes people may not be physically or financially able to "go" to "church"... or don't find any in their area that has any godly people in attendance! So we would have to wonder- why put ourselves into a pack of wolves, who pretend to be sheep, when we are seeking to grow, learn, and mature spiritually? So for many people, they have chosen to use their discernment, and seek God's direction using alternate avenues. Often times, this may mean finding sermons, teaching, mentoring, & fellowship in other places- often online.

The truth is, that many churches today are like those you mentioned. Spiritually dead, teaching false doctrines, cults, putting dollars above souls, lukewarm...


So, what exactly IS a "church"?
What is meant by "going to church"?
What is "fellowship"?

If we consider the questions, and study the scripture, I think maybe we might begin with what the Bible teaches us these things are. How does the Bible define those terms?

In many countries, people are forced to meet in secret to "fellowship" and study God's word... Sometimes, there is simply just a lack of options- even in the U.S.

I do believe that attending church is necessary- but our definition of "church" isn't always in agreement with what the Bible says it is.
---------------------------------------------

(This topic alone would be deserving of it's own thread... so as not to cause this one to stray off-topic.)
It probably should have its own thread, however we are in the section of the Revelation where Churches (7) are the focus of John, so I for one have not problems with the discussion.

First and formost we are told to go to church. The Old Test. believers went to the Tabernacle and then the Temple. When Jesus walked this earth He went to the Temple. When the Apostles taught, they went to the Temple.

Not going to church for physical reason is understandable but financially is NOT a reason. NO ONE has to pay for admission and giving is strictly what you feel led to give and if that is nothing then so be it.

Then......churches do not "hurt people". PEOPLE hurt people. But that happens whether you are in a church gathering or a work location or just talking with the person who lives next door to you. It is what people do because people are sinners by nature and simply can not help themselves.

So then you asked........"What is a Church"?

I believe that is a 2 part answer. First of all it is a "Building" when Christians gather to worship. That would be what most everyone would say.
However.......that is NOT what Jesus died for and established.

Then secondly, the word “church” is a translation of the Greek word "ekklesis" , which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.
The root meaning of church is not that of a building, but of people.

The church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head. Ephesians 1:22-23 says...……...
“And God placed all things under his (Christ) feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

The body of Christ is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 until Christ’s return.

According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.


Then you asked.....What is meant by "going to church"?

We now take “church,” as in “I’m going to church” to mean “attending an event in a big building.” But that is far cry from the New Testament picture.

Sometimes Sunday morning attendance is optional: there are legitimate reasons that people are worshipping without “going to church on a Sunday morning,” and some are.....
1. sickness,
2. fatigue,
3. small children who need our attention.
4. rank laziness,
5. spiritual faithlessness,
6. and willful distraction.

Even more, worship, as defined by the New Testament in Romans 12:1-2 , is a response to God that encompasses our lives. Sunday morning better just be one part of something much bigger IF...IF we are in fact what we say that we are which is BORN AGAIN.



Then you asked.....What is "fellowship"?

According to its basic biblical meaning, fellowship is concerned not with people enjoying each other’s company, but with people participating together in something bigger them ourselves. Fellowship is communion – having a share in something.

1 Thess. 5:11...…….
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Hebrews 10:25...…….
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Eccl. 4:9-12.........……..
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

1 John 1:3......…...
That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
 
Sep 3, 2009
12,172
4,701
113
Florida
Hello brothers and sisters;

AtomicSnowflake
asked the question, "what exactly is a church, what is meant by going to church and what is fellowship?"

The church are all three things; the people of believers in Christ Jesus, the gathering of believers (Christians and the unreached) and fellowship of Christians.
In Acts 1 and 2 was the establishment of the church (the people of believers.) God's presence was made known to these men and women of about 120. His presence was the Holy Spirit that filled the place. At this first church worship the people didn't go in with "personal prayer requests" but spent most of the service in "worship and prayer to God." This is known as the first church gathering and took place in A.D. 30. God saw their hearts and filled the church with the Holy Spirit.

Brother Ray, your mega church are people from your part of the community and who they are today for His glory. God has an anointing instruction for your church family and this is why your church and many are attending worship.

Another church in India is in the middle of surrounding pagans and other gods. But God anointed His church and instruction despite their surroundings. People in these other pagan practices and gods left to join God's church, got converted and baptized. God's result has brought these unbelievers to Christ Jesus.

The same thing goes for the countless number of God's churches (the people) that are in obedience to Him. The churches (people) that are not exercising the greater matters of what Jesus teaches in Matthew 23:23, justice, mercy, faithfulness besides love, compassion and mercy, is what we need to fervently pray for.

In these times in 2019, it is true that churches have hurt some of you, some more than others. These churches that have hurt us are all still God's churches, so those who have hurt you, some more than others, is this God's fault?

I pastor two churches in the SF Bay Area and get this question asked all the time, "if this is the way of the church, then why should I go?" In my personal experience when I got hurt from someone in the church, church leaders or the Pastor, the first thing I did was PRAY and follow God's guidance for me.

In
Matthew 18:15 we are to confront the person who hurt us, privately and in love. I have practiced this with God's results. Of course there are those who pay no heed to what I needed to say to them or how the Scriptures can help us. In those instances I would ask another witness to join a further discussion. Most of the time my brother or sister reconciled with me, privately or with a witness, and we were restored "in the church." I'm only grateful that the circumstance did not have go before the whole church. Once again, it is God's result in His church.

When I couldn't win my brother or sister for Christ, I still loved them and let them go.

Brothers and sisters, please don't avoid the very Word God has empowered you with. Thats why we have a Bible which is God's Word and instruction for all situations and for who believe and trust in Him.

For those of us who have been hurt by
a leader or Pastor in the church, I always asked, meet with them, one on one. Pastors and leaders must be accountable because when they take off the cloth, they're still men and women who fall short, they're flawed and imperfect. They're still men and women.

Sad, but in truth, many Pastors cannot set the example of Christ in the church because they never apply accountability of God's calling, and this becomes false teaching and trickles down to the church family like a cancer. God cannot fill his church with the Holy Spirit. He cannot inhabit our praises because of the false and hypocritical leading of worship. Its possible the pastor was never really called to be a shepherd.

Hopefully, if the Pastor or leader has listening ears, is sensitive to the heart of the hurt, then we have helped the Pastor or leader repent, and become a more effective shepherd to the church. But if the Pastor or leader is resistant then they are in disobedient to God. Further action needs to be taken to have the Pastor or leader disciplined, or step down, immediately.

In Psalm 25 especially in verse 21, when people hurt us, we are to pray for God's protection over enemies who exult over us. Let the world beware! God sees all that is not in obedience to Him in His church and will hold them highly accountable.

This is why Jesus was exposing the seven churches in Revelation 1 and 2. God sees everything!

For those who are so discouraged and won't go to church, 99% of the time its because of people. If something in that church is not fulfilling your need, how about praying about what you can do to bless another who is hurting? God uses us to be an answer to prayer for others. This is how God works within each one of us.

We have so many reasons that we feel is valid not to go to church. I'm going to challenge each one of us, be encouraged and go meet with a "seasoned" minister and seriously share with them why you cannot go to a church.


In Psalm 25:21, 21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

For those who have left the church because you were hurt, David is saying wait for God. Don't wait to see what the other person will do. Wait and be still for God's result in your worship and His church!

In love, I respect everyone's thoughts and am praying to understand this discussion of the church in Revelation and in these times.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas.
Excellent!

As for me.....I think Hebrews 10:25 says all that needs to be said.........….
"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."

This verse specifically disapproves of failure, on the part of Christians, to meet with other Christians. The Greek term used here is enkataleipontes, referring to "an abandonment or forsaking." The ESV translates this term as "neglect," since it implies a failure to do something one ought to be doing. In clear terms, Christians have an obligation to fellowship with other Christians. This is not only necessary for discipleship, but so that we can meet each other's needs, and encourage and inspire other Christians in their faith.

The "DAY" in that Scripture is the day when the Son of Man should come in His kingdom, bringing judgment. What better place to be found in than church when God calls His children home.

I have often said......."I do not know the hour in which I will take my last breath, but if I could choose it, then it would be standing behind a pulpit declaring the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."
 
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bobinfaith

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Nicely said, brother Bob. You sure have a way with words.

My church weekend starts early, as I am on my way to support our Adoption/Foster Parent Ministry (aka: Hope 4 Kids). This happens one Saturday a month, when the church offers training that is required of all who are planning to adopt or who are foster parents. Today is more like a party for the kids.

Here is the odd thing. Usually, we provide four volunteers for security. We do this, as we have had instances where parents that were court ordered to surrender their children to foster care, have tried to take them back by force. For some reason, while the ministry's pastor puts in his request a week in advance, I appear to be the only one who volunteered (I do every month). Not sure what happened, but looks like I am solo on this one.


View attachment 4406
Hey Ray; Aside from the security preparations, have a fun time! Alot of God's servants went solo in the Bible so you're in good company, brother. Let us know how it went!


It probably should have its own thread, however we are in the section of the Revelation where Churches (7) are the focus of John, so I for one have not problems with the discussion.

First and formost we are told to go to church. The Old Test. believers went to the Tabernacle and then the Temple. When Jesus walked this earth He went to the Temple. When the Apostles taught, they went to the Temple.

Not going to church for physical reason is understandable but financially is NOT a reason. NO ONE has to pay for admission and giving is strictly what you feel led to give and if that is nothing then so be it.

Then......churches do not "hurt people". PEOPLE hurt people. But that happens whether you are in a church gathering or a work location or just talking with the person who lives next door to you. It is what people do because people are sinners by nature and simply can not help themselves.

So then you asked........"What is a Church"?

I believe that is a 2 part answer. First of all it is a "Building" when Christians gather to worship. That would be what most everyone would say.
However.......that is NOT what Jesus died for and established.

Then secondly, the word “church” is a translation of the Greek word "ekklesis" , which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.
The root meaning of church is not that of a building, but of people.

The church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head. Ephesians 1:22-23 says...……...
“And God placed all things under his (Christ) feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

The body of Christ is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 until Christ’s return.

According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.


Then you asked.....What is meant by "going to church"?

We now take “church,” as in “I’m going to church” to mean “attending an event in a big building.” But that is far cry from the New Testament picture.

Sometimes Sunday morning attendance is optional: there are legitimate reasons that people are worshipping without “going to church on a Sunday morning,” and some are.....
1. sickness,
2. fatigue,
3. small children who need our attention.
4. rank laziness,
5. spiritual faithlessness,
6. and willful distraction.

Even more, worship, as defined by the New Testament in Romans 12:1-2 , is a response to God that encompasses our lives. Sunday morning better just be one part of something much bigger IF...IF we are in fact what we say that we are which is BORN AGAIN.



Then you asked.....What is "fellowship"?

According to its basic biblical meaning, fellowship is concerned not with people enjoying each other’s company, but with people participating together in something bigger them ourselves. Fellowship is communion – having a share in something.

1 Thess. 5:11...…….
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Hebrews 10:25...…….
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Eccl. 4:9-12.........……..
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

1 John 1:3......…...
That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Excellent!

As for me.....I think Hebrews 10:25 says all that needs to be said.........….
"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."

This verse specifically disapproves of failure, on the part of Christians, to meet with other Christians. The Greek term used here is enkataleipontes, referring to "an abandonment or forsaking." The ESV translates this term as "neglect," since it implies a failure to do something one ought to be doing. In clear terms, Christians have an obligation to fellowship with other Christians. This is not only necessary for discipleship, but so that we can meet each other's needs, and encourage and inspire other Christians in their faith.

The "DAY" in that Scripture is the day when the Son of Man should come in His kingdom, bringing judgment. What better place to be found in than church when God calls His children home.

I have often said......."I do not know the hour in which I will take my last breath, but if I could choose it, then it would be standing behind a pulpit declaring the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Hello, Major;

Well said, amen!

God bless everyone and Merry Christmas!
 
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Hey Ray; Aside from the security preparations, have a fun time! Alot of God's servants went solo in the Bible so you're in good company, brother. Let us know how it went!






Hello, Major;

Well said, amen!

God bless everyone and Merry Christmas!
Revelation 1:12...……..
"And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks".


The 7 Candlesticks represents the 7 churches and those 7 represent all churchs. As in Genesis 3:8, notice "the voice" is heard. This is the right method in studying the Revelation; we must, like John, "turn to see the voice."

It is hard TO SEE A VOICE!!!!! However it is WHO spoke that is important.

We must look, not to the events about which it seems to us to speak, but to him who utters it. The book is "the Revelation," not of the secrets of history, but "of Jesus Christ."

Hebrews 1:1-3............
"In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
 

rtm3039

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Revelation 1:12...……..
"And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks".


The 7 Candlesticks represents the 7 churches and those 7 represent all churchs. As in Genesis 3:8, notice "the voice" is heard. This is the right method in studying the Revelation; we must, like John, "turn to see the voice."

It is hard TO SEE A VOICE!!!!! However it is WHO spoke that is important.

We must look, not to the events about which it seems to us to speak, but to him who utters it. The book is "the Revelation," not of the secrets of history, but "of Jesus Christ."

Hebrews 1:1-3............
"In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
Hey brother bob... It all went with no issues. It was actually a bit sad. These guys (the ministry) spent a great deal of time setting up for what they believed would be around 35 families (based on RSVPs). Turned out they had more doughnuts than people. Maybe 18 people all together, not counting ministry personnel.

They had a hay ride event, but everyone that wanted to go fit all at once, so that was a bit of a flop.

Oh well, at least the few that showed up had a good time and nothing bad happened.

rtm3039
 
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rtm3039 Im a road trip camping junkie so you never know. I might just drive down to FL come spring (used to live in New Smyrna) , and visit your church one day :) That new Jeep of mine awaits it's first out of state adventure.
DO IT!!!!

You never know when the day comes when our health will not aloow us to do those things.
 
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~Amen! I still have many friends scattered around FL that I would enjoy visiting. My daughter's best friend is in Fort Myers these days. Im sure she would love to accompany me on one of my/our adventures. Warmer weather makes for nice trips. I might have to stop into a few churches on the way :)
 
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~Amen! I still have many friends scattered around FL that I would enjoy visiting. My daughter's best friend is in Fort Myers these days. Im sure she would love to accompany me on one of my/our adventures. Warmer weather makes for nice trips. I might have to stop into a few churches on the way :)
Now you have one more friend in Florida.

Let me know when and I can give you directions to Deland Fl. and invite you to visit on a Sunday.
 
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Revelation 1:13 ……..
"And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle."


John heard a voice like a WAR trumpet and it spoke to him. When the Lord Jesus Christ descends from heaven to remove His church from the earth, HE will come with a shout.

1 Thess. 4:16...…...
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first".

We see the Lord Jesus pictured as our Great High Priest. His garments are those of the High Priest as seen in Exodus 28:2-4. The garments represent the inherent righteousness of Christ and IN Him is no sin because He knew no sin.

The "girdle" pictures STRENGTH because He is now preparing to judge. All judgment is given unto the Son as HE is the Creator of all things only He can be the judge of all things.

What is Jesus doing today is asked by many people. The Scripture does not leave us in the dark on this question. The Scriptures tell us that Christ has 3 very definite ministries today.

#1. INTERCESSION.

Hebrews 7:25.........
"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

He is standing at the golden alter in heaven today where he intercedes for us.

#2. INTERVENTION.

1 John 1:9...…..
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

He also steps out of the Holy Place to the "laver". There He washes those who have confessed of their sins. YES, ALL Christians have sin and those sins must be confessed in order for us to have fellowship with Him.

#3, INSPECTION.

We do not like this one. It means that He is looking into our hearts. He is telling us to make things right. We just do not like to be told what to do. Just to prove that statement.......take time to go and read through the posts on this very web site and what you will see is that people DO NOT LIKE TO BE TOLD THAT THEY ARE WRONG!

We tend to like what we know and even if that is wrong, we do not like anyone to correct us or change us. But when we are INSPECTED by Christ and found to be wanting we can either FIX what He tells us to fix or we can ignore Him.
 
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Revelation 1:14...…….
"His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire".


This is Christ as seen by John in His Glorified eternal state.

He is pictured in the heavenly throne room.

The first thought that comes to the mind of the apostle being that of wool, and then the thought occurring of its extreme whiteness resembling snow ---
the purest white of which the mind conceives. The comparison with wool and snow to denote anything especially white is not uncommon.

It is not that his hair was literally white, as if with age, which he says would be incongruous to one just risen from the dead, clothed with immortal youth and vigor, but that it means radiant, bright, resplendent - similar to what occurred on the transfiguration.
 
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Revelation 1:15...….
"And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters."


This seems to me to be a picture of the coming judgment.

What a scene!!!

It is help to all of us that are interested in learning to realize that John wrote the Revelation in "Word Pictures".

Most of the time, pictures explain more than words. That is why there is a picture of the product included in the directions of the item you are trying to put together.
 
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Revelation 1:16...…….
"In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."


"He held in His right hand seven stars".

The # seven (7) is the Bible number that represents COMPLETENESS. So then this verse means that HE made and controls the universe.

"Out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword". I have debated more people about "Literalism" and "Symbolism" than I can remember.

This is a perfect example of "Symbolism". But then symbolism itself is rooted in the Scriptures as Literal expression and the problem comes when we do not study the Word of God to explain the reason why.

Does this verse mean that there is a literal sword protuding out of the mouth of God. That of course is silly is it not?

However, Scripture tells us that the sword represents HIS WORD.

Hebrews 4:12 says clearly that...........
"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart".

God judges by His Word. God created by His Word. When God speaks the Word we all better sit up and take notes and pay attention because He means business.

"His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength" means that we can not look upon and see the Creator who made the sun. It we think that the sun is bright and it is, how much more then is the One who made the sun?