Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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Where is the Church Jesus built? Did you know that today, there are over 2 billion people that claim to be Christians? Yet, Christianity is composed of hundreds of denominations and distinctions. How can that be?Why are there so many different and conflicting practices in Christianity? Have you wondered why there are so many variations? Now in the Bible, Jesus clearly promised that He would build His Church. Is it the Catholic Church? The Baptist Church? The Lutheran Church? Or, perhaps something else?What does your Bible say? You need to find out. Are you attending “The Church Jesus Built?”Jesus Himself promised almost 2000 years ago, “I will build my church” in Matthew 16:18And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.×. Now what church was He talking about? What comes to your mind when you think about that true Christian Church of God, the Church Jesus guaranteed He would build? Perhaps, a magnificent cathedral or a church building with a huge spire?The architecture of the great cathedrals is impressive. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, awes visitors from around the world. Isn't it amazing how the builders of such great structures accomplished such monumental tasks when technology was so simple?There's also the Duomo in Milan, Italy. An imposing Catholic cathedral built to signify strength, piety, wealth and prestige. Is this the kind of church Jesus said He would build?How about the Cologne Cathedral in Germany? Said to be the world's greatest Gothic cathedral, it's been the city's most famous landmark for centuries. In fact, it took over 600 years to complete and was once the tallest building in the world. It's still the world's largest church façade. But, is that the Church of God Jesus referred to?Then there's Westminster Abbey in London and in America, St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.These famous church buildings seem to symbolize the height of the Christian church, standing like monuments to ancient Christianity. Huge ornate buildings, with remarkable stained glass windows, spiral staircases, expansive interiors filled with religious artifacts and icons, topped with soaring spires that reach to the sky.Yet, Jesus said He would build His Church. Does that Church exist in huge cathedrals? It may be shocking to hear, but none of these are the Church that Jesus prophesied He would build.Why? Well most people view the Church as a building. But did you know that the Bible defines the term church differently. God's Word focuses on a totally different type of church. Do you know how Jesus defines the Church?In the New Testament, church is translated from the Greek word ecclesia , which is defined as those that are called out, an assembly or a congregation. So c hurch, in the Bible, is not described as a cathedral. Church in Scripture, is not a building.In fact, the practice in the early first-century Church was that Christians often met in members' homes (Romans 16:5Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ.×; 1 Corinthians 16:19The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.×). The apostles met and preached and taught God's people and potential converts in Jewish synagogues. So you see, the building was not the thing that was important—it was the people.In fact, the Bible uses the word church to represent God's people as “called-out ones”— the people who are called out and brought together. They're called out of the ways of this world and assembled together as God's people.The apostle Paul demonstrated this when he began his letter to the members in Corinth. He wrote, “To the church of God in Corinth, to you who have been made holy in Christ Jesus. You were called to be God's holy people…” (1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:×NCV).So you see, Paul was clear that the Church was the people God had called out—not a physical building. Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.×also reminds us of this fact. It says, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins…” ( Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.×NKJ) So God is calling people out of the ways of this world.