You know – or at the very least know of – Jesus Christ. This blog therefore presents you with a choice: Him or intermediaries. That is, will you serve Jesus Christ who, because He is God, is everywhere at all times – or will you serve those institutions, groups, and individuals who claim that you must serve Jesus through them? You cannot serve two masters. The reason that your Christian life has frustrated and disappointed you is that you have been trying to serve both.
I myself was once an avid churchgoer. In fact, I was a pastor. My goal was to see my church serve God. Toward that end I studied the Bible endlessly, seeking to follow its instruction regarding church life. I struggled with the fact that the things required to sustain a church today (e.g. donations, incorporation, tax-exempt status, or building permits) were not commanded in the New Testament. Therefore, I saw a diversion of energy from serving Jesus to serving the church. It didn’t even help to eschew institutionalism because house churches also siphon away energy and distract from true service to the Lord (which is simply a life lived in generosity witnessed by the Lord). The obvious model to follow was the church of the New Testament, but in all my years of ministry I could never find a church which successfully imitated it.
My experience coincided with what my study of the Bible was revealing to me: the church of the New Testament was scaffolding for the coming kingdom of God. What Jesus taught us to pursue was not the church, but rather the kingdom. Therefore, the reason that the church since then has failed over and over again must be that the kingdom had come on the timetable that Jesus and His apostles had proclaimed (“in that generation” according to them). People have been saying for years that “if the Lord tarries” – well, apparently He hadn’t tarried after all! (For elaboration, see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again.)
Thus today we have a church of the flesh (i.e. visible) and a church of the spirit (i.e. invisible). The former is what people try to build for God – like Peter trying to build those tabernacles for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah on the mountain; the latter is comprised of all those whose hearts belong to Jesus…and only He knows who they truly are. They are the body of Christ, and they do His will daily wherever they find themselves in this world. They are connected directly to Him – not attending meetings according to the schedules of human shepherds.
There are really only two useful things that a church of the flesh does today: preach the gospel of Jesus and serve the poor. You don’t have to join a group of people, though, to do those two things. Therefore, the question is “Why are you attending church?” If it is to seek the kingdom of God, are you finding it there? Or are you merely finding the kingdom of church?
Therefore, your choice is: will you seek first the kingdom of God or will you seek the kingdoms of men?
I don’t expect you to accept my assertions without thinking, praying, and examining the Scriptures. On the other hand, please don’t reject my assertions without doing the same things. The most time-effective way for you to understand what I am saying about Jesus Christ is to read the Introduction which contains an overview with summary, and links to details.
If you don’t read anything else, however, know this: Jesus Christ is indeed the way, the truth, and the life. However great you have thought He was, He is greater.
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