Copyright 1994 - 2020 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
April 8, 2020
Last Updated :
August 29, 2020
Over Dependence On Physical Church Buildings, First Century Christians Had No Buildings Yet Were On-Fire And Fruitful For The Lord, We Are God's Living Temples, Jesus Filled With Spirit Without Measure, The First Century Churches Were In People's Homes, Time To Return To The Original First Century Church Blueprint, There Is More Intimate Spiritual Fellowship With Churches In Our Own Homes, Final Admonition To Defiant Christian Brethren, Closing Remarks, Suggested Reading List
Continuing our discussion from part one, if there's one thing which this coronavirus pandemic shines a light on, it is on modern Christendom's complete dependence upon physical church buildings. As I point out in my series entitled "Where Are the First Century Churches?", as well as in "Are You Just a Baby Huey?", the founders of our faith did NOT have any such edifices. Despite this fact, they thrived, prospered and were very much on fire for the Lord. Not only that, but they won many thousands of souls to the Lord, and we are informed that a lot of churches sprouted up all around the Mediterranean region. Furthermore, this growth occurred despite very strong persecution from both the Romans, the unbelieving Jews, and other hostile parties. But exactly what was the nature of these churches if they were not big, wonderfully-designed church buildings? Well, let's address this issue and find out.
As I have mentioned so many times before, God's Holy Spirit dwells in us -- or takes up residence in us -- the minute that we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. In other words, our bodies in effect become God's true living temples of flesh and bone -- or living stones, you might say -- just as God the Father's Spirit also dwelt in all its fulness in Jesus during His time on the Earth. This last point is made evident by verses such as these:
"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."
John 3:34, KJV
"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;"
Colossians 1:19, KJV
"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Colossians 2:9, KJV
As you will see more clearly in a moment, the Bible informs us that when we accept Jesus Christ, we become God's living temples of the Spirit. In fact, we saw that Jesus was even filled with the Holy Spirit without measure. You may remember that the Lord even referred to His own body as a temple when He spoke to His vile persecutors and told them "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" in John chapter two. Only two chapters later, Jesus also informed the woman of Samaria who had had five husbands, that the time would come when people would not even worship God via the temple that was down in Jerusalem. The Apostles likewise taught the very same thing regarding the spiritual nature of God's true temple in which we each are "lively stones". Consider the following group of verses which clearly reveal that the true temple of God is NOT some cold, dead church building made out of concrete and steel:
"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
Luke 17:20-21, KJV
"Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."
John 2:19-22, KJV
"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John 4:21-24, KJV
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
Romans 8:9-11, KJV
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
1 Corinthians 3:16-17, KJV
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:4, KJV
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle [meaning the body] were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
2 Corinthians 5:1, KJV
"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:16-18, KJV
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
Ephesians 2:19-22, KJV
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Ephesians 3:14-19, KJV
"And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."
Hebrews 3:5-6, KJV
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
1 Peter 2:5-9, KJV
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
Revelation 3:12, KJV
"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."
Revelation 21:22, KJV
While we have now discovered by way of the Scriptures how we Christians are indeed God's one true Church and Temple, that still leaves us with the same basic question, and that is the following one: Where exactly did the First Century Christians congregate, if there were no great cathedrals and magnificent basilicas? Well, believe it or not, but it just so happens that it was in the very same places where many of you happen to find yourselves at this same moment. And where might that be? Well, because of the current stay-at-home mandate, it is more than likely that many of you find yourselves in your own homes; correct? It becomes quite evident from the following verses that this is also where our spiritual forefathers met as well during the First Century, and even thereafter:
"As for Saul, he made havock of the church, ENTERING INTO EVERY HOUSE, and haling men and women committed them to prison."
Acts 8:3, KJV
"Likewise greet the church that is IN THEIR HOUSE. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ."
Romans 16:5, KJV
"The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is IN THEIR HOUSE."
1 Corinthians 16:19, KJV
"Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is IN HIS HOUSE."
Colossians 4:15, KJV
"And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church IN THY HOUSE:"
Philemon 1:2, KJV
"And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE,"
Acts 20:20, KJV
So exactly what is all of this Scriptural evidence telling us? My view is this: In a word, if Christians are unable to congregate in church buildings right now, perhaps it is by God's design. Maybe our Heavenly Father is saying that it is now time to get back to the original blueprint of the First Century Church. That is to say, maybe we as Christians need to stop depending on organized religion, abandon all of the brick and mortar church buildings, and just get back to more intimate spiritual fellowship in churches in the home and in home fellowships. It sounds like a plan to me. If you think this might be your cup of tea, then please refer to my other series called "Are You Just a Baby Huey?: How to Organize Your Own Home Fellowship", which is listed at the end of this same article.
On the other hand, if after reading this article, and seeing the plethora of Scriptures I have provided in it, you STILL want to be defiant by disobeying the government's mandates; and STILL want to make a proud display of how bold you are; and STILL want to boast of how brave you are by sticking your nose up at authorities and going to church anyway; and want others to see that you love Jesus so much that you are even willing to go against the wise counsel that is found in God's Word; then don't be surprised, and don't you even dare complain, when you are fined, or even worse, when you are thrown in jail with a bunch of other miscreants due to your own foolishness. As Jesus said "Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." Buddy, you got what you deserved for being stupid!
So my final word to you is this: STOP being rebellious and defiant against governmental authorities, because you are being a very poor example of our faith, and you are most certainly NOT pleasing God by your foolish and dangerous behavior. You're NOT loving your neighbor as yourself. You are NOT living peaceably with all men. You are doing the exact opposite. That, my friend, is God's Word with a bark on it. Accept it!
With these thoughts, I will bring this article to a close. It is my hope that you have found it to be both informative and enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would appreciate if you would take the time to click or tap on the various sharing links that are found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!