IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
( To church that is. It's all about having and making known the truths of God's word . So, if you believe in what you are doing, get the word out. Let's see others saved )
The American Film Institute's recent list of 400 memorable film quotes included some with obvious links to business -- But one movie quote that did make the list has transcended the status of simply being memorable; in fact it has moved beyond cliché stage and embedded itself firmly in the national lexicon."If you build it, they will come."Actually that's not quite the way the quote reads in the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams," or in the novel, "Shoeless Joe," on which the movie was based. In its original form it was, "If you build it, he will come."But the phrase, in its altered form, has taken on a new life and meaning of its own.
Is this a true statement of fact? Build what and who will come? If you build a large mega-church, will they come ? Will you come ?
Jesus first mentioned the church, when talking to the Apostle Peter. ( Matt 16:15- 18 ) Yet, we know up until the day of Pentecost, we had no church. So, how would Peter have interrupted this statement. ?
Peter's name actually meant "rock". And, as mentioned in (Acts 2:14-41) Peter was living up to his namesake. ( John 1:41-42 ). However, in changing the Greek wording, Jesus, stated that, " on this rock He would build His church', referring to Himself.
So, it is my layman's opinion, since Peter was instrumental in establishing the first church, ( Acts 2:14-41 ) that Peter may have been the first messenger but the true "rock" is Jesus Christ. ( Acts 4:11-12 ) ( Psalm 18:2 ) ( Psalm 94: 22) ( Psalm 78:35 ) ( Psalm 28:1 ) ( 2 Samuel 2:22 ) ( Romans 9:33 )
With the mindset that Christ Jesus is the true church, which is made up of the true believers rather than a brick and mortar physical structure, how may we "build it" so they will come?
First, we must remain true to the " full gospel", as given in ( 1 Cor 15:1-4 ). Then we must build our church on the " by-laws" of the early church. ( Acts 2:42-47)
• They received the word, was baptized and joined the church.
• They continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching and fellowship
• They continued in the breaking of bread and giving prayers.
• They that believed were together and had all things common.
• They sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according to the needs.
• They continued, day by day, steadfastly with one accord in the temple
• And breaking of bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart.
• They praised Gog and had favor with all people.
And as a result of these early church doctrines, the Lord added to new church day by day those that were saved. In other words as a result of the "full gospel', the church grew in sound doctrine.
So, are they coming or not ? To the church I mean. It was Gandhi who once said, "I would happily become a Christian if I ever met one".
By the same token, I had the privilege of attending several large churches, in a nearby community on special occasions, and my observations were less than encouraging. The churches were not friendly, as we were not welcomed by the designated greeters or others. And in most cases, ice would not have melted from the pews. These were sad occurrences, I must admit. However, it does happen, sadly to say. Conversely, as the scripture relates, this did not happen in the early church. ( Acts 2:42-47 )
I realize that anytime an entity is built around a human factor, such as the church, there will tend to be inherent human short-comings. And in some cases, these short falls will work themselves out. While in other cases, maybe not. Unfortunately , I have been there and done that, as I was caught up in a "church split" once. ( 1 Cor 1:18 ) ( John 10:26 ) (Romans 1:28 )( John 3:19-20 ) ( 2 Cor 4:3-4 )
So, how do we determine whether a church is teaching correct doctrine or not? The only infallible standard that Scripture says that we have is the Bible (Isaiah 8:20 ) (2 Timothy 3:15-17) (Matthew 5:18) ( John 10:35) ( Isaiah 40:8) ( 1 Peter 2:25 ) ( Galatians 1:6-9).
You see, we Christians must realize that we are just a "work in progress", as far as the scripture is concerned. True, we are saved by God's Grace, through our faith. ( Ephesians 2:8-9 ) However, we hang between God's saving and keeping grace and His full redemption. We are just not "perfect" yet. ( Philippians 3:12 ) ( James 1:19-20 ) ( Ephesians 4:29 ) ( James 3:10 )
Have we forgotten, outside of the massive church structures or the small lean-too buildings, the church is actually "us"? ( 1 Cor 12:27-31) ( Ephesians 1:17-23) ( Ephesians 3:4-11 )
Have you ever counted the number of churches, within a certain circumference of your home? It may amaze you. Yet, on Sunday, why are all the children out playing ? Why all the adults mowing grass, washing cars, etc ? Especially, when so many churches seem to be rather empty ?
On the other hand if the question were, what’s wrong with the Church today? The answer would be nothing. For Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” … “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:1314).
Yes, the church is alive in many hearts around the world. And I feel that the church is overdue for a new "Great Reformation". We just need:
A renewed taste of that old-time religion. A renewal of those old-fashion preachers who used to preach under God's anointing of power, and relied not their stack of disheveled notes, but on the power of God to deliver the message? ( 2 Timothy 4:2 ) ( Mark 16:15 ) ( 2 Timothy 2:15 ) ( 1 Cor 1:23 )
The old-fashion calls for repentance that brought individuals down to the altar to repent and ask Jesus to save their souls? I realize, however, that first we must get them into our churches. But once in, they must hear the gospel. It's the preaching of the cross. It's the Great Commission that Jesus commanded us with. ( Romans 10:29 ) (Acts 2:38 ) (Romans 3:23 ) (John 14:6 ) ( Romans 6:23 )( Acts 2:21 )
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We need the presence of the Spirit of God descend on a service and fill up the room with holiness? Not just having a social party atmosphere of excitement when someone tells a cool joke. Has it been so long since we've seen the real thing that we don't even know what it is anymore. Something is wrong! ( Acts 2:2 ) ( Acts 4:29-31 ) ( Hebrews 12:26 ) (Isaiah 43:3 ) (Ezekiel 36:26 ) ( Mark 16:17 ) ( Acts 1:8 ) ( 1 Cor 12:7 )
Yes, " if we build it they will come'. Not the building of physical structures made of bricks and mortar but building a genuine desire in our hearts, to see our friends and loved ones come to Christ by our prayer and supplication. A desire to invite them to church. Not just invite but bring them. ( 1 Timothy 2:4 ) (Acts 13:48 ) ( Romans 11:34-36 ) 9 1 Cor 1: 30-31 ) ( Luke 5:29-32 )
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