Your word is a lamp
for my feet and a light
for my path.
Psalms 119:105


ASK
any Bible question, get Bible ANSWERS from a real person,
DISCOVER
more about your Bible!
 

CHURCH

What may we understand the Lord's words to signify where He says--"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot. So then because thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."--`Rev. 3:15,16`. (J.E.D.)

<ANSWER>--The seven churches in Asia represent the seven stages of development, or epochs in the history of the one true Church of Christ. The message to the church in Laodicea relates, therefore, to the last or present period of the Church's existence. It is during this final stage of the history of the Christian Church that we may expect the repudiation or spewing out of relationship with the Lord as his mouthpiece, and of recognition as members of His true Church, of all those who are "lukewarm" and indifferent in the service of the Lord--Christians in name only and not heart-devoted followers of the Lord. It is daily becoming more manifest to all careful observers that there is a wide distinction between real Christianity, and the great mass of professing Churchianity. Perhaps the most reprehensible class of people on the earth is that which is formed of those who are half-hearted and indifferent to the great and important affairs of life.

What is the Church's message to the world at this time? This is a day of transition; new lines of thought and new conditions are rapidly superseding the old, and does not this apply to ecclesiastical affairs as well? (Reverend)

<ANSWER>--This is one of the fundamental questions of the times. Ministers everywhere are asking themselves and each other as to the proper course to pursue in their efforts to keep abreast of the times. Many are making the mistake of ignoring the foundation teachings of the Scriptures, and are devoting themselves to setting forth the theories of "Evolution" and "Higher Criticism," which are nothing more or less than insidious forms of skepticism and infidelity. Any clergyman who proclaims these theories from the pulpit, has no right to the title of "Minister of the Gospel." He is either a knave or a hypocrite if he continues to pose as a Christian minister, while undermining the faith of his hearers, in proclaiming that which is in direct opposition to the teachings of the Bible. It is no cause for surprise that so few people attend church services now-a-days, when we reflect that many clergymen are preaching anything but the Gospel. The duty of all true Christians is to make known the wonderful tidings of salvation through Christ and His coming Kingdom which, when established in the earth, will result in the blessing of all the race of mankind. The message of the Church to the world now is-- "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND"; that kingdom for which all earnest Christians have prayed. "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven."

I am the financial secretary of a church and, as such, I have the responsibility of raising funds for the various expenses of our regular church work. I must confess that I am strained past the compass of my wits to know how to get any more money out of our members than we are doing at the present time. The difficulty with us is that our expenses are increasing every month. We have some high-priced singers in or choir and must continue to raise their salaries, or else they will leave us. We must have a new organ and keep up with the other churches all around us or lose our membership. Kindly suggest some up-to-date methods of getting money. We have tried suppers, and sociables, and fairs, and grab-bags, etc., and our congregation seems to be a little tired of these methods; so please give us some new ideas? (PERPLEXED.)

<ANSWER>--There are two methods by which the modern church may be made a success. One of these is to popularize the church membership by transforming the church into a "social club." Have elaborate musical programs with very brief sermons for the regular services, and at other times, theatricals, smokers, balls, and entertainments. The other method is to adopt the one used by the Lord Jesus and His Apostles.

Which is the oldest church? (C.D.A.)

<ANSWER>--There is but one Church, from the Scriptural standpoint. In the language of the Apostle, it is "The Church of the First-Born which are written in heaven;" or the "Church of the living God;" or again, "The Church of Christ."--`Heb. 12:23`; `1 Tim. 3:15`; `Rom. 16:16`. It was this Church which our Lord established and He gave it no party name. It was merely the Church of Christ. Since then good people, more or less confused by the errors of the Dark Ages, have separated themselves into various bands and churches of human organization and bound themselves together by human creeds. These are known by various names. None of these Churches of men are authorized by the Bible nor mentioned in it. However, the one "Church of the Living God" is composed of the saintly people of God in all of these denominations, or outside of all of them, as the case may be. Hence, the oldest Church is the Church of Christ; and it is the only Church, in the Divine estimation. Each saint must desire and strive for membership in this Church as his greatest privilege. Consecrated believers join this Church in a probationary sense now, but an entrance into full membership in that Church, which is the Body of Christ, will be granted only to the "overcomers," after they shall have finished their course and have become participants in the First Resurrection.

What do we understand by the 144,000 mentioned in the seventh and fourteenth chapters of Revelation? (J.A.D.)

<ANSWER>--For more than sixteen centuries the Lord dealt exclusively with the Jewish nation. They were His specially chosen people and favored above every other nation in the earth. The Lord told them on one occasion that He recognized them only of all the families of the earth (`Amos 3:2`). The Israelites were informed that if faithful to the Lord, and obedient to His commands, they would be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and that His favor would never depart from them. But they became disobedient to the Lord's instructions and consequently, the time came when they were cast aside and no longer recognized as His people. The Divine favor was then turned to the Gentiles and these were granted the opportunity to become members of the Royal Priesthood. This Priesthood would have been completely made up from the twelve tribes of Israel--twelve thousand from each tribe--had there been a sufficient number of faithful obedient ones to make up the predestinated number of 144,000. As only a remnant of that nation of the Jews accepted Christ, as their Savior when He presented Himself to them, the invitation went to the Gentiles, and all throughout this Gospel Age the selection has been going on amongst the nations of the earth aside from the Jews. When "the fullness (the full number) of the Gentiles be come in," then favor will once more return to the Jews and all Israel shall be saved (`Rom. 11:25-27`). The elect 144,000 will be kings and priests unto God and shall reign with Christ during the thousand years mentioned in `Rev. 20:1-6`.

© BibleToday.com