The Greek word for church is Ekklesia (a called out people). Jesus called us out from this world (the worldly system) to be His people. He separated us (the church) from the world (darkness) to live in him and for him (his marvellous light- see 1 Pet 2:9-10) and gave the church the teaching and wisdom needed to conduct itself in this world. Jesus makes it clear that we are in this world but not of it in John chapter 17.
We choose to believe in Jesus and trust Him and that is the reason we are in today church glorifying Him. He wants your commitment to serve Him and carry out the work or commission He has given the church on Earth. By being at church you get to understand exactly what that commission is and how to carry it out. With more people operating in the same mission, there is strength, encouragement, unity and accountability, helping us all to work more effectively.
History of the Church
The church started on the day of Pentecost almost two thousand years ago. Pentecost is a Jewish celebration (also known as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks in the Old Testament). It was a symbol of Harvest (i.e., receiving souls like the harvested corn) into the barn (God’s kingdom). On the day of Pentecost, the disciples of Jesus (which included most of the original 12 apostles), were baptised with the gift of the Holy Spirit that had been prophesied by the prophet Joel years before in the book of Joel (Joel 2:28-29). The gift of the Holy Ghost is the power that Jesus told his disciples to wait for before they began to be witnesses for him in the entire world. Without the Holy Ghost, there is no power, therefore, no church.
Before the church begun, the Jewish nation (Israel) was a type of church (Acts 7:38) that served God and was his chosen people. This did not mean that anybody who loved God and who wasn’t Jewish could not be God’s people. As we can see when we search back into the lineage of Jesus who was a Jew on earth, Ruth who wasn’t a Jew was in the lineage of Jesus.
The love of God
So, God loved all men, but simply used a nation (Israel) to be an example of how one can surrender to God and be accepted by God; however, Israel failed as a nation to be an example and up to this day many of the Israelites reject Jesus as the messiah they so long waited for and still wait for.
When the messiah (the Christ, which means anointed one), finally came, he came not only for the Jews alone, but also for all mankind. The Bible states in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The invitation to heaven is for everyone, but not everyone will accept it.
You are in church because you have accepted that invitation or you expect to at any moment, so it is important to understand that the decision you have made or are about to make is the most important decision of your life. There will not be a greater decision that you have to make than to surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Jesus said…
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me John 14:6.
No Christ, No Life
Without Jesus we are all lost in the way, void of the truth and far from life. Without the way, truth and life we are empty and on our way to perish.
God hates all the evil and calamities happening in the world. He did not desire or design for things to be the way they are. Man rejected God by rebelling against Him and, disobeying Him. That is why the world is in the mess it is at the moment. Sin causes death. The Bible says:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23.
Did you get that? Even though sin was leading us all to death (the lake of fire), God had a gift called Jesus (his birth, life, death and resurrection) for us, so that we do not have to be afraid of death anymore because Jesus has delivered us from death and we have power over it just like the one who defeated it.
Jesus defeated and conquered death, hell and sin. Because of this, we can rejoice and live our daily lives in the Lord,