Eph 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (20) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, (21) in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. (22) In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Recently I was cleaning out some very old church records – 30 to even 50 years ago. I have been here as pastor for 30 years so I remember many of the names. Frankly it was quite depressing to look through the old church board meeting minutes, church picture directories, and so on. Why? Because the pews were filled with so many who were dead in their sins. They lived wicked lives. RASN’s and other types who were nevertheless welcomed into the church and many of whom even served as deacons, Sunday School superintendents, and so on. They were not of Christ. He did not know them.
But this is what we had 30 years ago and it was very, very soon after I came that the battles began. All sorts of sin had been ignored. The choir and music ministry were a veritable hotbed of evil. Oh, the stories I could tell! Fangs and gnashing of teeth. Hatred of God’s Word. I have had the opportunity to observe these kind for over 3 decades now and nothing good came of these “christians.”
Now, let’s get back to our title question – Just what is the church? That entity which I came to as pastor called itself a church. Was it? No, it was not. It had become what the Bible calls a synagogue of Satan. The true church of course is the body of Christ. It is that group of people who are truly born again, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, led by the Spirit, who love the Lord and who obey Him. The church is Christ’s temple, His dwelling place. Those who do not have the Spirit, who do not belong to Christ, who do not know Him, are NOT part of His church and when a local entity consists of people who are counterfeits, “christian” in name only, it is not church at all.
These are the kinds of places where evil thrives. This is why so many of you found out that your RASN was very readily accepted in a so-called “church.” Such places blaspheme the Lord’s name and they are enemies of the true people of God.
Isa 1:10-13 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! (11) “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. (12) “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? (13) Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.