The Tale of Two Churches – By Thomas Koester

Your soul will follow the fate of the church you attend. Make sure it’s the true Church.

The Early Church

While the First Century Church had its challenges, it was devoted to unity, brotherly love, the holy scriptures, apostles teaching, prayer, and evangelism. It was One Church, One Gospel, One Spirit, One Baptism, and one Faith. It was an unincorporated, organic, relational, and Christ-alone hierarchy. It was mobile redemptive communities spreading and growing exponentially by the Spirit of Grace and authentic gospel power. Every believer was required to participate and exercise their spiritual gifts.

The early Church was Apostolic, in that it was a sending and outward reaching movement. Churches then had no fanciful or catchy names, no! The name of the Church was the name of the City. The city was their objective and not their mailing address. Its power source was the resurrection and its message was transformational, not only to one’s life but to the whole community. The Early Church was validated by miraculous signs and wonders.

The Modern Church

For many modern-day churches, most of everything, including religious practice, is influenced by Greco-Roman paganism and occult practice. The influence of First Century authentic Christian practice has nearly been vanquished by emotionalism, relativism, universalism, and progressivism. Many charismatic and pentecostal churches have adopted pagan practice and occult ritual.

This is why today’s evangelical, fundamental, and charismatic [organizations] are nearly ineffectual in propagating a true gospel message and producing true Saints of God. They cannot reproduce in accordance with biblical authority, because they lack authentic spiritual seed. In a metaphorical sense, many modern-day churches have become “GMO,” Genetically Modified Organizations.

The Modern Church has become dynastic, whereby it gathers and reaches inward, within the confines of a building. Rarely do these churches raise up pastors, rather they appoint search committees to seek pastors abroad rather than within. Just like businesses do when searching for a new CEO or chairmen.

These corporate structured churches are known for its emphasis on numbers and not disciples. It is a dynasty governed by an elite celebrity class. Its power source is an institutional and collective hierarchy. Validated by street signs and billboards.

The Herodical and Pharisaical leaven has permeated modern Christianity, along with occult and pagan influences, requiring a second and deeper reformation. Therefore, a time may be coming whereby we exit the modern “church” and start from the beginning. The early reformation did not go far enough and left too much Greco/Romanism and pagan practice intact. The gulf between clergy and laity is too wide and impassable. This ministry fissure wasn’t created or caused by Jesus Christ, but by some other force.

The Absent Church

I am sorry to say, my dear brothers and sisters, we have entered into, and for quite some time, a post-Christian Era. We have surrendered our biblical authority to political correctness and a democratic culture rather than an other-worldly Spiritual Kingdom Economy. Our churches, therefore, are ruled by mass appeal and in-vogue stylistic theologians and fad-mongers.

Did you know that there are nearly 38,000 denominations within the Protestant and Evangelical movements?

Without unity of faith, doctrine, and authentic discipleship, Christianity cannot impact culture and society. What we do inside our denominational buildings is powerless to the outside world.

Authentic biblical truth that could bring deep conviction and godly sorrow has been prohibited in most Sunday morning services. That kind of preaching would send the majority out the doors, never to return, which would negatively affect “church business.”

It is time to make ready and oil up our lamps. Darker days are approaching. The time to cease following false Christs and false teachers is now — the time to end populating and financing false churches has arrived. If you cannot discern while there is light, what will you do when it becomes dark?

The Triumphant Church

Ready yourselves by reading the scriptures like never before. Strap yourselves into God’s promises. Bolt yourselves down to the foundation of God’s word and be prepared to be shaken until all shakable things have been rooted up and out. Cling to your faith, for it will be tried and refined. Trust in Jesus Christ and, by all means, love one another.

Jesus is expecting a triumphant Church and not a worldly tramp.

We know the end of the story. While it will be a bumpy ride, our triumph is secured in Jesus Christ. He is our victory and the Great Shepherd of all who believes and obeys the Truth.

Our inner and outer peace comes from a ruling and reigning King. If He is Lord of your life and Church, He reigns within your heart and congregation. He is the Prince of Peace, and He has chosen to expand His rule and peace through you and His Church.

Your soul will follow the fate of the church you attend. Make sure it’s the true Church.

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