The Millennial Generation and the New Testament Church

Posted on May 2, 2012 by


ZThe New Testament was written in ancient Greek.  “Ecclesia” the church. It means “called out” is a body of people called out by the power of God through the Holy Spirit to share with the wounded world the good news of Jesus Christ.  People that believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God believe, through faith, that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, crucified as a living sacrifice so that our sins are forgiven, three days later was resurrected from the dead, and now sits at the right side of our Heavenly Father waiting for His enemies to become His foot stool.

Many people confuse the building where people worship with church. The church is made up of people who love the Lord and seek to serve Him.  For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9 NASB Every person who is a member of God’s building is empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our body is a temple of God. Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in Whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,  in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22 Jesus is the cornerstone that the builders did not allow, and we are the living stones joined together to make a spiritual home. When our membership is completed the Body of Christ will be removed from this earth. You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 NASB

YMost of us at some point struggle with this. The way of the world is very alluring, and all of us have gone astray. The Bible says, that Christ is “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.” Contrary to the belief of many we do not join the Church. We were chosen by God before the foundations of the earth was laid. We do not chose to go to church, we are called as God’s people to serve. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  Romans 8:28-30 NASB

The New Testament is the story of the birth of the body of Christ, and that story has continued  for over two thousand years. If you are a born again, redeemed believer you are part of that story and your testimony will stand for eternity. Some people teach that the church is a continuation of the house of Israel, but that is incorrect. The church is a completely different dispensation and was a mystery to the Israelites and the world.  By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,  which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit. Ephesians 3:4-5 NASB The Prophets of the Old Testament wrote about Christ and the founding of His church, but failed to recognize it was a Xcompletely different dispensation. What is amazing is that Herod, the proclaimed king of Israel, was aware of the coming birth of the Messiah, yet the leaders of the Jews never saw it coming. When Peter gave his sermon after the Holy Spirit indwelled believers for the first time he quoted from Psalms 16:8-11, Psalms 110:1 and Joel 2:28-32.

Almost half of his sermon was scripture quoted from the Old Testament. The rest of his sermon was sprinkled with scriptural statements.  The result of his sermon was amazing. All who heard him speak where convicted of their sins and some 3,000 were saved. After that the Lord added to the church daily. Pastors, ministers and church clerks do not add anyone to the church. Baptism has never added anyone to the church and good deeds will never add anybody to the church. The Lord God Almighty adds us to the church when we believe.  Nothing but a personal relationship, with our Lord and Savior, through daily Bible study and prayer will lead us to salvation.

WJust as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NASB I like to compare the body of Christ to an ant colony, although it is much more complicated than that. Everyone has their own service to God. We are a living, breathing organism whose members work towards God’s plan. We love everyone and always try to do what’s right. We never think about ourselves, and we are always putting the needs of others first. Each of us has a specific service which we perform for our Heavenly Father. This service is revealed to us through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

  For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles –  if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;  that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before Vin brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,  which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles (all peoples) are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,  of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles (all peoples) the unfathomable riches of Christ,  and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.  Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. Ephesians 3:1-12 NASB. We are living in the dispensation of grace. Whatever you do that is contrary to God’s authority will not be held against Uyou. There is sin, which is unbelief, and God will not forgive you for refusing to place trust in His program. A program where God pays the ultimate sacrifice, the death of His only begotten Son. However, sins is what we commit on a daily basis when we go against God’s will. He placed these rules for us to follow for our own benefit,. He is preparing us to live with Him for all eternity. He is removing the carnal nature we were born with and replacing it with heavenly characteristics of a son or daughter of God.

There has been a lot of talk lately that Jesus was married. This talk is correct in a since, it is scriptural. The New Testament Church is the bride of Christ and one day there is going to be “the marriage supper of the Lamb.” There, somewhere up in the sky, will be a wedding ceremony where the bride (the church), and Jesus Christ (the Groom) will marry. The fact is, marriage here on earth was based on the Tprinciples of the marriage between Jesus and the church. He gave us this ceremony as an example for us to follow, knowing that one day we will be “the bride of Christ.” “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”  It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (the church). Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” Revelation 19:7-10 NASB 

During the dispensation of the law God worked through priests and prophets. Priests would conduct the daily sacrifices and once a year would go into the Holy of Holies and place a drop of blood between the cherubs on the ark of the covenant. This temporary ceremony was  conducted for the forgiveness of sins and represented the sacrifice Jesus would make years later.      When a priest died Stheir priesthood would cease to exist and a replacement would be found for them. When Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected from the dead He became our High Priest. He does not have to appear in the Holy of Holies every year with blood to make a sacrifice as priests did in the dispensation of the law. He paid our debt forever when He sacrificed His own blood for us. The Bible says, “there is no remission of sins without the sacrifice of blood.” So in the New Testament church there are no priests. Every born again believer is a royal priest of God. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 NASB

In the Old Testament priests brought a man and God together through rituals and sacrifices. Today we are ministers. We bring God to man through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any person who sets themselves up as a priest in church today is going against the New Testament . We are no longer living under the dispensation of Grace, but we are living under the dispensation of the law, and that would deny the blood sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks Rwere split. Matthew 27:51 Every believer of the New Testament church is a royal priest and is invited to enter the holy of holies. Our body is the new holy of holies. When Jesus was crucified the one inch thick curtain that separated the holy of holies was rent in half, opening up the holy of holies so anyone could have a personal relationship with God.  Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,  not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-23 NASB If you have been going to a priest and confessing your sins to him and asking him to intercede between you and God I implore you to read what the Bible says, For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5 NASB You can at any moment you choose speak directly to your Heavenly Father. He is there beside you, around you and inside of you waiting patiently to have fellowship with you. He is a patient listener and has sacrificed greatly to spend time with you. Salvation is by the grace of God through faith that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected from the dead according to the scriptures plus nothing; it is a free gift. Communication Is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through daily Bible study and prayer. Compassion Is to love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul. To love one another as you love yourself. Solution You are now sons and daughters of God; joint heirs of Jesus Christ. That if you confess with Qyour mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NASB

In the New Testament church there is not any difference between pastors, clergy and laymen. Every person that has accepted Christ as there Savior is an equal member of the body of Christ. I believe this is one of the mysteries of the Bible that most people struggle with. Just because someone has a degree in pastoral studies or a masters in theology doesn’t place him any closer to God than the average believer. It is my personal opinion that seminary trained people have separated themselves from the common flock and are educationally aloof. Seminaries have become to liberal and they have made pastors into business managers. They have turned the leaders of our church into professional career seeking individuals who spend their days from the Word of God.  There is not a school on earth that can make a man a pastor. They may get basic training Pinto how to run and organize a church, but the ability to become a pastor is a gift from God and only God can ordain a true minister.

In the dispensation of grace the pastor’s greatest joy is the study of the Word of God. He is called, ordained and sent by God as an spiritual follower of Jesus Christ, and they shepherd His flock. Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,  shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;  nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:1-3 NASB The support of our pastors are scriptural. Pastors should be paid and they should be provided with basic housing and insurance, So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:14 NASB There are so many church leaders today being paid far too much money. This is just another instance as to why the church of today is broken. It  leads to further separation from the flock and the under shepherd.

OWhat we need today are Bible teachers to conduct small group ministries to share the Word of God with others. This is how the church was started. Bible studies in the homes of believers. These teachers should be laymen and not receive any funds for their service. It should be a work of love towards God and others. These teachers ministry

should be supported financial, but the teacher themselves should not be paid. Spirited filled, God sent Bible teachers are the greatest need in the church today. People can go to today’s church for a lifetime and never separate themselves from the pew. There isn’t any laymen training besides Sunday school. The church today says, “come” while  Jesus said, “ Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all of creation.” Mark 16:15 NASB  This is just another reason why membership to our Biblical based churches is declining and the vacuum is creating room for more and more cults.

Our mission as Bible believing followers of Christ is to share the gospel to all who will listen.  We are responsible for the people who are brought into our lives on a daily basis. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself. Ezekiel 33:8-9 NIV We are obligated to God to share the truth of salvation to every person we meet. This has to be done in a tactful and sincere way. We are dealing with the soul and eternal life of another person. It is the most important work there is today. God gave up everything so that we could live through this life of pain to find rest and peace with our Creator.

If you have long enough you will realize that things aren’t getting any better. They are getting worse on a daily basis. The world is becoming more Nmaterialistic and more ungodly. I believe we are living in the last days of this dispensation. The Bible says, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,  unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,  treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;  always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth… But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:1-7, 13 NASB

This world we live in can’t be repaired. Jesus did not come into this world to try and make mankind better. There is not a plan to overhaul human nature but to create a new man. To give sinful man a new nature that can relate to God. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB His gives us this new nature through regeneration. I have been in the process of regeneration for some 15 years and I still don’t completely understand how it works. I do know it is a miracle from God. If you would compare my old nature from 15 years ago to how my new nature is now you would never believe I was the same person. He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5 NASB I do know this for a fact! People who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through Bible study and prayer see their lives changed forever.

MEvery believer should attend church on a weekly basis. We should be involved in the activities of the church. It should be a church where God’s pastor teaches the written Word in all of its purity. We should pray daily for God to lead us to a church where the Holy Spirit is involved. A church where no part of the doctrine of the Gospel of Christ is denied, and we should support that church with our finances. God instructs us to come out from among the world and be separate. Therefore do not be partakers with them;  for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. Ephesians 5:7-8 NASB