Church distinctions

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Herald, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Herald

    Herald
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    The parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30) introduces the reality that there is a mixture of believers and unbelievers in local churches (c.f. Jude 4; 1 John 2:19). The terms visible church and invisible church are effective ways of describing this dichotomy. The visible church (that which we can see) can have both wheat and tares; believers and unbelievers. We may never know that a tare is in our midst unless they apostasize. Of course, God knows, and He is not fooled. The invisible church consists of all true believers, and only true believers. These are those who have the Spirit of Christ. We cannot see the Spirit, but we know His work (c.f. 1 John 4:6; Galatians 5:22-23).
     
  2. convicted1

    convicted1
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    Quick, concise, and to the point. Bravo....

    :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs:
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    Woyuld you agree that there is the "Universal/Invisible" church, which is the Body/Bride of christ, that includes in it ALL the redeemed, living and dead, while on earth there are local chuch bodies that include both saved/lost?

    ALL in the Universal church are saved, just some in the local ones?
     
  4. Oldtimer

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    Well said, Brother.
     
  5. Herald

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    The universal church is the invisible church. It consists of all those who are true children of God (i.e. saved).

    The visible church includes those in the invisible church, but it also consists of unbelievers who are physically part of the church. I would not use the word "universal" in conjunction with the visible church because I do not want to confuse the meaning.
     
  6. Yeshua1

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    At least did not use 'catholic" while describing the universal church!
     
  7. Salty

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    Catholic means universal
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Seriously, what is the underlying benefit (s) of a local church? If your saying your integrating with people who may or may not be saved, could they not lead you astray? Even so called men & women of God could be wolves in sheep's clothing? Whom can you trust?

    Then how could you trust the doctrines (if any) that are taught? Today of all days, you will have many who have some traditional Pietistic bent who will act out the crucifixion in a public display but have no real heart for Christ. Others will go to Church, sing songs & participate in services just because the church is having a special service tonight (a gathering place) Then there are those who meet to eat....also to gossip.

    Next we have those taking great pains to indoctrinate the sheep in the "Correct Way" to worship ....all the while they are vilifying others who dont quite agree with their way of doing things. Lastly the gathering place clubs, where you must dress a certain way, act a certain way, think a certain way, be a certain way or your ostracized.

    I tell you that while I have great admiration for churches that refuse to entertain pettiness & standardized church theatrics, I more than ever am sickened by the "same old same old" antics of church inc.

    I think the time has come for tired & lazy church services to stop, for jeticing the dead heads taking up space in the pews, for people putting in their time & then going home to stay home. God above, we need to revisit, force a whole new agenda.... one that takes your head off, shakes it & turns it upside down, puts it back on and says, "This is what being a True Christian means."

    Therefore I am very particular about selecting a local church these days but I am still hopeful that God will be gracious.... until that day comes, I will work with my family & some locals to conduct a grass roots church.....thats the best I know how to do.
     
    #8 Earth Wind and Fire, Mar 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2013
  9. HeirofSalvation

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    Name any verse in the Scripture or passage of Scripture which defines or speaks of such a thing as the "INVISIBLE" Church....There is no such passage anywhere in Scripture.
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    One of the identifying marks of a New Testament church is that it assembles.

    It also makes disciples, baptizes, teaches and preaches the gospel.

    The "invisible" church does none of these, thus has no reason to exist.

    Therefore, it doesn't.

    If it does, it is fractured and filled with heresy.
     
  11. HeirofSalvation

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    :wavey::thumbsup::thumbsup::godisgood:
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Incidentally, there is no such entity as the universal, "visible" church. There are only local churches, all visible.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    Again, the body/bride of christ IS the Universal church! NOT a demonination, nor building, but its made up of all saved since time of Christ until his second coming!

    And members of that Invisible church reside in every local church/group/assembly, and so do unsaved..

    The invisble church are the saved, while the visible local church has a mixture, and has at times bad theology, but still some saved in them!
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

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    riginally Posted by Tom Butler View Post
    One of the identifying marks of a New Testament church is that it assembles.

    Im a practical man, so what are you assembling for?

    What is the one cristal clear reason why we are there? Is it to save our souls?
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    the Church is all the redeemed, so wether we meet together in the basement of a building, in the locker room, or ina church buildimng. we re the 'church"
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    If we look through the book of Acts, we'll see FBC Jerusalem engaged in a number of activities. Worship, fellowship, prayer, evangelism, witnessing, teaching among them. They even had a business meeting to pick a replacement for Judas.
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Like I said, I'm a practical man so with todays technology, I can do all that with TV Cameras, on Scype & streaming video. We can sit in the privacy of our own homes, with PC's & cameras & conduct worship & prayer services, communicate with one another (even use text for hearing impaired), you can conduct classes & business meetings (schools & businesses are now doing that) & you could even evangelize....right from the privacy of your own home. Think of the economies, the convenience & availability (for busy mothers without baby sitters, the elderly who are shut in) why we could even save on gas, wear & tear on cars, and time saving. Then your not limited to churches in your area...you can now select from a menu of churches you really like....churches that agree with you in theology & practice (instead of settling on whats available). So my point is church as a physical presence isnt that necessary any more.

    So this is why I ask, "if you had to boil it down to one primary quintessential reason for physical assembly, what would that be?"
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Agreed.....however you left out electronically. However I do like pick up game meetings (I love a rousing hoops game followed by a pizza)
     
  19. Benjamin

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    Oh, contraire,:wavey: my beloved friend. :D

    The “Invisible church” is a concept like Trinity which is built by “rightly dividing” the Word and by “rightly dividing” I mean making a straight clean cut into the Word and examining it (this body) as a whole, not dissecting into pieces.;) The body of Christ is the church, correct? All believers, both OT and NT, which were baptized into or through the spirit of Christ are the body of Christ.

    1Co 10:1-4
    (1) Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
    (2) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
    (3) And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
    (4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

    To understand the concept of the invisible church one must first adequately understand the mystery of how God progressively revealed the one covenant/Gospel by which all men are saved.

    Col 1:18-22
    (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
    (19) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
    (20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
    (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
    (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
    (23) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

    The OT saints did not see this but dimly, nor did they know the Name by which they must be saved, but none the less all are those who were saved from the beginning had one way, one Savior, one seed in which brought forth in the fullness of Christ and this salvation is and has always been based on faith.

    Col 1:24-27
    (24) Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
    (25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
    (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
    (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

    In John the Word speaks of the progressive revelation of this mystery and the hope of glory which was seen in types, figures, and promises from the beginning when Jesus the told the “Jews” of Abraham being glad to see this day (As it relates to that the seed is Christ, the fullness of the body of Christ, which tent is entered only by faith and of which one might say that way into the Body was “invisible” to them) :

    Joh 8:54-56
    (54) Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
    (55) Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
    (56) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

    …of interest here is what Wesley has to say about the mysterious revelation of these coming promises to the fulfillment of it all coming together in the body of Christ: “particularly in Melchisedec; in the appearance of Jehovah to him in the plains of Mamre, Gen18:1; and in the promise that in his seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”

    Gen 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

    Genesis 18:1
    This appearance of God to Abraham seems to have had in it more of freedom and familiarity, and less of grandeur and majesty, than those we have hitherto read of, and therefore more resembles that great visit which in the fullness of time the Son of God was to make to the world. He sat in the tent - door in the heat of the day - Not so much to repose himself, as to seek an opportunity of doing good, by giving entertainment to strangers. ~ Wesley

    Note: the references to freedom, the fullness of time that Jesus was to reveal to the world and of entertainment to strangers as Wesley speaks of these “types” being revealed dimly that all that are saved are saved by faith and through being in the One Body of Christ. Abraham was waiting, along with those of faith in his bosom for the fulfillment in the Body of Christ which rose again (it came, its done!) to be with the Father and brought with Him those who were captive:

    Eph 4:4-8
    (4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
    (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
    (7) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
    (8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

    This way of salvation which was to be revealed, this One Body for all of faith, this Body of Christ (church) was invisible to the OT saints and in some ways one might say is still a bit cloudly for some to see well enough to understand it exists in the same form - ...today, ...just as it was yesterday and will be forever - in the One body of Christ, the seed by which all all OT and NT are saved.

    BTW, I rarely refer to the body of Christ (Church) as being "invisible" unless it is in regards to those who are "dividing" the Body of Christ to make a distinction and usually concernint the OT saint...I merely refer to it (the "Church" to which we speak) as the "One" Body of Christ.- the undivided and only way to salvation which was progressively revealed as a mystery.

    :saint:
     
    #19 Benjamin, Mar 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2013
  20. Herald

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    Name me one verse in the Bible that uses the word "Trinity".
     

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