What is the Church, Part 2
Today on the rap report we are going to cover part to in our series on the Church and today we're going to continue where we left off but we're going to look at the Medieval Church. Get into some details. Give you really a historical view of the church at the time of what we might call the Middle Ages or Dark Ages. Going to give you a lot of history. This is going to be really cool for those who history bus out there. But we want to do is show you the things that were going on in the church at that time and how that affects what we call the church coming your way right now on the rap report. Welcome to the RAP report with Andrew Rep report we provide biblical interpretations and applications. This is a ministry of striving for eternity and Christian podcast community for more content or to request a speaker for your church. Go to striving for attorney Dot Org. Well welcome to the RAP report. I am your host Andrew Rappaport and I'm joined with but al Heim who is down suffering in the in the cold weather of Sunny Florida. Oh sixty degrees today. So we'll teens. I am hating right now so but I found a little bit different. We talked about this before we went on And for folks you know. I'm in the process of moving and I've discovered that of the things that gave me. Great Audio Quality was eight thousand books and they're off the shelves and now my voice is bouncing off. The walls actually put to throw pillows in front of the microphone. Soot maybe absorb some of it and doesn't sound too much echoey so please bear with us as this is going to be in the new sound unfortunately for a little bit till we can sell this place in and move and but realized books do absorb a lot of the sound. Let's just hope that their absence for acoustical absorption doesn't translate into Affecting your theological acumen. I was afraid you were going to say that. The absence of the books in this room would somehow make it to your room. But I'd come up and get him. It's too cold and I don't have a park. Yeah we packed fifty five boxes of books yesterday and it really wasn't me. I had friends that came over Couple and they. They did fifty five boxes. All by themselves was amazing But we packed a friend of mine and I packed like ten. Two boxes of the books that didn't fit on the shelves and I have two more bookcases to go. So we're we're thinking it's going to be about seventy to eighty boxes of books maybe even more 'cause I st- I still have another bookcase to go in another room. So but with that aside but we I sent out an email asking folks for some feedback and I thought some of this may be encouraging to folks so I thought maybe we could go through a bit of the feedback. I got so I sent out an email that basically was looking for people who are tied to the ministry and I said from time I'd like to get an idea of how our work is impacting. The those that were we serve a could take a couple minutes hit reply and let us know how striving fraternity has had an impact on their life. And if anyone listening if you want to you can feel free. Just email INFO at striving for eternity dot org that's INFO at striving for eternity dot. Org emails let us know your feedback. We we love to your feedback. That's why we love reading reviews when people leave reviews for us that helps us to know how this is having an impact on people. Really don't get to know otherwise so please let us now. And we got some feedback. This I won a from John. He says it is indeed a high high time to inform you. That the title of Your Ministry is appealing to many African souls. Striving for eternity is is a. I think it probably it's recall but I'm not sure it's meant but is is a rare call as we pry rare calls probably women a rare call. As we hear some here sermons from different ministries in Kenya if you could share If you could share or you had already shared how Christians could strive for eternity. It'd be better our side of Kenya once more in. So there's two things we actually had a podcast episode that button I did On why striving for eternity and we have a blog post on the website striving for training dot Org Again saying why why the name striving for eternity and really it's because we want folks to have that And I forget the WHO said I have been Jonathan Edwards Someone that he quoted that having eternity stamped on the inward sides eyelids in other words. We should be going about our day thinking about eternity in all we do. A Nathan has sent in and said even a being even a small part of the ministry is exciting. I pray we can make a bigger impact Keith. And when he says Keith he's He's speaking of one of the podcasters at Christian podcast community This is One of the newer ones that excuse me the is one of the newer ones that we have. And so he's He's speaking about Their podcast in here. So I just I guess I should make that clear for folks And their their their podcasts is called quest for truth so he says Keith was telling me our downloads have multiplied. I think ten times since we've joined he said. Sap really means Christian podcast community. That's huge. I pray God uses us and they're really interesting podcast but I don't know if you've had a chance to listen to their they do some interesting things as far as Their their Do like live dramatization and things like that and a teaching to that they do. The the thing. That people probably wouldn't be I'll pick up on is Keith is completely blind and he does all the audio editing. He runs his the website. He does website design. I'm amazed with the Guy Really sweet hearted Gentlemen So so that's another one that we got was from Allen and this really touched me I wanna go through two more but I mean I actually got but way more than I expected my my email actually start coming in like I was like Whoa okay. I didn't expect that many like like really quick and So I you know. Wolf spread 'em out and read several of them but Here's one that really touched me. It's from someone. Alan and I remember this phone call. He's going to refer to but he says good evening pastor Andrew. Thank you very much for email and I hope and prayer dum well. Your Ministry has impacted my life in a big way. I called you when I was questioning my salvation and was in fear that I somehow fell out of the Lord's grasp. Your encouragement and practical advice has been instrumental as I strived to walk closer with the Lord. How I feel daily does not change the fact that I have been chosen by the Lord and hit and to be his and never to be abandoned. Your book what do we believe is the most insightful book? I have ever read that addresses the basic and critical areas of our faith. I read it aloud to my wife and we are both blessed and challenged by the depth that you have shared with respect to sink to fixation glorification eternity and more. Of course you know more. You wrote it smile. Tremendous that's good. He says We greatly encourage your prayers encouragement as we've had some major family stresses crisis with two of her children and in a recent day. So if you guys could think about praying for for Allen but yeah I was what he said about. The book was was very touching and I remember the phone call. He called up the ministry and we talked for a while and it was just a you know maybe this encouragement to you who are listening. Sometimes we don't know the impact we make in someone else's life and just answering the phone and answering questions and you don't know how much that may help someone so this next one is a little bit of a longer one. Bud So let me just read through this now. Remember asking for some feedback from folks and So here here's here's This last one that will read today. It says I love questions but rarely take polls surveys or enter to win contests polls me thinks merely are employed by the poll sponsor to either support an outcome. Which more often than not has already been determined. The thus polls responses support the predetermined and desired result are touted those that fall that fail to support the desired result. Tend to be disregarded. Why would I waste my time? Surveys are much the same yet with a covenant much coveted Marketing Purpose. Covert marketing purpose answering to surveys questions and usually employed merely to track my personal preferences and then to match those preferences to products and services which may be targeted at me. I don't like being target at target. If it's something I need. I probably already have it if it's something I want. It's likely I'm deliberately deliberating. A decision to get it. If it's something I desire it's probably sinful coveting and I'll pray for strength to avoid the temptation. The survey sh this be satanic tool employed against me contests. Don't interest me either as a believer in a sovereign God who has already provided everything I need for life and godliness. It seems to me that I'd be exhibiting some form of faithlessness by presuming. That the means he wishes for me to get something else is by virtue of a presumably. Random selection process notably professed by the contest sponsor or. It could be an outright covetous sin for me to try to win something to win some desirable prize which again if the Lord wanted me to have. He would have already supplied it simply to the same principle which precludes me from playing the lottery. Though the lottery has added added dimension of irresponsible stewardship for what he's already provided to me but questions questions. I like what was yours again. Oh yes I've got it but now I'm out of time and I've waited for my work computer to complete process so I'll have to get back to to this however it'll be interesting to see if the email random it was randomly generated by a program software tool or if you andrew actually produced it it it it. The answer is the if the answer. Well it's actually says it? The answer is the latter price. Should be afraid if the answer is the latter than knowing you. I'll get some witty appropriate and thoughtful personal response but before I respond all all await your reply and I'll add that I'd like I'd I like to know how Justin Peters answered your query. He's really godly guy and I'll probably like to apply plagiarize some Some of what he says. So you know I like questions to. Here's a question for you but who wrote this? I confess that I was sitting there at popped up. I'm waiting computer at work to finish this thing that took about ten minutes and I'm like well I'll just put something in there to see if this is some random software generated question or if you actually were behind it and I'm blessed to know that you are but I really do want to know adjusting Peterson to say an answer to your question. How has the ministry affected you because probably would plagiarism? Of what he said well I if he actually reads the email. I'd be more surprised but yeah no I plan to try to respond personally to everybody at a but yeah I've read that. Always crashing of so you now know that. I sent it figured you would. You would get the spirit of goofiness implied with it so so it will be a bad time to mention that the Christian podcast community is is co hosting a giveaway contest. Contests going on as well. I'm glad by the time this airs. It's over too late. I feel better now knowing that. I don't know who the winner is yet because we're recording this before before I we. I had to shepherds conference so the winner of private have been announced already. Whoever your congratulations and know that bud is totally against the continous provided. No competition for you. God bless you get some great resources? Oh no I entered like you and Chris Holes just because you guys wouldn't so you know I just figured oh well then you know. Should I ended up in the winter? This is the providence of God. Nothing to do with coveting. You're responsible stewardship. I really did want to enter Chris on holes and it would be hilarious if he actually won because he's like no you guys blessed me too much. I don't want anything so it would be hilarious. If if we put him in and he won like that whole thing he then do a giveaway on his show. Thousand Dollars Worth of books have doing giveaways for years. He broke it up into one at a time. All right so what? Are we talking about today? We've been the we don't usually do this. Long of an intro but I did want to read through some of those things. We want to get into continuing part two of our discussion on the church. And as we look at that I want to really WanNa get into a discussion as we've gone through really bud. We've been discussing a chapter of my book. What do we believe that was mentioned earlier in in the in the feedback One of the chapters goes over the church and I. I really tried to lay kind of a historical view of what the churches because I think a lot of people don't really have a good handle on church. They think of when they think of church they think of church in in the context of a building or denomination something they they kinda grew up with things like this in the church is so much more and I think as we look at historically has how the the meaning of Churches Change. I think we get a richer picture and I think it helps us to deal with issues today now. Last week we dealt with some of the how you know the time church where came from We started looking at how we differences within theological systems with the way they approach church. We started to look at the early church and I want to pick up there and spend most of the time today but I wanNA spend most of our time in the Dark Ages in the Middle Ages those period that people call the Middle Ages Dark Ages and deal with. What was the church then in things like that? There's a lot there and we may not even finish in. This may carry it over one more episode but as we look at this We WanNa start with the fact that in the early church we did see that when Paul spoke of the church he he really didn't think of it as separate individual congregations though he'd he'd referred to the Church of Church in Malaysia or Colossi or festival Naika or whatever you know he'll he'll mention different churches in different areas. But would you don't really see he's not talking about the first Baptist Church of such and such area right? Yeah there's the idea early on we see of a more universal type church the body of believers yet. He does see some sort of distinction with people that live in a certain area that gathered together in that area and he'll speak specifically things to the CARINTHIAN church. There were things he wrote to Corinth. That didn't apply to everyone. Even though some things are helpful for other church congregations but then he can write. Books like a fusions which many believe was actually a rotating letter was. We have some early manuscripts of the same ladder but not with the Church of Visions Different Area. And so he'd have encouragement. That's just general to all of the Church. And the thought is that he. He took the same letter and they sent it to different churches. And so that I could be as well. Colossians be another book. Very similar to a Fijian's general general. Things are good for everybody in the body of Christ and so I think that what? I'm trying to point out in that early. Church's things were not as defined as we have today the issues that we would look at when we to find church today. It's more specific and this is a time where it's it's just change. Think about the time. That Paul's writing the term has changed from being a gathering for the purpose of voting. Just a congregation that gathers typically before then for for voting purposes or or for announcements and. Now it's turning into an act of worship a place where people gather for worship and so this is where we start to see shift in the term and so things are not going to be as defined as we might like them to be as we get into the Middle Ages our dark ages. There's been a change here. Things have been more specific with it but I think the first thing. We have to start off with bud is the fact that many people may not realize that as we look at what we call the middle or Dark Ages. They don't often think a why we call it that so a good place to start. I think for us is. Why do we call it? The Dark Ages or the Middle Ages the Middle Ages are really between that early church period and the with the secularist would like to call the Enlightenment Age the Renaissance Age but we would know it as the reformation right and so we have this period where people think or act as if the church was dead. You had the early church then. You had a reformation as if the church was not active in that time this is why people refer to it as a dark period because see a logically. The Catholic Church Roman Catholic Church had dominated though it's split into the Orthodox Catholic and it really wasn't a time that people think of with great theological growth There were some even there. Were some great Catholic theologians and minds of of people but they weren't they weren't going to be because of the fact that they're still steeped in Catholicism. They're not going to have solid theology and yet they're still things we can learn from some of those those people so it wasn't that the church was gone. Absent dead vanished. At that time you agree with this but yeah you can. What I'm pondering here is we've been talking about how the Presentation of the Church temporarily in the world has changed through the ages And when you get to the Middle Ages which I think historically they define the Middle Ages from about the fifth century To about the Fifteenth Sixteenth Century. Just like you've talked about up to the enlightenment period that may be stretching the actual historical view of the Middle Ages a little bit longer. But what does the Church look like? And you've referenced. The Roman Catholics and I think the what drives the presentation of the Church in this era which is a long time span. You're talking two thousand years Give or take Is the notion of sacrilege them? You've got this confluence of the church in the state they're merged there's this Union between the two who has authority who has the role of submission E- some of this play out with Calvin in Geneva and how that was sack realistically Organized we don't think in these terms is in Western civilization particularly in America where Church and state are distinct there to be separate. There's this you know American doctrine of separation of church and state so we don't think in those terms but in the Middle Ages. You had the confluence. The Union of those two things and the Roman Catholic Church was the dominant force in in that whole system Certainly not what we see when we read. Paul you mentioned Fijian's vision. Look the last the last verses of the first three chapters that the doctrinal Lee indicative portions of Asians You know the end of Chapter One Paul's writing that he put all things in subjection under his feet under Christ feet and gave him as the head over all things to the church. Which is his body the fullness of him who fills all in all you go to chapter to get to the end of it and Starting around Verse Nineteen Pulses. You're no longer strangers and aliens but your fellow citizens with the saints are of God's household the church having been built on the foundation to the apostles the prophets. Jesus Christ himself being the cornerstone. And whom the whole building the church being fitted togethers Granja Holy Temple and Lord In whom you are also being built together into a dwelling of God in the spirit so so Paul would see local expressions of the Universal Church In his theology and the New Testament as that played out in the Middle Ages. You get into the sacrileges period They're really started. I think with Constantine and His move to make Christianity the official religion of of his empire And we could get into a lot of discussion why he did that. But because there's a lot of interesting discussion on that whole move was he saved was he. Not But but as we think about it though the one thing I want to encourage folks who may not study church history. The Church didn't die out during those ages. The church was not gone. There was always groups of separatists of they were separate from the Roman Catholic Church and they were murdered for their what we would call. The True Church is what you're correct. Yeah there were always remnant of believers though they were not able to organize and worship freely very much if you think about it in Muslim countries today where Christians cannot organize and worship freely think of Communist countries where you have the church but it's underground. The same thing is true. During those Middle Ages many people I think. Have this idea but that the you had the early church and then once. Constantine just declares the Roman Empire Christian the Catholic Church immediately moved in and just took over and changed everything well. It wasn't that way. It was actually a slow process. You did have constant start with a lot of you know. Basically declaring the whole nation Christian which is which is not the way someone becomes a Christian. It's not by an emperor that just decides it. You're not born a Christian. You don't get baptized and become a Christian. You are a Christian when you put faith in. Jesus Christ it's an individual thing and this was different than the religions of the time and they didn't have the same mindset so you have constant he's trying to unite the the empire after a very of device o war and what ends up happening. Is He declares everyone's Christian now understand some of the history. And maybe I'm getting into more history here Bud than then folks may may be aware but when Constantine had done this the prior to this happening Christianity was illegal. You had people who had homes. They were confiscated people who had buildings they use this church confiscated and the government took all that over and imprisoned Christians put them into the arenas for sport be killed by lions things like this and now also. Constantine declares everyone's Christian. He starts funding Christian churches so now the the Roman Empire's paying for buildings they're paying the salary the government was paying the salary for pastors. So all of a sudden you have a change. This is something very dear to the emperor. So what ends up happening? Is the politicians realize? If they want to be in the good graces of the emperor would they do get involved in Church Churches? The Way to get him. And so what you end up. Seeing is shifted started happening where people started to get into church and act as pastors. Not because they cared about the souls of people not because they want to shepherd people but they got guaranteed housing a guaranteed good salary and for some they got guaranteed good graces of the emperor so it became something that people who are unruly generate. Got into position so that they could have the influence they wanted politically and be able to. Kevin Nice living. I mean they. It was a secure job where you're covered for life and so you ended up seeing after. Constantine you'd have a lot of unbelievers in the position of teaching the Bible which obviously is going to have an effect on the church as a whole because on regenerate men cannot really teach the Bible to regenerate people in an adequate way. Not Saying. I'm not saying they can't Tom. I mean I have. I have commentaries on my my shells. Oh sorry they used to be on my shelves now. They're in boxes but I have commentaries from some unsafe. People excellent commentaries. I I remember one of one commentary any as Rian through his account in the Gospel of Matthew and he doesn't believe in the supernatural but he clearly said what the Bible says on the matter and you can have that but is he going to be able to teach me about what it means to be spiritually mature now and so this is the thing that we think through is as the church started morphing in this way you had more influence of unreturned people. What are they going to do? They're going to shift the Gospel from something that they cannot do themselves to something they can do themselves. They're GonNa take the the Gospel that came from God and make it a gospel that came from man and that's exactly what the Catholic Church Dr do not right away but over time the the Catholic Church we think of it? The Roman Catholic Church. Do we think of today? Really? Didn't come about until a thousand ad with Pope Innocence. The second. That's where you really start to see what we think of as a Roman Catholic Church with with all of its structure all of hierarchy and all of its self proclaimed authority in. So that's the thing to realize. Is this this church morphed over time and so it was over these? These dark ages called the dark ages the Middle Ages. But you said that's it was about a thousand year period. Well half of that. Time was the progression to Pope Innocence. The second and he's really the one that that really kind of try taking the authority from the government and putting it in the church and to do that he really had to structure things in such a way that made the emperor accountable to the Church and gave them the authority that they thought they had for the next five hundred years. So there's really five hundred years of development within the Catholic Church to be what it is today now. I'm I'm giving that historical lesson. Just not in my book. What do we believe but I wanted to give that historical background because we have to realise that as people were in this false religious system. That was the major religion of the Roman Empire. There were always people that were part of true body. Christ they didn't they may have been forced to go to Catholic Church but they didn't believe it. Maybe some there were some who were underground. Those who who would try to be public about it. We're often killed or imprisoned so throughout history. We always see that there were believers. But let me let me also knockoff. One argument that some Some at a Baptism Baptist make there was not a line of succession. That goes from the early church to the Baptist Movement. Okay I'm baptist. I my seminary degree. Is that you know. Baptist seminary fundamentalist Baptist seminary so the the thing though is i. I was taught this this line of succession where they try to grab throughout all the history. If one group got imprisoned they taught the other group. So it's a hand off type of thing historically. We really can't make that argument. They're just always believers. They weren't always connected with one another. It was hard to learn. Keep in mind that you're not gonNa have what we have today. We don't have all the books like all the books they used to have on my shelves and don't right now because their boxes all those books. We have these things with good theology but when the Catholic church is the only ones printing books. You're not gonNA see much writing. That is giving us good theology. This is why it's called the Dark Ages because it was theologically dark. There were people that were believing they had to communicate one to one and do it underground. Well I think that's a valid point not to miss a one of the one of the from our perspective one of the reasons that we would call it. The Dark Ages is because the book the Bible people didn't have it. It was the sole property of of the church. You didn't have printing you didn't wouldn't find a Bible in everybody's home They relied for any sort of spiritual feeding from the word of God to be done from the Catholic Church. Which as you pointed out really was a political pragmatism. The effect that it had over those years of development was driven as much by politics as it was You know continuing for spiritual truth so you had believers who did not have scripture. But the Lord Providential early protected his Gospel from the moment of the inception of the church and acts throughout this entire period. So you've got that True Church that is always there you know when scripture becomes available then it explodes again. That's what you see when you get to the reformation sort of at the end to this dark age period we take so much for granted but I hope you realize what we're talking about. We want to put you in the perspective in the Mindset of people before Gutenberg. What's your faith? GonNa look if you don't have a Bible today and there are many believers some who made lists that can understand that they they live in China. They live in countries. Where they they're not allowed to earn a Bible and they're imprisoned if they're preaching the truth and they have there. Are you think of these Muslim countries where people are not allowed to worship? Christ the more strict Muslim countries. They can't even own a Bible. It's interesting I know people that go to China and what they do is they. They is interesting. They have a setup they do they put a dozen bibles or two dozen bibles on the ground they come with a backpack of Bibles. They put him on the ground. The preach the Gospel for three minutes. They announced that they're giving away bibles y three minutes because they know that how long it takes before the police can get there when because someone will call so they have they they have a three minute to with three to five minute. Gospel presentation they present and they say we have bibles here for you. Please take them and they run. The reason they do that is they. Want to have time to get the Bible's before the police come and they will have people state watch to see what happens. And they say the bottle of Pure run-up grab one and leave their illegal but to have something so valuable and people are reading these bibles and then getting saved so this is the the mindset you have to understand that it was biblical. Christianity was outlawed in a quote unquote Christian Empire. Yeah Okay and so. You don't have a lot of writings being done reading very expensive people as but you mentioned pill don't own Bible this time unless they're very wealthy or they're tied to the Roman Catholic Church so if you're if you don't have a Bible where you getting it from you're going to get it from the church but you could then you have to end up reading on your own studying on your own and not letting anyone know so put yourself in that mindset before people owned bibles. I mean I. I have packed up ready I think about two dozen bibles and I have maybe three or four more dozen bibles bibles because I have one in all the different translations and people give me I I I basically have a habit of it might devotions. I read a Study Bible years what I try to do. Notes and all and so every year. I'm doing new stable so I've I've had people who've just sent me sunny bibles they found so I have lots of different study. Bibles that I read in someone. That's shipped meal found out that Holman Christian standard is my favorite Translation not the Christian Standard. I liked the Holman Christian Sandy old one and he sent me about a dozen study. Bibles Holman Christian standard so you know I enjoy getting through them but we were all that to say. We have tons of bibles in our homes many collecting dust in the timeframe that we're talking about the genuine believers had the Bible memorized. That's the Bible. They would have. They might have pieces of it. They might fragments. Some very wealthy. People might have copies of books of the Bible or an entire Bible. It was an expensive process. It's not like we have today where there are groups. I think Bible by the Bundle. I think it was called. I forget you know. There's that produce bibles in mass to give away. I mean when I go do evangelism I I get. I look up where I get. I have bookmarked books. Bibles by by in the box that are just a dollar it's a dollar a Bible for an ESP or King James. We print them in mass now. But that wasn't the time in the time it we're talking right so all that I feel like I'm preaching a sermon. All that was introduction. Gang your so. Let's let's get into the the Church of the Middle Ages right after this commercial. So all the introduction put aside. We're definitely going to do this in in two two deserve shore. Ding Dong Jehovah's Witnesses Dane Dog Mormons a Christian. Are you ready to defend the faith when false religions ringing your doorbell? Do you know what you're Muslim and Jewish friends believe you will if you get Andrew Rappaport Book. What do they believe when we had missed a people? We need to present the truth when it is very wise to know what they believe. And you will get Andrew Rappaport book at what do they believe Dot Com? Can you prove that God is a trinity? Can you prove Jesus Gut? Can you defend the Christian faith? And what is it that Christians truly believe the new book by Andrew Rappaport? What do we believe? We'll answer those questions and more some people. Just don't understand what the churches today but this book will go to the history and meaning of the church. And what's more important than to understand man sinfulness and God's salvation? Get your copy. At what do we believe? Book Dot Com or at the striving for Eternity Dot Org store and you can get those both at striving for eternity dot org. Just go to our store. Pick them up. We appreciate that. So let's get into the church is now and we'll pick this up as I said next week will finish up. But as we move into the middle ages theologians that were writing. Were being a little bit more specific they start to make the distinction during this time between what but and I kinda referenced earlier as the visible and the invisible church there were theologians that understood some of the issues that we're raising even though they're part of the Catholic Church. There were some who saw that the with the Bible teaches and would teach what the Bible teaches in a local areas. And be able to get away with it. Not all of them did that and remember in the earlier parts. You didn't have the church to weigh. It was it was five hundred years of development during that time that development. We end up seeing some of this. We we see the beginnings of where everybody goes to church. Maybe some of you are in the Bible Belt. Down in the United States in the southern part. Where it's it's chole Toril to go to church. Everybody goes church. Everyone says they're Krisher. It was even more so in this time period. Everybody in the small towns were expected to be a church they would go and the theologians would realize that not all those people that attend. The building are really the church the Bible would refer to it so to make a distinction. They referred to it as the visible and invisible church and so the visible church would be with that local congregation that would meet in a building and should be for the worship of God. The invisible church referred to the church the body of believers who were redeemed by God who were generated and given new life and would you end up seeing is not everybody in the in the visible church part of the other in other words we can sometimes. I like to refer to this as the local and universal I think those terms which came out later in history are better But as we look at that think about the local church the local gathering. That's the visible church is what you see the invisible churches is the universal church. It's the church all over the world that actually believes in Christ now in your local church. It's going to be made up of people that are part of the invisible or universal church and some who are not another words in your local visible congregation. You have people that are believers and people who are unbelievers in the same setting and yet we call that church. But they're not all the Church. Yes so the local church is comprised of sheep and goats the universe church. The invisible church is only comprised of sheet. These are genuinely regenerate believers so the churches like zoo. No could be like wheat and see notice this. If you're noticing Christ spoke of this we just didn't define it as well during the time of Christ but he clearly understood this principle and if you think about this the sheep and the goats the wheat and the Tares as you think about this this helps us to understand some passages of scripture because there's going to be passages of scripture I think specifically of Hebrews Chapter Six Hebrews Chapter Ten where people in Hebrews chapter six. It's going to be speaking of people who who have tasted of the truth and so people tend to think that there. This is speaking of someone who because they've tasted the truth? It must be a believer and yet they've left the truth so this is Hebrews six four four. It is impossible for the case of those who were once been enlightened had tasted of the heavenly gift have shared in the Holy Spirit and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come and then have fallen away to your start again to repentance since they have crucified once again the son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. So people say we'll see this is saying that you you can lose your salvation and when you come to a passage like this. You have to ask the question. Which church is in view? Is it just the week or is it the wheat and the tears? You see how this distinction this is. Why we're taking the time to really define the church for for you. So you understand how the the just like we said how the Roman Catholic Church changed morphed over time to what it is today so did the definition of Church. And we have to know that when we're reading the scriptures they don't always have the definition we would use today. So you're seeing in this passage Paul. If you think it's Paul the writer of Hebrews is is going to be writing this to the Hebrews to save. These are people that they they. They're phrasing he uses. Had once been enlightened have tasted the heavenly gift have shared in the Holy Spirit have tasted the goodness of the word of God. I believe that what you see in context here. Is He speaking of that universe? Sorry that that visible local body of believers made up of believers and unbelievers and those unbelievers that are in the body that walkaway fall away from the faith. It's because they never had the faith in the first place. We know that because we see that in in I John. Two nineteen because that's the clearest passage where he says they went out from us but were not of us. For had they been of us they would have continued with us but they went out that it might become plane that they were not of us. So we end up seeing here in this distinction that was being made. Is We see it? There's passage in scripture that refers to the church but as unbelievers there in the church. Christ knew that he's he says in the parable that but referenced when you have the unbelievers come in do you rip them out and crisis wait till the final judgment so we should be surprised. There's unbelievers in the Church. The local church but we have to recognize. They're not the universal church. It was interesting I was reading Macarthur commentary this week and I think it was on Matthew. He makes the comment. I don't even remember when this other probably published in the eighties Makes the comment that half of the Church today? The visible church in the United States half of the congregation is actually They're actually unbelievers. And I'm like wow you know that's that's massive but it's important to keep in mind so we don't go around trying to kick out the goats The Lord does end and primarily. He does that by the preaching of the word. So were you. Don't have expository preaching where you don't have the word as the central focus Of the edification of the Saints. You're going to be full of tears. You're going to be full goats so in a practical way as we. We looked at this practically what this helps us. Understand is the fact that you have people who do trick marketing the Church Growth Movement as you look at that we see that we have churches knowing there's unbelievers in their midst but they make church about the unbeliever and write it changes what the purpose of the church the Church's they don't WanNa do exposition preaching. 'cause THEY WANNA skip over passages that may make the believer feel comfortable because now for those churches would churches become his about the Gospel about getting people saved about sharing the the gospel of Christ with people. That's not the purpose of the Church folks. We're GONNA see that next next week for sure but the church is about the worship of God and that's where this even in the early part of church. The words started to morph to not just be about a gathering but a gathering for the worship of God. And this is the change that we ended up seeing in the culture where people are focusing unfortunately on the whole concept of trying to build the church bigger by getting unbelievers in and witnessing to them the the the preaching of the word of God. If done well done right has one of two effects on the unbeliever in the local church. It convicts them and they come to repentance and faith in. Jesus Christ where they leave because they realize this isn't for them. They're not getting anything out of it. 'cause they're being selfish and why they came into it and the reality. They're doing it for south and they're getting conviction I think of they either get saved or they leave. Yeah that's God that's Christ building his church you know when I was pastoring and I had Couple of came in the husband had gotten saved. The wife was not a believer and but she was. She was the type of woman but that in any area of her life. She rose to leadership she. She was just a type a personality that she liked controlling things everything every one in her life. She wanted to control and he got saved and he was like. We're going to church so he he's coming to church. She's coming along but she actually was upset when I you know we're bringing him in as a member of the church and I wouldn't allow because she wasn't saved I found out like a year or two after the van. I'm going to tell you you know. She actually told some of the ladies that she was going to be the pastor of the church within two years and kick me out for not letting her be a member and they were like. You're not going to be the pastor of this church. You're you're not even going to be a member of your. Don't get me say so. It was kind of interesting but this is her mindset was she left the church about two years after she left one of the ladies. I was talking with told me that she laughed. She told the some of the ladies she left. Because I was preaching about her every week. I was a I was announcing her. Sin To the entire congregation week after week after week and she got so sick of it that I was. I was calling her out in front of the whole congregation every week that she left. And I'm like what in the world is she talking about? Why went back in time? And because I had kept records back then I looked at what I was preaching when she had left. And I realized I was preaching through the first part of Matthew Chapter Eighteen on the issue of humility and pride. Oh Wow I never had her in mind at all during that but the Holy Spirit through just preaching with the Bible says about the sinfulness of pride and what humility would look like just preaching. God's Word says she came under the conviction and so much so she thought I was targeting. Every single message directly at her for the whole congregation. Here that's what proper preaching does to the unbeliever it convicts and they become uncomfortable and neither one. Aleve or repent. They run repent. That's suited purchase Richard Literary Rate So. We're Penta run because we should put the repentance. I would prefer so good expedition. Preaching causes an unbeliever in that local assembly to either repent or run. And that's that's really what should happen. So let me let me just wrap up and we'll pick this up next week We didn't but I do not want to rush through this because I. I hope you're seeing. There's a lot of application in in looking through this definition of church on what it is and examining this to come into an understand how this implies affects some of the way we read scripture today. Do you want to add anything more on this before? And we'RE GONNA pick this up next week but anything more you want to add. No other than Repent make certain you are in the true church Regardless of what goes on in the visible church the redeemed hear the voice of the Lord and they follow him. They Deny themselves they take up their cross and follow Christ. And that's the the The truth that we see only and always in the visible church in the invisible church. Now let me explain why I think what you've just listened to for the last forty five minutes or so Why is this important? Well here's why y the importance of the distinction between visible invisible church local universal church because the world around us is going to be arguing. Look Churches Wrong. Because look at what this pastor over here does look what happened at this church over here. Look at this and he goes to church. What are they doing? When they're doing that they want to condemn all of the churches everywhere in the world because of the actions of some members of a local congregation that are probably in some cases not part of the universal congregation. You see and when you understand this distinction and people bring this up and a fun way to do it. Because the unbelievers don't understand the terminology. So when would I do and I had a woman? A CO worker. Years ago is many years ago. Prior twenty years ago and I worked at Bell laboratories and I had I had this woman who came up and she said well I tried to share with her and she goes well. I can't believe in church because there's so many hypocrites there which okay a lot of different ways we can answer that Because the hypocrites aren't in the church the church are filled with people who admit their centers so when they send their they're not being hypocrites. No-one said that Christians are going to be perfect. The unbelievers make that claim. But you want you want avoid. The hypocrites don't go to work. Don't malls don't go shopping because that's where the people say they're good and they're not but what I chose to do. Is She said well? You know. I used to go to church. And She described a pastor. Who had done something that she felt was wrong. If he embezzled money or something like that and I looked at her and I said was he. A member of the visible or invisible. Church is part of the local church or the Universal Church and she went. What as well. Which church is he? A member of when you refer to him as part of the church which part Izzy and she's like. I have no idea what you're talking about. And it allowed me to explain this distinction between the invisible universal church versus the local invisible church. And in doing that. I was able to teach her but show her that. Not everyone that goes to. Church is a believer so that may be helpful to you as you get that. 'cause ARGUMENTS GONNA come up as you get that argument. You may be more mindful of this and throw that out to them. Say which part of the Church were they? The visible or invisible people are willing. I don't know the visible. I could see him. Oh so they may be unbelievers because then you get into you can now. Def- distinguish define. What is a believer? What are you doing when you're doing that? You Sharing the Gospel in a very natural way now because you're doing it to to distinguish between those who are in Church that are believers and those that are in Church that are not believers so just something to think about all right so bud after this commercial we should play a game. The good news is striving for eternity. Would love to come to your church. To spend two days with your folks teaching them Biblical Herman Unix. That's right the art and science of interpreting scripture. The bad news is somebody attending might be really upset to discover Jeremiah. Twenty nine eleven should not be there lifers to learn more go to striving for eternity dot org to host a Bible Interpretation Made Easy seminar in your area and if you WanNa Bible Interpretation Made Easy Seminar in your area. Please contact us. Just go to striving return dot org. There's a contact page and give us your feedback. Let us know you would like one of those seminars? Because this is what we tried to do. We try to help. People understand the word of God and we also have seminars on evangelism which is where we have our spiritual transition game soon. It's time to start the spiritual transition game. Okay so we play this game but I explain this whole time because we have new people listening all the time and they don't understand it so we need to explain. The purposes game is because we want you to be evangelizing. Encourage you to evangelize the hardest thing. Though that I've discovered people telling me over the many years is the hardest thing. Evangelism is the transition from the natural world spiritual so we made a game of it and the more you practice the more you play this with with your friends or even with your in your own mind. The more you do this the easier it's going to be to transition from the natural world spiritual world such that. When something happens you have to say. Oh Lord give me an opportunity to share the gospel you can create that opportunity you can turn every conversation into a gospel conversation. Sometimes it's easy sometimes. Not You just practice how to do the transition so we're GonNa do this but is going to be something that I have to transition to the Gospel and I don't know what it is. I don't edit this part out I don't cut out the long periods of silence I ramble for minutes on end because I don't know what I'm going to say. Okay well you. You'd think but you knew this was coming. That's the worst part So the goal is that we would practice of evangelism that we would practice how to transition so that we can share the gospel more often. So what am I going to transition to? But well actually a scenario that I encountered this week and I didn't really get to speak too much into it but I was kind of a third party listening and it had to do with a person on each side. One guy is so pro impeachment Can't believe they didn't go through You know this is just evidence that Our our country is not being led right and the other guy. The other person was was You know a a pro-trump. He was against the impeachment and they're debating The lows and desires of the impeachment process. That the didn't take place or did take place and had a different result and I'm sitting there listening to this realizing that these guys are trapped in politics is life and Didn't have a whole a whole lot of opportunity to speak into it. But how do you deal with that? You've got two guys fighting about the impeachment of a president. Yeah from each from each side and let me let give it as a before. I even start to transition because this is something we come upon often and I do want to encourage people to think about what is the what is the greater priority for us as believers is it to convince someone that trump should have been impeached or shouldn't be impeached a Or is it is the Gospel more important and sometimes it's more important to let the person whose position you disagree with. Go with that to get the Gospel. Because that's more important in reality is if they get saved and come under good discipleship. Their views may change on that biblical views. So that aside. So let's let's start with that so I think really the issue at the heart of this or on either side. If I have both of these gentlemen next to me I can speak to both of them and say listen. I think at the heart of both of the arguments you're making is an issue of justice. Is it not? I mean to you think that this is a tragedy that trump got away with this that you you believe he's guilty. You believe that. He tried to affect an election. He abused his power to affect an election. And you think that it's it's horrible that he got away with it. You think that because you believe in that there should be justice and to you who believes that what the Democrats did was an abuse of their power to affect the upcoming election that they they couldn't defeat trump on ideas and they've spent two years doing nothing but trying to find a way to impeach him and now that that failed. They're trying to find another way to impeach him now. I mean right on out of the bat and you've you feel that's wrong and that's a travesty. And again you do that because you have a sense of justice. Can you both agree that at the at the heart of this matter is the issue of right and wrong of the idea that there should be justice for wrongdoer should be punished and those who do right should should be favored or not be should at least not be punished for doom right? In which case I think both would end up agreeing to that but the but the issue is at both of them are looking at this typically from one side of an issue. Maybe they're looking at both. But you can appeal. I would appeal to them and say listen. The issue is none of us here. Have all the facts period? We think we do. We're making decisions on what what little we know. But what do we do? We're going to evaluate what the information we have. And we're trying to make a stand on what we think is just wouldn't have been good if we had someone that just could know for sure. One hundred percent knowledge that they they knew everything about the case to weigh in. Would that be a good thing? I think both sides would agree that that's a good thing. Well I if. I think that we might think it's a good thing but often we really don't because if there was someone who knew everything. I mean everything. New had all complete knowledge on on everything. That's done what I think we would find. Is We would hate that. We actually would because that person would know every wrong that we've ever done anything about every time we've lied stolen. We've we've cheated someone no matter how small and might be that being would know that if he's going to bring justice then guess what all three of us. We're all guilty. We all deserve to be punished. That that's what we deserve and there actually is being like that we call him. God created the universe and that being is going to judge us. He's all knowing and he is going to judge us with a righteous infinite judgment and all three of US myself included would be guilty but God made a way of escape. God himself came to Earth. He died across two thousand years ago to be a payment of sin that we could be set free that though all three of us are guilty and deserve hell eternity in hell because we violated the law of an eternal holy being. He's going to separate us for all the attorney but he also made a wave escape that if we repent and not run but repent and believe on him. We can have attornal life. So that's how I would go about doing it. What did I do in that? But I avoided really the discussion. I'm accepting of both sides of the discussion as their viewpoints. But I'm trying to get to the Gospel without a without negating either viewpoint. Yeah exactly. You're trying to win that argument because reality is at this point. People's minds are made up. I mean you know. It's more importantly that they come to know. Christ so by the time this airs but I had a wonderful time at Shepherd's conference. I I missed you. You weren't able to make it this year I thoroughly enjoyed shepherds conference. It was a great time and I feel relaxed rejuvenated. I'm ready just hit. Hit the ground running with serving God and you know got that spiritual relaxation that I that I needed and I feel great. I enjoyed seeing all those posts and pictures and it was. It was gratifying. I guess we've been doing this long enough. We know exactly what I guess I should. I should give a shout out to all of the other pastors and people that I met at Shepherd's conference. Who maybe it's your first time listening. Hey it was great to meet you. Maybe on a future episode. I'll give your names because I don't know but I am looking forward to go in there and It's always a good time. It's really become like a kind of a family reunion type of thing G. Three and shepherds conference become this thing where we get together and really just have a kind of a family reunion type of type of thing so Another thing that is a family reunion type is something that we put together and it's going to be in July. We've changed a date. Though in that is July twenty fourth and twenty fifth is going to be our Quip Jersey conference. That's here in New Jersey. We basically do a conference Friday night Saturday and then what we'll do is go down to on Saturday night. Go to the boardwalk seaside heights where they film that Horrible Show Jersey shore and I never watched an episode of it. I've seen play of being filmed as I would be preaching and the The thing is we go down there. We share the Gospel. And if you're nervous with that idea that's why we do it. We have kind that do evangeline day. In and day out and we'll we'll train you will work with you. We'll be standing alongside you so that you can hand out tracts you can you know do some evangelizing one on one and know that you're not alone and so if you could make it out to that we don't have the information up on on the website yet but I'm just giving you those dates. You could save the dates plan to spend your summer up on the Beautiful Jersey shore where it's nice and sunny just like bud has every day of the year. We'll it'd be warned by then I hope so it'll be a lot hotter there where you are. Then you'll be wishing you were coming up to me so until next week. Remember to strive to make today an Eternal Day for glory of God and you know what bud was that. It's a wrap. This podcast is part of the attorney. Ministry for more content with a request is speaker seminar to your Church Attorney Dot Org.