(Antioch Bible Church)
What does your bride look like? Does anyone have the right to tell you how your bride should look, act, talk, or think?
What does Christ's bride look like? Does anyone have the right to tell Jesus how His bride should look, act, talk, or think? The picture of the bride of Christ and how she should be was given to the apostle Paul via the church at Antioch as the New Testament church image he was to spread.
I believe the original plan is always the best. God's original plan for marriage was Adam & Eve. Do you think there is a better way for marriage than the original?
God's original plan for the family was a man, a woman, and children. Do you think there is a better way for the family than God's original?
God's original plan was no sin between himself and man. Adam and Eve failed and sin entered the world. Do you think that the original plan of a world without sin is better than the world we have today? Have you ever noticed the middle letter in sin is an "I?" Since we usually center everything around us, the "s" before and "n" after don't matter. I want to do things the way I want to do them.
God's original plan for the New Testament church is in Acts 13, a cross-cultural mix of people that were Jews, gentiles, blacks, whites, rich, and poor. If the truth of the original holds up, then God's original purpose for the church was not homogenous, right? You can disagree, but everyone has the right to be wrong -- once. So when we look at the church today and talk about cross-cultural, it is not something new, but simply going back to the original plan of God for his bride.
The plan of God was to establish cross-cultural, New Testament churches everywhere through Paul. But at the end of his third missionary journey when he knew he was going to get bound when he got to Jerusalem, he stopped at Ephesus and turned the responsibility of spreading the cross cultural foundation of the church to the world and they failed miserably. Do you think God was pleased with what happened to his bride? I don't think so. The first church Christ was upset at in Revelation was the church at Ephesus for losing their first love. From that verse, I believe the first love they lost was the picture of the New Testament Church.
The journey the New Testament church would take was set up way back in Genesis 11. The people during the time of the Tower of Babel were an unholy, disobedient, and rebellious people. God divided them by giving them different languages. That separation of all the people was not reversed until the beginning of the New Testament bride at Pentecost. Three thousand believers were added in one day and they were people of all languages. They heard the message in their own language, not just in French, Portuguese, or Arabic, but in their own dialect, the vernacular of the day. Do you think for one instance that the New Testament church that started at Pentecost was not cross-cultural?
Do you think the homogenous churches today of all white, all black, all Asian or all anything else are the reflection of Jesus' bride? If you don't like cross-cultural, you are telling Jesus what His church should look like.
Do you get the picture of what the original New Testament church should look like? Do you see that Acts 13 is the model and not Acts 28 because Acts 28 does not even exist? What are you doing to tell Jesus what His church should look like?
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