The Rise and Fall of the Man-Made Church

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November 24, 2014 by James Lindquist

Part Four: The Unknown God

Two-thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul stopped by and visited the interfaith center in Athens, Greece. As he traversed through ‘Mars Hill’ in amongst all the statues and altars erected to pagan gods, he happened upon an altar that was inscribed, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

One day last week, as I read the book of Acts, this capped sentence jumped right out at me. I’ve probably read this verse a hundred times and it never stuck out at me before. Why now? In light of this series, I’ve got two words: God’s timing.

Then Paul stood in the midst of ‘Mars Hill,’ and said, ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you [Acts 17:22, 23 KJV].

Paul handled the Greeks with kid gloves and he wasn’t condemning them by using the word superstitious. A better translation of this word is religious. He was trying to build a rapport with them by commending them on their zeal for worship. We could learn allot from Paul, – even today.

This inscription presents the question, why was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob unknown? Do you think maybe it was because nobody talked to the Greeks about God, or preached the Gospel? Well, as it turns out, one man, namely Paul, saw to it that all of Asia knew about Jesus in about two years. All the rest of mankind has had 2000 years and there are still over three and a half billion people who have not heard the name of Jesus. (That’s a billion with a “B.”)

Since that day in the upper room when the Holy Spirit fell and Christ’s church began, man has continued to erect his altar(s) of THE UNKNOWN GOD through denominationalism and straying away from the doctrine of the original church, Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Man has been busy building his own ministry by adding, following, and teaching unessential doctrine contrary to the one true doctrine and tenets of the original church through the 43,000 plus schisms (divisions) in the body. Denominations have done nothing but divided the body.

The New Testament records the beginning of the “first” and “one true church” in Acts 2:1-6 [1]. This is the church that all churches are to follow, emulate, and model themselves after, Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and the five tenets of Christian doctrine. Nothing more, nothing less.

However, not all is lost. In this day, there is still hope, and that’s Christ in us, the hope of glory [2]. While the world fights for control and domination of the masses, the body needs to rise up [3], stay focused on Christ [4], and we definitely need to return to our first love [5], and not just a Sunday love.

It is this author’s opinion that many misinterpret Revelation 2:4. Although Christ is our first love, I feel that if we are to return to our first love, it is the love, enthusiasm, and devotion we had for Christ when we first believed. I personally remember how on fire I was for Christ and my devotion toward Him.

However, the interpretation is unimportant. It makes no difference. Either just return to Christ or return to the on fire love and devotion you had for Him in the beginning. It is the same result, so the interpretation is moot. Just return to Christ. Revelation 2:4 does not say that we lost our first love but that the Ephesians had left their first love. By representative interpretation, this is talking about us as well.

If you take away anything from this series, remember that:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed [Galatians 1:8, 9].

Galatians 1:6-12 describes this series. Denominationalism had started even back then. So, instead of seeking the man of God, seek the God of man, and love the Lord with ALL your heart, mind, soul, and strength [6]

I pray that this series has blessed you. Let me know what you think. See you next week. Have a great Thanksgiving and week. Drive safely.

________________________________

[1] The upper room held about 120 people and this may be the multitude that verse six talks about. In addition, 3000 were added to their number that day.
[2] Colossians 1:27; Hebrews 12:1, 2
[3] Ephesians 5:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:6; James 4:7;
[4] Matthew 6:33; Luke 9:23; Romans 6:13; Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:2
[5] Revelation 2:4
[6] Mark 12:30, 31

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One thought on “The Rise and Fall of the Man-Made Church

  1. Barbara Wilson says:

    Great Blog …..Thank you so much for explaining a lot of things in the Bible that we really don’t understand at times ….

    Like

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