We're Family - Not "House Church" or "Commune"

12/28/2006

speech bubble representing person 1 talkingIt’s more of a community than a “home church.”

speech bubble representing person 4 talkingMore of a family.

speech bubble representing person 3 talkingWe don’t have a “common purse” as they call it, where everyone takes all their money and puts it in one place, like a commune, and then divides it all up. There are people that do that, but that’s not very biblical. When Peter was confronting Ananias about his lies, he said, “That was your money. That was your land before you sold it, and you could do with it as you wanted. That was your money after you sold the land, and you could do with it as you wanted. But you lied in order to make yourself look like a spiritual man and so God will strike you dead, as well as your wife.” (Acts 5:1-11)

But clearly in the first century, even though believers counted none of their possessions as their own, as it says in Acts 2 and Acts 4, that was a heart issue. It was their land, and they could do what they wanted with it. It wasn’t everybody’s land. That was their money, that wasn’t everybody’s money. But because they truly belonged to Jesus, they didn’t care. They sold their lands, as there were needs amongst the Saints. If people in Africa need serious help, we’ll sell our property, our cars, or whatever we need to sell in order to help the Saints in Africa. But that’s our choice. It’s not a “community,” a “commune,” where everybody owns everything. Everyone “from the least to the greatest,” is what Jeremiah’s prophecy said, everyone wants to seek first the Kingdom (Jeremiah 31:34).

So they’ll disperse the goods whenever there’s a need to do so. But that’s their own choice before God. There’s never any pressure that they “need” to or “have” to. God may want them to do something entirely different for some Saints in France, rather than Saints in Africa. So why press them and usurp Jesus’ Lordship by making people do anything? That’s a bad idea. Let God help them make those decisions, and God will order things as He pleases. It’s not a “commune.” Would you call your physical family, if you had five children at home, a “house family” or a “commune family?” (laughter) You’d say, “Well, it’s just a family. We love each other and I would die for any one of them in a heartbeat.”

speech bubble representing person 4 talking…or sell anything I need to, and take care of them.

speech bubble representing person 3 talkingOr if their baby or my baby is sick at four in the morning with a high fever, I’ll hold that baby, put cold compresses on him, and risk my own health. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll give up my own sleep. I’ll do whatever I have to do to protect that baby. Well, when the whole church is that way—every single member of the church is that way every single day—that’s what we have. Is that a commune? No. Is that a “home church?” No. What is it exactly? It’s just Christians. It’s 1Corinthians 12, where no part of the body says to another part, “I have no need of you ‘til next Sunday.” We’re members of one another. If your hand hurts, your whole body cares for it. Does that make your body a commune, or a community, or a “home church?” No, it’s just your body. It’s a part of you; therefore, you care for it because it is a part of you.

God’s goal for the Body of Christ is to have the whole church doing that every day. That’s God’s heart and mind for a church. A hundred mothers, brothers, sisters. Not a hundred visitors, a hundred members, a hundred attenders, but a hundred mothers, brothers, sisters, lands, possessions, with persecution. The closer you get to all these things, the more you will be persecuted, because satan hates it. Satan despises what we are talking about. Now, a person that would normally be a spiritual baby for the next ten years is going to grow up much faster. There are people inputting into their life every day and helping them pull the weeds of sin, helping them and inspiring them toward Jesus. Lives are changing so fast and satan hates it. He’s going to make sure that the closer you get to all these things we’re talking about, the more you’re persecuted, to see if you are a coward or to see if you love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. You don’t get persecuted much in most countries, if you’re just attendance based. But if you’re changing lives, satan will supernaturally make sure that he tries to hurt you and divert your eyes away from Jesus.

 

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