What is most important to you, being a member of a church or seek the Kingdom of God?
I find that most christians are happy with the idea of attending church service and learning the doctrine of their church. But is seeking the Kingdom of God important to you and does your church explain or teach on the Kingdom of God? Most of the parables Jesus used in His teaching was about or related to the Kingdom of God and yet so few , if any, churches teach on the subject of God's Kingdom.
Cool question. I belong to a church ---- wait a second do I? We are a small congregation under 200. 90% Vietnamese but our youth is changing that a little. We do a fun service that has a lot of left over Anglican stuff. But we do not have building we are given space by a church. So we gather there after they are done with their stuff on Sunday. We have two "preachers" me and the Vietnamese one. We do not belong to a sect or denomination. We focus each week on something Jesus said. Our service is a little long because we try to cover most in both English and Vietnamese.
I suppose we are a bit hypocritical because Love is our doctrine but we all fall short. After church Sunday I have to mediate a dispute. I think we all really love each other. Outside of services and bible studies we help each other out. Everything from childcare to finances to marital problems and health issues.
I like my little old church ladies. My 3 year old loves bible class and Jesus. (whom he insists on calling Amen -- because I call Him the Word). My youth folks keep me young and engaged and questioning. The older folks are conservative and the younger liberal. We all have a lot of background in Buddhism and Ancestor Worship. So some of our dogma might be a little off center.
I do not know for sure but it seems like our little "church" is a baby Kingdom of God. But like I say I am not even sure we are a church. Perhaps we are just a group. A group that tries to thrive off the love of each other and His perfect Love. Ah!, maybe we should just call us a family. We all call each other brother and sister --- of course in Vietnamese.
Maybe some folks can help straighten me out on this. I look forward to grace in us directing my thoughts.
Eric- I realize that love was/is an important aspect in Jesus ministery. I don't know the age group of the children you teach and study with, but I do hope that the Kingdom of God is in their studies too. Many thanks Eric for your answer.
You need to give a definition their buddy. Your understanding may be different than mine.
Eric- the Sermon of the Mount, which I's sure you are aware, described in Matthew Chapters 3,4 and 5 provides a good view of the Kingdom of God. In this sermon Jesus provides good insight into the Kingdom. I hope this explains. Thanks Eric
I can rock with this. And this is what I say: "Welcome brother for it is at hand"
This place and space is here right now. I live it. I get that wonderful feeling in being good to others. Sometimes not so much, but I like that too. I am loved by God.
There is a distinction between those who belong to a "church," and those who are the Church. Many do not understand the difference.
Eric- I need to correct my earlier comment. I said the Sermon on the Mount was in Matthew 3,4 and 5. Well the correction is Matthew 5,6 and 7.
PandN- good to hear from you and I agree.
Between you and Celafoe -- you become the preachers demanding we only listen to you and not to ideas. NO That IS wrong. You just change preachers for yourselves. A coup.
I have been born to do what I do. For you to tell me I am condemned for it ?
My relationship with God. Not the Kingdom, not the church. It's just about Him and me.
lburmaster- Thank you for your answer. I am glad you have a relationship with God. I only wish to say that God has been and always will be a King. God bless.
Relationship with Jesus Christ and seeking the kingdom of God is synonomous. If you don't seek the kingdom, then who is your God?
It is only your perspective if you seek the kingdom. You seem to think of what you will gain instead of who you are talking to. Kingdoms and wealth do not matter to me. But why do you think they are one? One comes with the other yes, but not the same
I agree, "one comes with the other, but not the same." I also believe in seeking the kingdom of God and storing up treasure in His kingdom is important too. My relationship with Him, His kingdom and His Church are all important to me.
lburmaster- Jesus tells us to seeks first the Kingdom. So it should matter to you and all oof us.
Read scripture with care and discernment, and you will see that the Kingdom of God is not a spiritual realm in Heaven, it is the community of Christians here on Earth. That does not mean it is the church, though it will tell you it does. It means that living as Christ taught is to be part of the Kingdom. The answer to your question, then, is that being a member of a church is unimportant. Belonging to the Kingdom of God is what matters.
Aha! You have a community of Christians here on earth "within you" and that's what you understood by reading the scripture with care and discernment?
Attikos - King Nebuchadnezzar said in Daniel 4:3 (NKJV) " How great are His signs. How mighty His wonders! His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdm. And His dominion is from generation to generation." His Kingdom is in the spiritual and phyaical realm.
You're taking the word of a Babylonian tyrant for it?
I lean toward Attikos, trying to make boundaries and qualifications and when and where is this kingdom just is silly, in my opine. It is like a joke of the pearly gates.
John 18:36 - Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Attikos- Yes I would take the word of this tyrant. Even he ended up believing in God and God's Kingdom. Daniel Chapter 4 reveals far more about this tyrant's repentence then you seem to understand.
It's a moral story, graceinus. There is a good deal of history in it, but the Bible is not a history book. It never was meant to be taken literally. The moral of that one is that God can change the heart even of a tyrant. Neb's words were made up.
Attikos- Clearly I don't know or understand where you obtained your doctrine. But for me, I don't pick and choose what part of the bible to believe and what part not to believe. In my opinion, if God's word (bible) says it, then that settles it.
That is an illustration of why anti-Christians routinely accuse Christians of having closed minds. The fact is some of us do.
Attikos-Jesus Christ voiced his veiw too, and they killed Him because of it. So yeh, anti-christian is nothing new. Have a good day.
YES - providing for the Church so that others may find what they seek for their journey to the Kingdom. Through positive service to the Lord I work daily on my journey and so also provide that ability to others who choose it as well.
taburkett-Thanks for your answer. But I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Could you explain?
the end of all commandment is charity through a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith unfeigned: turned aside from vain jangling;
Desire to be teachers that provide affirmation of the Lord.
Kingdom of God is the destination. Church is the signboard for it for those who don't know where to go. And there are churches with signboards showing wrong directions too!
C.V. Rajan-In the ministery of Jesus Chrict, His main focus was on the Kingdom of God. It is my hope that many churches out there will place their focus on God's Kingdom too. But many don't and I hope that will change. Thanks for your answer.
the only church that matters to Gos is HIS church which is HIS people and nothing else
this is wrong. His main focus was on love. When people stay apart, how can they love? So churches are cool so people get together and love.
Grace you are preaching to no congregation. Get one you can look in the eye and then come back and spew
People get together in church alright, but loving each other!? Ah! Very debatable indeed!
no one said anything about not having fellowship with other BELIEVERS. Just staying away from churches of men- possessed by men, controlled by men and leading people to themselves instead of Freedom in Christ.
C.V.Rajan- Love is a commandment from God. WE as christians sometime don't do a very good job of it. In that sense Eric is correct . Loving each other is important, my point is God's Kingdom is just as important and churches tend to leave that out.
Loving is correct, but many do not understand the contexts of love. By saying we just love each other can imply many different things both good and bad.
I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ himself. He is the church. I also seek the kingdom of God where I will spend eternity with my God and my savior Jesus Christ. Jesus is the church, the way, and the vine. We are but mere branches seeking to do what is pleasing to the vine. God bless you my friend!
JThomp42- I just saw your answer. Many thanks and God bless
How come you guys don't just say "heaven". How could God's Kingdom have border? If it is alpha omega and omnipresent then it is here and now also.
Eric- It is used in both manner and with the same meaning. I prefer using Kingdom of God because it is His. For me it's just a matter of perference.
no Jesus is NOT the church. He is the head of the church but WE are the body. We (all Christians, collectively) are the church.
jt- no problem, admitting a mistake cleans the slate
As a Christian I seek the Kingdom of God, But I also go to Church for encouragement for myself and to encourage others. Going to Church is not a test of faith.
Jesus Christ built one Church. Many do not understand what that means. How can you go to "church," if you are the Church? Many have no idea what it means to obey the pure Gospel; that is what the only one Church does.
Attikos- you are wrong. Read Matthew 16:18. Jesus Christ said He would build His church. And if Jesus Christ said it (which He did), then that settles it.
A saying doesn't accomplish the act. Or, in this case, the Acts. Christ started Christianity. Paul is the one who built the institution, which is why his writings were included in the Bible by the bishops in the fourth century, when it was compiled.
Attikos- You can believe what ever you please. I draw the line when you imply the Jesus Christ is a lier. Your comments from this point on are no longer welcomed. I will delete any further comments on my question or Hub's from you.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior You are a member of his Church. The question as you asked though should be answered that it is better to seek a relationship with God than to be a member of any church created by man which does not have God present.
Ronald- I am not and never will be a member of a man made church. At the same time it is my hope those who do attend "churches" will take the the time through personal study to seek the Kingdom of God. Because most "churches" do not. Many blessings.
No, If you accept Jesus Christ, you become the Church. It is only in the modern "church" you become a member in a denomination.
PandN is correct, we are the church. There is no such thing as membership in Christ church. As the Church we become the body of Christ.
Part of going to church is to build a relationship with other believers. Its also a place to learn about God and what he has revealed about himself through the bible. Isnt this seeking for the kingdom of God?
christiananrkist- If you read what is refered to as the "Sermon on the Mount" which you'll find in Matthew Chapter 5,6,and 7, it is given by Jesus. This context or setting of this sermon is about the Kingdom of God. Churches don't teach this. Thanks.
Do you go to church on a regular basis? The church I go to just spent several weeks going through the entire book of Mark. and we have been through Matthew as well. If your are going to a church that has never taught the sermon on the mount, leave.
I'm not saying Churches don't teach the sermon on the Mount. I am say they don't teach that the ENTIRE subjuct of Sermon on the Mount is about God's Kingdom.
Seeking the kingdom og God is not about going to the social club on the street corner on Sunday, nor is it about your salaried pastor filling your head with a bunch of sophistry. Seeking the kingdom of God is not about someone else doing it for you.
Seeking the Kingdom of God is the individual's responsibility and it's a continued process. But those who never heard of it can once they hear of the gospel of God's Kingdom. From that point on one has to study and the Holy Spirit will reveal more.
we are told what a "church" service consists of in Corinthians, it is simply people coming together and sharing what the Holy Spirit gives each of them. Which edifies all . It is not someone preaching at the rest. It can be 2 or 2000
celafore- I agree with both you and Plank. I just like to mention that we can not seek the Kingdom of God if one has not heard of if. Either through study or hearing the gospel of it.
GRACE-- I question the possibility of being born again being unaware of the Kingdom of God you are entering.
That is crap grace. I teach and people come to my church to hear me preach. and I teach. I love and they come to hear my love. That is not sin. And I do not spout what you say or what a dogma says. We learn together. You sound like a hateful spouse.
Celafore-I'm talking about a person who does not know the word of God and never hear of the Kingdom.
eric-- I have not mentioned YOUR CHURCH. You have made it clear that it is "your church" so I know not to touch it. I only have a responsibility to the church of Jesus Christ. but i will pray that "your" people see truth and move to follow CHrist
I believe seeking the kingdom of God is what we do by having a relationship with God. Not just the Sunday-church-going routine kind of thing, but deep connection with the most high. A lot of people go to church, but their lives do not in anyway reflect the kind of life God intends for us to live. In such a case, why bother, except perhaps for show or to save face.
The church is not just some building but a gathering of the people of God in praise, worship, adoration and communion of the Lord. Church membership does not guarantee salvation, so seeking the Kingdom of God is certainly the way for me.
But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.
Seeking his kingdom is most important to me because just because you are a member of a church it doesn't mean you are a member of the kingdom because not all churches are part of the kingdom nor kingdom minded with their ministries and messages.
Deep Minds- Thanky you. I hope most people will note that the verse you just quoted in Matthew 6: 33 is part of the Sermon on the Mount which is about the Kingdom of God. Deep Minds thanks again.
Eric- Love in the greatest commandment in God's Kingdom. It applies to all areas within God's reach. God's love includes man, but God's love is not because of man.
I believe that the Kingdom of God exists within every individual.
Remember that Jesus told his disciples "destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days." (John 2:19) He was referring to his body.
Seeking the Kingdom of God is seeking internal purity. Awakening to the divine within you. "Washing the inside of the cup." (Matt 23:26)
Jay Max Juster-The Kingdom of God is revealed to those who seek after it. For those who begin to understand it, they know the meaning of the pearl of great value, the treasure hidden in a field and the seed planted on good ground. It's God's Kingdom.
I am seeing this creepy crawly notion of borders and restrictions again. Does the Kingdom have rules? Is it not God's Kingdom not of laws but of God. And is someone starting to put rules on who God lets in or how to act to get there? I'll ask God.
Eric- Even Jesus received commandments from God. One of those commeandment was to spread the gospel of the Kingdom. He said He was sent for this reason to spread the gospel of the Kingdom. If it was a commandment given to Jesus then we should listen.
YES there are RULES for the Kingdom but only necessary for those who wish to partake of the Kingdom of God. Which is evidenced by obedience to HIM
careful eric, nice language-- your true self is showing again. how about just using scripture to refute what you dont like once in a while instead of losing your cool?
Eric - there is no need for this to spin out of control. Anger will not resolve anything. Your comments are welcomed but If you don't use some self control I will delete your answer (s).
I don't know if I agree with the idea that many churches do not preach "on God's Kingdom." That seems like a weak assertion. Many churches if they use the New Testament are going to no matter what. I will say that more people seem to be interested in a personal Jesus and a slant toward hating the idea of religion, though I'm not sure there's any logical reason to hate religion or that people necessarily have a strong definition of what is religion. Truth be told, people are abandoning church for the personal Jesus, which is not Biblical. Church is more in line with being the feminine metaphor for how people should act; Christ is what we should all strive to be, but I feel is more of the ideal for how men should be... unconditional love, sacrificial, strong servants, great listeners, etc. The church guidelines really help women to find how to be strong women, and in less explicit ways than perhaps how Christ represents masculinity. Pretty much everything said about the churches gifts are representations of feminine aspects that we all (not just women) need to seek, and if we are not caring about the church we are not caring about our own feminine aspects, which is only going to lead to social decay. The church is an important part of God's plan, and denying it is outright against a great deal of scripture. Helping spread churches is also spreading God's Kingdom. And Christ himself said that "Paradise is now." We shouldn't be waiting for an ideal place in the future afterlife; we should strive to make paradise happen now. Christianity is definitely not only about a relationship with Christ; that is a widespread fallacy happening across the board. It's about God, Jesus, and connecting with other disciples. A Christ without a Biblical church is a very dangerous thing indeed. Stop turning to western individualism and learn to break bread with others.
SerenityHalo- The sooner man realizes the church that christ built is not any form of man made institutions, but that it is strictly spiritual, the sooner the seed of the Kingdom can be planted in one's heart and bear fruit. Thank you.
wow-- you surely have had a megadose of the kool aid. What you say is not scriptural. You must be a bible school graduate. maybe be even a cemetary/seminary graduate. please scripture for paradise now?
“Repent for the kingdom of God is here with you now” (Matthew 4:17)
Seeking the Kingdom of God is most important, and leads to the two great commandments:
Love God with all your heart and soul.
Treat your neighbor as you would be treated.
I only get out what I put in, and as part of that I serve as a deacon. I am responsible to the group of people who attend Sunday worship service. So, the good Lord does bless me for the time and treasure I willingly give to his Church.
Matt 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
As a Christian I am the church (part of it) and do as scripture tells me to do. My bible says the head of man is CHRIST, not some hireling pastor as the churches try to say. And the One who will teach me all truth is The Holy Spirit.
It also tells me that I am not to think more highly of myself than I ought and that the answer to differences in the way I and my brother see scripture are not issues to separate over but are reasons to seek God together to find the truth which one or neither of us may have. Come let us reason together and let the Holy Spirit show us the truth.
The Kingdom of God belongs to and is made up of those who have been born again and baptized according to scripture and FOLLOW Jesus the Christ.....
Wow!! Another quote and then telling you how to think. If I did not know better I would say this is like a paid priest.
Telling us what we must think in order to find the Kingdom of God. Sure sounds like a catholic priest to me.
No thanks. Love IS
Eric- There is nothing in celafoe answer that tells someone how to think. He quoted Matthew 6:33-34 This came from Jesus. Celafoe is explaining that we ,as the church, should seek the Kingdom. It's a responsibility, but it's also a choice.
grace-- its ok , he is a minister of religion where we are ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so he does not understand the truths of scripture. Ignorance of truth is a terrible thing so I forgive him.
There is ONE way, Through Jesus Christ
celafore- I have had and will continue to have a greater relationship with God and our Lord Jesus Christ while in my own home than I ever had at time long ago in a Church. And that's a fact.
grace-- Me too , but i have been very involved in home churches for 25 yrs and they are a blessing if they are autonomous and Spirit led. Home meeting as part of a "church" are not really home churches and are a means of control of people.
Seeking the Kingdom of God is important for me.We may go to any congregation of believers.That is not a matter at all.We should seek the Kingdom of God.
It's like asking, "which is more important: the left wing of the airplane or the right wing'? The fact is that we are commanded to do both: seek the kingdom of God and to go to church. One is incomplete without the other.
Bibowen- Now where in the bible does it say " we are commanded to seek the Kingdom of God AND go to church"? That's news to me.
That is Scriptural. To lift one another up...something like that. I'll find it.
1 Thes Chap 5
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another.......recognize those who labor among you........esteem them highly who are over you.....
I was taught, and rightfully so, that church is for us but we should go with the attitude of what can WE do FOR the church...administering to one and all in love, patience, etc. Lifting up the weak, downhearted and the faint.
While some organized churches are lacking (many will come in my name), we cannot be discouraged because we are not defeated. Remember, Christians are perfect, just forgiven. And that being said, again, I do not follow doctrines of men but the Bible is my roadmap and the Holy Spirit is my GPS.
BuffaloGao1960- If you are talking about the church within us then I agree with you. But I must be clear I do not believe in these man made churches that these people GO TO. Seeking the Kingdom is a vital part of our relationship with God. Thanks.
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