Have you ever heard the term “there’s a church on every corner”? I have. Not only have I heard it, it’s absolutely true! Today, you can literally drive in any city and see a church on every corner. Why is this? And when did this happen? Well I’ve been recently thinking about this very subject, and during my research and meditation on the matter I remembered a scripture found in Romans 15:20-22 “My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has NEVER been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures where it says “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand” In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places.” This passage was spoken by the Apostle Paul, who for one wrote most of the new testament letters (by the Spirit of God of course) and secondly he was called by God and Jesus himself to go into such regions to start churches in these areas where NO OTHER CHURCH was present preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t it be fair to say that Paul was an authority on this matter? And wouldn’t it also be fair to say that Jesus, who is the Head of the church (body of Christ) revealed this to Paul? So then “why” have the Christian leaders NOT adhered to this truth and understanding?
Let’s take a look at what Paul said to the church at Ephesus (at the end of his ministry) found in Acts 20:28-31 “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock–His church, purchased with his own blood–over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders.” I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock (wanting their own agenda). Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you–my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.” The Apostle Paul was warning the church then and now to be aware of such people. Now I am not saying that every church leader that has started a church across the street or even blocks from one another are the wolves, BUT I personally believe that over the last 2,000 years after Paul spoke to the church about this matter that it actually did happen and that over the years our leaders HAVE been influenced by others (this my friend is tradition passed down from those who were before us) and have not followed the words of Jesus or His Apostles that were appointed by Him to oversee the church as a whole. Hence that is why there are so, so many denominations! Even those of us who call ourselves non-denominational have become our own denomination in our own way because of our beliefs. And so throughout the last 2,000 years what Paul said by the Spirit of God did indeed happen. Let’s look again at verse 30 “Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.” Stop. If the Truth was NOT distorted we would not be in competition with one another, starting churches across the street from each other because of “our” personal beliefs and because we believe that “our” doctrine is correct! No, had our leaders before us not listened to the “wolves” as Paul described we would not have fallen into this trap of “distorting” the truth–we’d do what the Holy Spirit said through Paul and go into areas where Jesus Christ is NOT being proclaimed.
It’s my personal prayer that we as Christian believer’s and Ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ get back to the words, teachings and instructions of our Lord and Savior AND the Apostles (appointed by the Lord Himself). Leaders, ministers of God called and appointed by Jesus Christ, by all means “Go into all the world” and preach the Gospel of Jesus…but let’s remember to go into areas, (the Harvest) where God has not yet sent laborers to start a church(s) just as Paul said.
God led our family to Ponce Inlet to start the FIRST church of any kind in our town. By the Grace of God we drove our stake in the ground and began to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and by His Grace we are still here today teaching about Jesus, helping and leading others to follow Him and His teachings. We are also active in practicing His commandment to Love followed by action in helping others in need. John 15, Mathew 25, James 2 and 1John 3. To God be the Glory!