Welcome To The KingdomBy Richard E. Bieber
One Sunday morning, while visiting my home town, I decided to attend the family church. What a shock to find the place was closed up tight! No cars in the lot. Not a soul in sight.
It’s happening all over the country. Congregations are shrinking. Churches are dying. The very word, "church" is fast becoming a relic in many circles. Are churches facing extinction along with all the other endangered species?
When the gospel of Jesus first began to spread across the Roman world, followers of Jesus used the word "church" very differently from the way it is used today. There was the "church" in Jerusalem, the "church" in Corinth, the "church" in Philippi. "Church" simply meant a gathering of believers in Jesus. Each gathering was its own little Temple of living souls, inhabited by the Lord’s Spirit.