Does the New Testament promote meeting in buildings to worship?

For most of the O.T. era, corporate worship in a building was limited to where there was a tabernacle/temple, and was practiced only by those who lived near enough to go to the building. By the last 200 years BC, the custom had been adopted to where local synagogue worship was a regular practice.

But, here is the clincher...This came about without any mandate from God, so far as recorded in scripture! Do you not think that if the Lord God expressed what is deemed to be such an important feature as it is today, that the scriptures would be silent about it?

Nevertheless, by the advent of Christendom corporate worship, in buildings set aside for that purpose, was, for the first time, firmly established among the Jews. What is clear though, is the New Testament makes no reference to commending or for the continuance of this pattern in Christian form.

The N.T. does not promote places for worship. The early leaders spoke against the idea of having special buildings you might called the “House of God.” See acts 7:48-49. Paul says in Acts 17:24, “The God who made the world and everything in it does not live in temples made with hands.” for the first 300 years after the cross believers listened to that advice. Then along came Emperor Constantine who became a Christian and christianity became the in-thing, sacred buildings started to appear and, the Church reverted to the late Jewish pattern.

The writer of Hebrews also seems not to have much enthusiasm for “meeting houses”, see Hebrews  chapter 9. Verses 1-10 talks about the earthly sanctuary. Verse 11 says, “but Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands that is, not of this creation.

Is it to much to conclude that the New Covenant, under which we live does not include the different denominational “meeting houses of worship”?

Now I know that this cuts against the grain of most believers in the religious world and they may start slinging some of the lovely verses from Psalms referring to the importance of God’s house which are used in the singing of hymns and spiritual songs and accuse me of making them meaningless. I will just refer you to the verses so you can look them up. Ps. 84:1, Ps. 84:10, Ps. 92: 12-13, Ps. 65:4, Ps. 22:1, Ps. 100:1, Ps.134:1 etc. Does this mean that the “House of God” is done away with in the N.T.. A thousand times no! The key to their meaning is found in 1 Peter 2:5, “You also as living stones are being built into a spiritual house.” This is how Jesus is establishing His CHURCH! What the Psalmist felt about the temple we are to feel about our “House of Living Stones” made up of all believers.

The N.T. speaks of a Church which is nothing more or nothing less than believers being built and held together, not by a building, nor an organizer nor by denominational differences., but by the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD!

Now, does that mean you have to stop meeting in your “meeting houses”, of course not, just don’t promote them as the CHURCH that Jesus said He would build or condemn those believers who do not attend or who have left the meeting houses to find freedom in Christ!


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