Acts 2:42 “And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instructions and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread and prayers.”
The question has been asked, analyzed, criticized and sought to be actualized on various occasions as it pertains to what the early church looked like. Theologians more studious than myself have sought to explain what happened then, but God has a way of describing things that everyone can understand. You do not need to have a Doctorate in Church History to understand God, for He speaks with a simplicity that a child can comprehend and a depth that baffles the most astute learner among us. So, what He shared with me about the church was simple yet profound, attainable and yet very difficult.
In the year AD70 the second and final temple of the Jewish people was destroyed, of which Jesus predicted/prophesied that this would happen. Since then, the Jews have never rebuilt another temple, and there are many reasons for this. Some being that Jesus is now the sacrifice for sins (Romans 3:25); Jesus is now the mediator between God and man(I Timothy 2:5); and the ark of the Covenant is inside of us as believers (Colossians 1:27). So, since there has never been another temple built since that one was destroyed and all the authors of the New Testament are Jews, what exactly was the Ekklesia (Greek for assembly from which we get the word church) in the New Testament? Was Peter a Sr. Pastor of a church in Galilee? Was John the Sr. Pastor of a church on the Island of Patmos? Did they build buildings and gather people every week to come and hear them preach? They were Jews, there was no temple, so what exactly did they do?
As I have pondered these questions, prayed about these questions, searched the scriptures about these questions, I finally heard how God viewed what they used to do and what I believe we are supposed to do. After the destruction of the Temple in AD70, the church left the building and went into homes. They did not build buildings, not because they didn’t have the money or the land, but because that is not what God wanted, henceforth, destroying the temple and it never being rebuilt by the Jews again. They went into houses, not because of persecution, but because of design. God did not want a central location like church as we understand it today, because movements are supposed to move, when they cease to move they become monuments and they cease to be a movement.
The Lord showed me that church today is like a restaurant, we drive to a building, we sit down, we are served worship, we are served the word, we pay our check (tithe) and we leave. But God wanted the church to be a potluck, where everyone makes something at home, then brings it to the house of God/gathering and we all get to partake of what others have prepared. That is why Paul said in I Corinthians 14:26 “When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a tongue, an interpretation of it. Let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all.” We are all to come together with something to add to the gathering. This is discipleship, this is why they needed order, this is how they matured, this is how they grew, this is how they changed the world, this why we need to get back to original. This is what God is doing right now!