The whole idea behind the New Testament church was so foreign to the culture of that day, it seem impossible. A place where one could find love, acceptance and forgiveness. A place where there was healing, salvation and hope. Up to that point in time religious institutions were either pagan temples that left you spiritually empty or Jewish synagogues which were established for the purpose of teaching and enforcing the law of Moses. Neither of which put the person ahead of their religion.
Now the New Testament church comes along and offers a third choice. One that people liked and apparently flocked to in some cases. No wonder the established religions of that day were upset with Paul and these Christians. They were putting them out of businesses!
Today isn't that different! You have those who embrace their pagan religions, those who embrace a form of godliness but deny it's power to effect peoples lives and then there are those churches which people are flocking to. Now some of you might assume that those churches who people are flocking to are superficial in their theology and are simply out for the numbers. Yes, I have to admit that there are some.
As I was reading 1 Thess. 5 this morning I noticed something that I haven't seen before. It's simple and I really don't know what I didn't see it. Here he gives a list of things that Christians are suppose to be doing. We have always applied this passage in the individual, but Paul is addressing the corporate church! In other words, when everyone becomes the person Christ desires for them to be, the church will grow!!! Read it here.