Looking to get peoples ideas as to what "Really" makes up "The Church".
In the New testament, the word is (pronunce) ek-kalleoo means "call out of" the word that we translate as church is a noun and means "the called out of" or "the community of called out of".
Perhaps a parallel to this is in the Old Testament, with the word “Hebrew”.
Abraham was the first to be called an “Hebrew”, because when he was “called out of” the world, he stepped out in faith – he came out from among them and was separate.
The word “Hebrew”, in essence means one who has “crossed”, or, one from “beyond”.
In Abraham’s case he was known to have “crossed” the Euphrates, or had come from “beyond” the river. But the principle was that Abraham had crossed a line – a line of demarcation between those that seek the world, and those that seek after the better land.
Abraham became the father of the faithful. Abraham became the father of the church. In separating ourselves from worldliness, we become the sons of Abraham.
As our pioneers taught:
“God chose Abraham then to be the father of all them that believed God; the father of all who will have God alone to be their God. Abraham represented then, the religion of God, the beginning of the Church of God.” (A.T. Jones)
“Abraham was elected from all the families of the earth to be the father of the whole church of God - the father of the faithful - the father of many nations-the family in whom all the families of the earth should be blessed.” (Josiah Litch)
This seems to encapsulate the current denominational dilemma:
Basically People make up the church.
The gospel net is cast out into the world and it brings people in. Some good, some bad... and at the end there will be a great separating out. (Matt 13:48)
Jesus' lesson about the marriage feast also shows that both good and bad people compose into the church.
The "servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. (Matt 22:10)
The "seven churches" of Revelation 1-3 shows too, that the churches are composed of both good and bad.
"Where shall we find the purity, goodness, and holiness where we shall be secure? Where is the fold where no wolves will enter?" (Our Father Cares p.299) Today we must look in vain for such a place. The church, until the very end, will always be a mixture of good and bad, faithful and unfaithful, people.
I suggest that the church is a box, a vessel, a container, for those that wish to profess Christ.
But yes, in the end it will be without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
It is not a building or organization, but a community or assembly (where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, Mat 18:20) of called out believers. Christ set us an example by not only observing the Sabbath day in a place of worship, but also gathering in a home, or some other place. Being a member of Gods church involves a spiritual membership, not a physical one. Having the spirit of God dwell within you is what makes you a member of his church. Christ is not returning to a material building, he is returning to a church that is built on the foundation of the prophets, apostles, and Christ himself, Ephesians 2:19-22. Up until the time of the Babylonian captivity there was only one approved location (Jerusalem) for the gathering of worship. After the destruction of the temple and the exile of the Jewish people, synagogues were established to service the small communities of exiled Jews. This began the establishment of what we now know as churches. God has given everyone in his spiritual church a job to be based upon ones skills, "first as apostles, second prophets, third teachers, and after that workers of miracles, then the gift of healing, helpers, administrators, and interpreters." I Cor 12:28 Each individual should be able to discern his or hers skill in promoting God's church or helping others already in his spiritual orginization. "What "Really" makes up "The Church"" The people who follow God's word NOT an orginization!..
The church "militant" is the organization of SDA church members. The church" triumphant" is currently a few in the SDA church as well as a scattering throughout the globe. When we ask "what is the church" it is important to qualify exactly what we mean by " the church."