No, you don’t have to remove your shoes. Come as you are, even in your pajamas… since your online! 😉
Okay, first of all, the remnant, holy bride of Christ doesn’t have to cringe in fear at the word “church” since it is… well, truly Biblical. I know many of God’s people have been “burned” by religious institutional churches, A.K.A., “harlot churchianity”. However, not all churches are “evil” and not all “organized religion” is a scam and a fraud. There are some churches that have sincere leadership who truly love God and desire His glory alone. They may not be walking in the amount of light that you may have but that doesn’t qualify them as “Ichabod” or apostate. We must always be merciful and patient, never spiritually conceited to think we have the corner on the truth. The pride of “elitism” has made many a good man fall. Elijah himself almost fell into this but God set him straight telling Elijah that he wasn’t a lone crusader but that the Lord had “preserved 7000 who had not bowed their knee to Baal”. God has a scattered remnant of saints throughout the whole of “Christendom”. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Not all mainstream Christianity is part of the harlot church system in these last days. Believe it or not, there are still some churches and fellowships that are sincerely seeking after the Lord. Yes, it is God’s command to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians :511) and regarding the “harlot church “to come out of her my people and partake not of her sin” (Rev. 18:4). However, let us not assume ourselves too holy or too “separated” to lose sight of being a witness of Christ’s true love to all men even those caught up into religion and churchianity. Be humble, patient and meek towards all men. The day we begin snubbing people because we think we’re a better breed of “Christian” is the day we condemn our hearts as the Pharisees did. Let’s not fall into “religion” ourselves trying to escape from it!
ChurchoftheLordJesus.com is a network of hopefully true believers who do not play church by just going to institutional churches on Sundays as some ritual practice…but who understand that WE ARE THE CHURCH 24/7/365. ChurchoftheLordJesus.com’s purpose is to bring true believers and on fire Christians together who need to vent their love for Precious Yeshua Jesus with others… who do not have the “deer in the headlights” look when sharing scriptures and testimonies of God’s goodness. “Deep calls to deep” and it is our hope that this website and social network will be an online “cyber-sanctuary” to host this “deep to deep” exchange of fellowship.
The Church of the Lord Jesus is not “church as usual”. We “do church” a lot differently. Not only because it is a virtual communal church environment but also because we want to try to pattern the church structure and substance after the original, first church, which was never set up as a one man show, with a “head pastor” or “head elder” who alone speaks for God and lords over the other sheeplings. You see, here at CLJ, we do not have a head leader or “pastor/bishop”. The Lord Jesus, being a real person and His Spirit being an actual presence, is the “head” or “pastor” or “leader” as Colossians 1:18 states, “And he (CHRIST) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” We believe Matthew 23:8 “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren” clearly exhorts us to not put “titles” on men as such things many times leads to abuse of authority as Christ should alone be honored with the only preeminence (or first place) and the rest of us are “brethren”, that is equal siblings, brothers and sisters within the body of Christ. As true Christians, we all have “authority” in the true church. No man is above another.
This does not negate the fact that many of us are called to be servant leaders within the body of Christ, some as “shepherds” or “pastors”, some as apostles or church planters, some as evangelists and teachers, etc. But these are considered “gifts and callings” bestowed on the brethren to exercise their function, but not “titles” wherein men are exalted to prominence positions, lording over others. So there may be many among us exercising our gifts and callings but we prefer to stay away from “titles” that tend to make celebrities and not servants in our present culture. However, as church governance goes, we know of no Biblical pattern but as a “plurality of elders/ servant leaders” who serve the church with these gifts and callings, and deacons/deaconess who also serve and assist the elders. Again, only distinguishing themselves as ministers or servants of the gifts and callings of the Holy Spirit, under the authority of Christ himself. But as far as the church service or church gathering/meetings go, everyone is invited, young and old, rich or poor, black or white, etc. to participate in the edifying or building up of the body of Christ as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 14:26- “How is it then, brethren? when you come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” As a church body, we want all our brothers and sisters to feel comfortable sharing their gifts and callings with one another, but to only do it in an orderly way, not to promote ourselves, or our supposed “ministries” or to try to gain a following but instead respecting one another, preferring one another in humility, with Christ having the preeminence. We don’t have to always be the center of attention so others can bow down to how spiritual we are. It’s all about Jesus, not about us. Of course, we will always strive to pattern our gatherings based on the Biblical model set forth in the Word.
Because of this original model, we believe no one is called to sit on their butt on a padded pew and bask in the light of some “man of power for the hour”, consuming but never producing, being a spectator but never a participant. Therefore, we encourage all believers to be actively seeking out the gifts and callings of Holy Spirit and ministering their gifts one to another as they meet online at the Church of the Lord Jesus website or anywhere for that matter.
Pleas dear saint- you don’t need to ask the question, am I called to ministry? If you are a true born again Christian, you are called for certain… and we invite you to freely use your gifts, only with humility and honor of the Lord alone, no showboating or seeking the praise of men. The only thing we as God’s people ask you to submit to is the Word of God and live by the simple requirements He has shown us in Micah 6:8-
1.) To do justly
2.)To love mercy
3.) To walk humbly with the Lord
And even if only two of you meet, be sure of this- Jesus is online with you! “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of you.” Matthew 18:20 Never disregard or marginalize “one on one” ministry… for most powerful encounters with God’s presence is in the midst of just a “few” as crowds tend to make men “perform on a stage” and beckons to our carnel urge to show our “prominence among men”. If you can learn to minister to just one person, then you’ve mastered the secret to true ministry. For even if God puts your light on a hill for a city to see… you will still only minister to individuals and their hearts, as a crowd by nature of it’s entity has no face or heart.
The Church of the Lord Jesus invites all true believers, those who are part of the remnant holy bride of Christ, to join our online fellowship, to participate in “doing church differently” as it’s suppose to be done, with ALL the body of Christ ministering to one another with the gifts, callings and resources that God has blessed each of us with!
Don’t be shy or timid. God has called all of us to be servant leaders in some way. You are called to be a minister, so go ahead, we are not “control freaks here”, launch the ministry Holy Spirit has called you to… just don’t fall into the evil trap of trying to get “a following” or “leading men to seek after you”… lead men to follow after Christ alone. Lead men to seek for the real Jesus. This way, you can be a real servant leader to the body of Christ and the kingdom of God rather than trying to build your own kingdom and “ministry empire”, only to be severely judged on that day for drawing men away from their “pure devotion to Christ”.
Establishing ourselves as a true church entity, the Church of the Lord Jesus is looking for people who have the calling and gift to serve as elders/servant leaders for a set period of time, who are experienced and qualified to be servant leaders in this online church environment. We invite you to apply. Certainly, we know that the commitment levels may vary, as many of us have “offline” or “real life” ministries and career functions. We are looking for deacons and deaconess whose main function is to assist with church administration and helps the elders in serving the chuch as a whole. But to again clarify these things, we want you to know that both elders and deacons are not brethren who have a prominent seat or hold a position to exercise some “greater authority”. These brethren are “servant leaders” who humbly serve to the body of believers here and not to be confused with many traditional church eldership/pastorial overlording models.
We would like those who can commit to being prayer and/or worship counselors to consider this function as a necessary ingredient in our main online chat room, Jesus Church and other chat rooms at CLJ.
We also invite our members to submit blogs/messages/”Words” to the body of believers here on the website and even to be considered to be published in a future issue of this newsletter, The Holy Bride. So please, ask the Lord how you can participate, what ministry and calling God has ordained you for in this body of believers online. The Church of the Lord Jesus is not about one man, unless you’re referring to JESUS! We know God has not called you to just soak it all in… you have to have an outlet also to allow the “Living Water” to properly flow! So come, be more than just a “part”, be a part…icipant!