While reading my Bible at home one evening, as I often do, I decided to go into the book of 1st Corinthians the eleventh chapter. This book was written by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians. The church at Corinth was near the center of the Roman province of Achaia in a city located in Greece. The whole letter is concerned with doctrinal and ethical problems that were disturbing the church.
Half way through the chapter, the subject matter changed from men and women wearing or not wearing a covering on their head, and cutting or not cutting their hair, to eating in church. Notice I didn't say or not eating in church! The people were doing just that, eating in church. Was it alright to eat in church?
Let's take a look at the scriptures, verse by verse and analyze the message within the verses that make up the topic of this discussion. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)
The Apostle Paul says that the people of Corinth come together not for the better, but for the worse. In this verse, Paul seems to be upset about something that is taking place when the people come together for worship. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem too pleasing to Apostle Paul.
He first states the divisions among the people of Corinth. If Apostle Paul were here today, he would see even more divisions amongst the churches. There are a lot of different practices in various areas of religion that have divided us. What divisions among the people is he talking about?
Paul has also concluded that there must be heresies amongst these people. Unorthodox practices are being over emphasized in this area of his letter. Is there something wrong with being approved so that you can be made manifest amongst the people of the church? Let's quickly look at two other scriptures about man being made manifest and why.
This scripture tells us that man's work will be made manifest. The metaphoric use of the word fire, doesn't mean everyone will have to go into a bed of fire to be tested. Common sense tells you that God does not create little balls of fire for each and everyone of us to step into. When you think about fire while reading the Bible, you think about Hades and the Devil they call Satan. You think about (Ephesians 6:12), which talks about wrestling against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places. This fire shall try every man's work and it can only go into two categories, good or evil. Will we follow behind everyone else just to be part of the majority, or follow the knowledge that has been given to us in the scriptures, inspired by God? Let's take a look at another scripture concerning man's work in life.
The Apostle Paul eventually did explain to the them that all of us will be judged by Christ according to what we have done in our life, whether it was good or bad. The manifestation is not to get approval from another person, it's to be approved by Christ in heaven. Once again, the emphasis is on Paul's discontent about something that they are doing, so they can have the manifestation amongst themselves not God. Well let's keep going with Paul's letter.
We finally find out why the Apostle Paul is so upset with the people of Corinth. But, why is he so upset because the people are eating the Lord's supper in church? I'm sure they understood that they were supposed to come together to learn and receive the word of God, the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that is involved in being a true believer.
I'm sure all of us have seen people that don't have enough money to purchase a meal. By taking a meal before another hungry individual is a selfish act, and taking before one that is drunk isn't any better. The scriptures emphasize quite well that man is not to over indulge in strong drink or succumb to selfish acts, because that is not the way of the Lord. So, to ignore people in need while eating your Lord's supper is considered a selfish act.
At this point and time in the letter, can you just hear Paul asking, "What?", with a bit of a scornful voice, and asking if the people had houses to eat in. Some of us might say, "Oh!, it's just a little thing eating in church." It wasn't just a little thing to Paul! Ignoring other individuals basic needs and being selfish or drunk is not the way of the Lord. By ignoring others, you despise the church and shame those that have not. Paul's next two questions are as though he's thinking out loud. What can he say to the people of the church to make them understand the importance of shaming others by not eating at home? Decision, do you deserve any praise for performing this act of selfishness? The answer was no, they didn't deserve any praise for this.
Paul goes on to explain what was said by Jesus at the Lord's supper (also referred to as the last supper), and why the eating and drinking is so important. It's to remind everyone of the Lord's death until he (the Lord), returns.
Paul has already stressed the shameful acts taking place in the church at Corinth, now he stresses that the unworthy acts fall in the category with the malevolent acts that lead to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Makes perfectly good since to me! If they are not being a good neighbor to those around them, what makes them think they are worthy of a place in heaven on judgment day? According to Paul, they are just as bad as the individuals that killed Jesus Christ. In this day and time, to shame them that have not, covers a lot of people. Since there are churches all over the world, that's a mighty big accusation against man.
In this verse, Paul tells man to take a look at himself. Depending on what man discovers about himself, it's alright to have the Lord's supper. But, since it was not possible to feed everyone that was hungry, he said man should eat at home. When Jesus had the Lord's supper with his disciples, was he in church? No, he was in a house with individuals he felt very attached to. (See Luke 22:10-14.) As Paul has also stated, "there be divisions amongst you." The division of manifestation to please God versus man's manifestation to please others had already begun in the church.
For those that still consider themselves worthy, but they really aren't, eats and drinks damnation upon themselves, because they have not discerned the Lord's body. The covenants that are mentioned in the Old & New Testament, always had a sacrifice to seal the promise. In the New Testament, the sacrifice was God's son. What more of a sacrifice could God make? I can honestly say that I wouldn't want to be in God's place, making the ultimate sacrifice of my only begotten son just to please a bunch of people that don't want to abide by my rules. Obviously, these people didn't take that into consideration. They were too busy trying to please each other. So what happened to those that wanted to continue the practice of eating and drinking in church?
The disciple John wrote the book of 1st John and tells what happened to individuals that did not want to continue with the true believers in God the Father Almighty, Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord, and the Holy Spirit. They left the church so that everyone could see they were not part of that group. They were still trying to please man instead of God.
Religion still remains a mystery for most of us. Why isn't everyone serving the same God? I think we know the answer to that one, Satan. Why isn't everyone serving him in the same manner? Same answer, Satan. Does the true religion that is spoken of in the Bible still exist in a church? Good question! The world has gone in so many different directions when it comes to religion, that it's very difficult to know the truth without seeking it on your own. We can't totally depend on the church for the answers. Having access to the internet can and will make a difference. There is still so much in the world to learn and re-discover. Taking a look at the scriptures verse by verse, and asking the Lord to open our mind and heart to the truth, is the only way to get back to the true religion. What has been discussed on this web page is a perfect example of how the true religion has been lost. There is a phrase that I once heard, that I wrote on the inside cover of one of my Bibles.
Lack of knowledge in any area
Satan will continue his conquest!
The journey begins from within.
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