Let me share with you what the church was supposed to be. First of all the church is not a building. It’s a people dedicated to the spirit of Christ. A people filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, and committed to the building of the Kingdom of God. In this way the church is not a religion. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?(1 Corinthians 6:19) The church is not and was never meant to be a building of brick and mortar. Over the years people have thought of the church as something you join, or something you have. How many times have you heard someone say: “Oh, we had church today”? Making the church something one has, instead of something one is, or possesses. When Paul addressed the church he was addressing people. “Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.” (Romans 16:5) Therefore, the church is where ever you, the spirit filled believer is. It is not a stationary, lifeless, cold, lukewarm building. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16) Wherefore, if you do not bring the spirit into your place of worship; He will not be there.
Because the church is a people, it is imperative that we treat our bodies (temple) as such. As you know when we go into the place of worship; we take great care of it. We make sure the floors are vacuumed, the bathrooms are cleaned, the sanctuary is beautiful and other such things we do and should do. However, should not we take the same care of our own temples (bodies) the same way? “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:17) If you are still smoking; you are defiling the temple. If you are having sex outside of marriage; you are defiling the temple. “Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18) Get the picture?
One other thing, we are members of the body of Christ. “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” (Ephesians 5:30) Therefore, why do we need continued membership affiliation with an organization? Should we not be able to go to a particular service, and not be expected to join, or become a member of that organization; since we are the members of Christ. “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.” (1 Corinthians 6:15) Is there any mention in the Bible, of us becoming members of an organization in order to be true believers? No! Not one. Why can’t we just come together as they did in the Bible; and simply worship God? The church has changed completely from what it was meant to be. We care more about our buildings, more than we care about the true churches of Jesus Christ; you. Jesus did not die for a building; He died for you and I that the word of God might be written on our hearts, that we would be living epistles of His grace. The Lord wanted a living, breathing, and blood flowing temple. A temple not made with hands.
Yet I hear people saying: “I know that my body is the temple.” However, if we know this, why are we sleeping with ministers, and pastors behind the congregation’s back? If we know we are the temple of God, why are we having children out of wedlock in the congregation in record numbers? If we know this, why are we fighting, bickering, and hating one another? Since we know we are the temple of Christ, why are we talking about one another in the midst of the congregation? Why? We are destroying the temple of God willingly? Well said the scripture: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
If I know that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; shouldn’t I then present my body as such? “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
When you ask: How the church needs changing? The church will only change when we change, because we are the church individually.