Summary: We need to stop the dividing of the Body for carnal reasons. You cannot believe that Jesus is pleased with our dissecting His Body for our selfish agendas.
For those who follow me, you know every morning I listen to the pastor of Times Square Church in NYC. The congregation of over 8K are from 100+ nationalities. That is deemed impossible by common consensus of church people who say we need seeker churches adapted to various subcultures and ethnicities.
They also said a church could never thrive in Times Square, but it has been there for decades. Their current pastor has been there over 25 years. They also use the KJV and hymns which are also against the common consensus for church growth. Top it off they are Pentecostal/Charismatic, but not prosperity gospel people.
So everything that the majority said could not happen has happened and is happening. The impossible to man has become possible by God.
The situation in a town of 80+ churches where less than a third of the population attends church seems impossible. God's provisions are squandered on buildings that are not needed as many churches are redundant in that they preach the same doctrine as several, if not many, other churches.
They exist by the will of man in many cases as the congregation has been dwindling for years but there is money to keep the doors open for a little while longer. Indeed, if they were a business they would have closed long ago to avoid bankruptcy. Many of the new plants are not reaching waves of new converts. They are just recycling people from other churches seeking a "new" thing.
Romans 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:
21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
If indeed, there were no viable churches here we might need new churches, but we have at least several good ones. The new plants can be a wake up call to those churches that perhaps they have gotten lackadaisical and need to have a conference with Jesus and the Holy Spirit to get back to the fire that started them. Split churches need to merge.
We are mostly all from the same country and cannot get along yet 104 nationalities serve together. Does that not indicate we have issues that need resolution?
Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Act 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
All that believed were together and worshipped at the temple but fellowshipped around the table until they were kicked out of the temple. House churches happened after that but it started with everyone at the same place of worship. Paul did write to THE Church at Corinth, Ephesus, etc. Jesus spoke to THE church at Sardis, Philadelphia, etc.
Because they were all together praising God they had favor with all the people and that led to people being saved. Even in houses they were still one church in one accord with one doctrine working together for the mission which was evangelism, not just taking notes listening to great sermons.
I am thinking about doing a sermon on this passage because many see Christian Socialism here and that is not what is going on. Indeed, read about Ananias and Sapphira and you will see this was all voluntary not enforced.
Many small church pastors will fuss at mega-churches saying the are all about the Me Generation. Maybe they should look at how their church started. Maybe it was a Me church of another generation. If it was an unbiblical split or because of some personal preference or for a preacher it was Me church thing. Five thousand men were added to the church at Jerusalem in one day and it already had a large number from the Day of Pentecost. I call that a mega-church God built.
We are in difficult times and we need to unite in truth and be good stewards of God's provisions and gifts more than ever. It seems an impossible task, but God has shown us that the impossible can happen because He did it in NYC which is a stronghold of the enemy. So, making it happen in a Bible Belt town should be a very easy thing if we listen to Him and the Spirit unless the buckle is rusty and the belt near breaking. Maranatha!