The Big Picture Bible Course
Discussion Session 11 The Church and Introduction to Session 12 End Times
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle within them the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray
Prayer for Christian Unity
O Lord Jesus Christ, when you were about to suffer,
you prayed for your disciples to the end of time,
that they might all be one,
as you are in the Father, and the Father in you.
Look down in pity on the many divisions among those who profess your faith and heal the wounds which the pride of man and the craft of Satan have inflicted on your people.
Break down the walls of separation which divide one party and denomination of Christians from another.
Look with compassion on the souls who have been born in one or another of these various communions and bring them all into that one communion which you set up in the beginning: the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Blessed John Henry Newman
The importance and difference of the word “Church”
The first occurrence in the bible is in Matthew 16: 18 after Peter’s declaration of faith.
“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means rock) and upon this rock I will build my church and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
The Greek word used in Matthew is ekklesia which means a called out assembly. Called out of the world. Called to be in the world but not of the world.
The word church is not used by the other Gospel writers but occurs throughout the book of Acts, the letters of Paul and the book of Revelation.
In the Old Testament the emphasis is on the temple as a place of worship and sacrifice. The word synagogue as a religious meeting place for Jews is used in the New Testament as well as the temple.
Jesus chooses a different word for his followers and the emphasis is on a people of faith, living stones, rather than a building.
The Church is a sign of Christ in the world.
The Church hands on Christ’s message of love and forgiveness.
The Church is a community of people on a voyage of discovery.
The Holy Spirit gives the Church its life, motivation and heart.
The Holy Spirit remains faithful to the Church.
The Church endures, perseveres and prevails.
The Church is a called out assembly – ekklesia.
- The Church is the body of Christ. A people working out their salvation in “fear and trembling”. Philippians 2: 12.
- The Church is a vessel or vehicle of salvation, rather like Noah’s Ark.
- The Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members. Quote – Archbishop William Temple
- The Church is one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
Session 12 End Times
Let’s have a look at the Overview in the book and then we’ll watch the DVD.
I see there is a reference to Matthew 25: 31-46. You might also want to read the whole of Matthew 24.