Serving an international
Vol. 9 No. 11 November 2007
Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore
In reading some material from a brother today, it seems that
adding fellowship halls, kitchens, gyms, etc. to church buildings are
condemned, and that the church funds shouldn’t be used for
this. We have added
a new addition to our building (with a fellowship hall and a kitchen).
are pledges every year (though one is not obligated to pledge) to
off the addition. The fellowship hall was used for a baby shower and
Following are two URL’s for articles by T. Pierce Brown that mention “fellowship halls.”
The emphasis for what we do as the church and for what we spend the Lord’s money needs to conform to the mission of the church discernible in the New Testament and come under Bible authority (direct statement, approved example or implication). Our church buildings fall under implication as tools to facilitate direct commands and examples especially pertaining to edification, but possibly also pertaining to evangelization and benevolence.
Often, the fellowship hall, annex or whatever we choose to call it often serves a dual purpose, namely edification (could also be for benevolence and evangelism) and social functions. Personally, I would prefer to justify the construction of an annex or fellowship hall based on its intended use for edification or another mission of the church. Yet, I neither have any personal objections for a dual use of an annex for social purposes nor am I aware of any biblical principles in the New Testament that turn any portion of the meetinghouse into a sanctuary. I might add that social interaction between Christians is a legitimate activity, implying a sufficient opportunity and site for it to occur. “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” (Acts 2:46). The same exercise of human judgment that provides for the erection of meetinghouses must be allowed on a local level as well for deciding whether or not to have as a part of the church property sufficient space that will lend itself also for socialization among Christians.
How do we know Jesus Christ is the true Messiah? For the most part, I believe He is...but a small little niggling part of me wonders, what if I’m wrong? I want to go to heaven! I started questioning when a very dear friend of mine, who was always a believer, told me she doesn’t believe in Jesus anymore. She still believes in God, she said, and will not stop believing in Him, but she has doubts about Jesus. This is a very intelligent person, whose opinions and choices I’ve always respected and trusted. Although I’d like to think that no human being could change my ideas about religion, I realized that I COULD be wrong. I mean, who am I? If I am wrong, I want to be corrected. I want to please God. And if I’m right, I want to share this with my friend. I want to lead her to the truth so she will become a Christian. I’ve prayed about this, and I’m asking now for your help to understand. Thanks so much. Courtney Page
Doubts about the Messiahship of Jesus Christ relate first to a lack of confidence in the Bible being the Word of God. If one has doubts respecting the Word of God (Bible), he cannot have a correct and unshakable confidence in God the Father either. The answer to a confidence in Jesus Christ being the true Messiah begins with fortifying in one’s mind a firm confidence in the Bible.
In short, two major divisions or testaments comprise what we call the Bible—the Old Testament and the New Testament. There are thousands more ancient copies of the books that comprise these testaments than for any other book on the planet. This myriad of ancient copies or manuscripts of the Bible substantially agree with each other and absolutely confirm each other in doctrine and a divine message from God to man. Though written down over a period of about 1,600 years and by about 40 human scribes, the Bible exhibits a unity from every perspective that exceeds mortal capacity to produce such a harmonious volume. The Bible books have undergone rigid scrutiny by tests of canonicity to distinguish them as divinely inspired epistles from uninspired writings. The Bible, as an ancient document, manifests itself as unique from any other script on earth, as well as not originating on earth. Truly, the Bible is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV).
Perhaps the most important testimony to the divine
authenticity of the Bible is that it is literally filled with detailed
prophecies that were fulfilled several hundred years after those
were made. One class especially of Old Testament prophecies pertain to
coming of the Messiah. There are approximately 333 prophecies relating
coming of the Messiah into the world. Every one of those prophecies has
minutely fulfilled respecting Jesus of Nazareth, that is, Jesus Christ.
hundreds of years between when the prophecies were uttered or written
fulfillment, and many of the prophecies and fulfillment thereof being
completely beyond the possibility of self-fulfillment or manipulation
not a bone broken,
This brief summary respecting the reliability of the Bible, in which the Bible especially through prophecies and fulfillment confirms the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth, deserves a protracted and concentrated study. Articles both on the canonicity of the Bible and Messianic prophecies appear in the Archive of Gospel Gazette Online. Additional, printed resources or books also treat these subjects with great detail.