The first century Church started with twelve disciples who walked with Jesus and a few more who believed and followed Him. In the upper room where they were staying together, they continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit. They were about a hundred and twenty, and -ALL- were believers in Christ (Acts 1:4-15).
The Beginning of the Church
On the day of Pentecost, the Church filled with the Holy Spirit witnessed to the multitude that was in Jerusalem about the wonderful works of God, all speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Peter, raising his voice, explained to the crowd that it was the fulfillment of the Word of God and preached the deity of Jesus-Christ and the remission of sins. He stated: Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:38-39).
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:41-47).
The Word of God to all, spoken through the mouth of Peter, was clear and simple: ‘repent’, and ‘be saved from this perverse generation’. Those who believed and received it in their hearts immediately joined the hundred and twenty, submitted to the doctrine of Christ preached by the apostles, persevered in prayer, and formed a close-knit family.
The role of the Church
Proclaim the salvation of God
Before going back to the Father, Jesus instructed His disciples to do the following:
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
This is known as the ‘Great Commission’.
Edify the body
Paul, who was later added to the Church as well (read Acts chapter 9), speaking of Christ wrote:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
So, to the light of the Scriptures, can we really say that the Church is the gathering of the unchurched and unsaved?
The Church is for the saved.
It is the body of believers in Christ and the assembly of those who are called to be saints.
The Church of tares
Many Christian assemblies these days have completely departed from the true function of the Church. They have turned into businesses, franchises, social gatherings, and weekly motivational sessions. They focus more on bringing the most people in – by their own means – trying to ‘church’ the ‘unchurched’ and retain the unsaved.
With ‘cool’ billboards and signs, contemporary (or more accurately: worldly) music, teaching series that totally lack the sound doctrine, and much entertainment, they are looking to boost attendance and appeal to the masses.
Also, in an attempt to be more tolerant, inclusive, and relevant to this age, they brazenly substitute the truth of the Scriptures with a less ‘offensive’ Gospel that doesn’t point out sin as an offense to God (Genesis 3), repentance as the way back to Him (Acts 3:19), and faith as the only way to please Him (Hebrew 11:6).
Thus, (uncommissioned) men are now adding to the Church many who do not plainly understand the given grace of God and the judgement to come, and de facto perverting the Church of Christ. This, in total opposition to Acts 2:47, where God Himself was adding to the Church daily those who were being saved.
The Church, the unchurched, and the unsaved
Can the ‘unchurched’ and unsaved attend Church meetings?
Yes, if they wish, but the primary mission of the Church is more then evidently not to accommodate them.
People whose lives are not right with God should ultimately feel convicted by the Holy Spirit of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8) while in the mist of believers. First, of sin, because they do not believe in Christ. Second, of righteousness, because Christ, the righteous, ascended to the Father. Then, of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged and so will be all unbelievers.
As the Word of God is being preached, the bread shared among all, and the love of Christ expressed before their eyes, non-believers should come to realize the power and grace of Christ, who is the only One who can turn sinners into saints.
The Church of tares
In Matthew 13:24:30, Jesus taught this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”
Giving the explanation of this parable later in the same chapter (verses 37-43 ), He said:
He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Per Jesus’ own words, the false Church made of false teachers, fake disciples, christian impersonators, and all deceivers will be removed from among His Church to be ‘bound’ and ‘burned’.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear the very words of Christ.