– The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was in a house, and —
– The first churches that the Apostle Paul planted were all organized in houses.
Over the centuries we have lost the life that can be found in simplicity. Instead we have added things that have slowed the progress of the Church’s spreading into all nations.
IN THE STREETS AND IN THE HOUSES
“They worshipped together regularly at the temple each day, met in small groups in homes for communion and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness” (Acts 2:46 tlb).
The early Church not only met in small groups in homes, but also in larger gatherings in public places. The most rapid growth of the Church has been when it was not using formal meeting places. Throughout history the Church grew the most rapidly when it remained flexible, mobile and militant.
SAUL, THE PERSECUTOR, ATTACKS THE HOUSE CHURCHES
Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house he dragged off believers and put them in prison.
“But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house: and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison (Acts 8:3).
Where did Saul of Tarsus go to find “the people of the way” in order to drag them to prison and to death? He found them meeting in houses. He himself would later plant churches in houses on his missionary journeys.
WHERE DO YOU ASSEMBLE?
“Day after day in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the news that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 5:42).
The believers did not meet in the temple itself, but rather on the temple grounds, or near the temple where the people were gathered. These were open air meetings.
THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY by Lion states that Christians had no special buildings but met in private houses:
“Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.) was asked by Rusticus the Perfect: ‘Where do you assemble?’ Justin said, ‘where each one chooses and can, or do you fancy that we all meet in the very same place? Not so, because the God of the Christians is not circumscribed (bound in) by place.’”
In his book, CELLS FOR LIFE, Ron Trudinger says:
“They initiated the practice of meeting daily in the temple and of breaking of bread from house to house. This last phrase can also be rendered: ‘In the various private homes.’
“Opposition from the Jews soon prevented the use of the temple by Christians. Synagogues were used for awhile, but it was not long before many of these were closed to Christians (see Acts 19). However, we continue to find many references in Acts and the Epistles to churches in homes.”
THE HOUSE CHURCH THAT OPENED THE GOSPEL TO THE NATIONS
“The following day Peter arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence…. Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people” (Acts 10:24-27).