1. The Greek word translated “church” is ek-klee-si-a. It literally means (ek-out) plus a form of (kaleo – called) or “called out ones.”
2. As it appears in our Bible, the word “church” NEVER means “building.” It is always a group of believers – an assembly of believers.
3. Believers do not “go to church to worship.” Rather believers “assemble” to worship.
4. Christianity was an “illegal” or “outlaw” religion until after AD 300.
5. Early Christians met in secret in homes or caves or cemeteries where their martyrs were buried.
6. The first mention of a “church building” just before AD 250 while there was a slack in persecution and some were bold enough to have a building for worship. These were soon destroyed by mobs whenever there was a disaster in the Roman Empire such as a military defeat, plague, earthquake, etc. The pagans interpreted those as bad omens from the gods.
7. After AD 300 Christianity became one of many accepted legal religions. The Emperor Constantine used tax money to pay for many buildings called churches.
8. It is really unfortunate that the Greek word “ek-kleesia” is translated “church” instead of “assembly.”