Church Terminology Sometimes when I write The Daily Thought I use words people say are hard to understand. Terminology is a shortcut to expressing thoughts and ideas. It keeps people from having to repeatedly re-explain certain basic concepts. But terminology is useless unless the meanings of the terms are not clearly understood by those who are exposed to them. This means the meaning of terms must be understood and accepted by those that read or hear what is being communicated. Cults take terms commonly accepted among Christians and give them different meanings in order to make their beliefs appear “Christian.” For believers to communicate and be protected from the misuse of terms by cults they need to understand what the true meanings of terms are. For instance Christendom is all the places or areas where the people who occupy the territory chiefly identify themselves as Christians and where Christian influence is dominant. It does not mean that everyone within that area is either Christian or holds to Christian ideals. There is a difference between the Church and Christendom just as there is a difference between possessing and professing Christians. There is also a difference between Baptized Christendom, as distinct from the general term Christendom as an area, but there is also a difference between Baptized Christendom and those who actually compose the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is further distinguished in two terms you may have run across in the past. One is called the Church Visible, which is composed of all whose names are recorded on Church rosters. The other is called the Church Invisible: those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The Church Actual is made up of the imperfect yet redeemed people, who hunger and thirst after righteousness, alive here on earth. The Church Ideal is composed of departed believers who are now triumphant in Heaven. (Hebrews 12:21) The true Church while here on earth can also be called the Church Militant and when it is transported to Heaven, whether one soul at the time or in the Rapture, it can then be called the Church Triumphant.
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