To answer your question, we need to understand what the church is. Is the church a building? No, it isn’t. Search the scriptures and you will see that the church is not a building at all. What, then, is the church? Scriptures are clear on this subject. Speaking of the Lord Jesus, Paul writes in Colossians 1:18, “And he is the HEAD OF THE BODY, THE CHURCH: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Again, speaking of Christ, we read in Ephesians 1:22-23, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” The church is not a building, it is a body…the body of Christ. We find in 1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” The church, the body of Christ is made up entirely of those who are saved.

How do you join the church, which is the body of Christ? Actually, you cannot join it. You are added to the church when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. We read in Acts 2:47, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (NKJV) In the true church, God’s church, there are no unsaved people.

We often find that the church convened in someone’s house, such as Aquila and Priscilla’s house in Romans 16:5, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house.” In Laodicea, the local church met in Nymphas’ house as we read in Colossians 4:15, “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.” We find in other locations, the local church met in someone house as we read in Philemon 1:2, “And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house.” We even find that the church has ears in Acts 11:22, “Then tidings of these things came unto THE EARS OF THE CHURCH which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.” Ephesians 5:25 tells us that, “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Did Christ love a building and give Himself for it? NO.

If we can establish what the church truly is, that will help us answer your question properly. If the church is not a building, but is the body of Christ composed of all believers, then we cannot claim that a building is holy, can we? What constitutes a ‘church gathering’? Matthew 18:20 tells us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” When the Lord gathers us together unto Himself, that is a church gathering. The location is not important. What IS important is the fact that Christ has gathered us together and He is in our midst.

When a loved one dies these days, there are usually two places where they will lie in state. One is in the funeral home, and the other is in a building where the church is gathered to minister God’s Word. This practice of a viewing or a reviewal of the body of the deceased is used to help bring closure to the loved ones, and a chance for others to offer their love and condolences. There is NO SCRIPTURE to say that to bring a dead body into ANY building would defile that building. I encourage you to respectfully ask your pastor if he can show you from the Bible that to bring a dead body into the building would defile it and would invite Satan into your home. It is our duty as believers on the Lord Jesus to try everything we hear and make sure it is in agreement with the Word of God. Paul commended those who read their Bibles to make sure what he taught was scriptural. He said in Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO.” I don’t think your pastor will be offended by you asking for scripture to validate his teaching. He will probably appreciate it, as Paul did. (265.10)