We live in a religiously divided world. There are literally hundreds of man-made denominational bodies that differ in their beliefs and worship practices, yet claim to be following the same God, the same Jesus, and to be reading the same Bible. Because of conflicting religious beliefs, many folks are confused as to what to believe; thus, they forego religion in general thinking it to be a waste of their time.
"God is not the author of confusion" (1 Corinthians 14:33), nor is He the author of denominationalism. It is God's desire, religiously speaking, that we "all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions ... but that" we "be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). In fact, Jesus prayed that His disciples "all may be one" (John 17:21). It is God's will that we be united in Christ upon the teachings of His Holy, Divine, and inspired Word. We must get back to the church that we read about in the New Testament to be God's people today. To be Christ's church in the 21st century, we must look to the plan laid out in the New Testament given by Jesus in the 1st century.
From a study of the scriptures, we learn that there is but one church, Christ's church. God has given Jesus "to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body" (Ephesians 1:22-23). In Ephesians 4:3, the apostle Paul wrote how we are to endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." In verses 4-6 he then mentions the things in which we must be unified, among them being the "one body," that is, the one church. On one occasion, Jesus asked His apostles, "But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said unto him, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Based upon the confession that Peter made, Jesus said "upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Christ is the founder and the head of the church, His body. Jesus established the church when He died on the cross and purchased the church "with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). Even Hades, itself, could not, nor will it ever, prevail against the church that Jesus built.
To be Christ's church we must wear His name. The Bible calls followers/disciples of Christ Christians, literally meaning, "Belonging to Christ." We find the name "Christian" three times in the Scriptures (cf. Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). As Christians, we wear the greatest name in the world and call ourselves Christians, only. We scripturally refer to the church as the "church of Christ" (cf. Romans 16:16) because the church belongs to Jesus. We wear His name because there is no "other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Our plea, today, in the 21st century, is for the religious world to go back to the church of the Bible, to "call Bible things by Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways." If you are not a member of Christ's blood-bought institution, the church, you can be added to the church by the Lord Himself by repenting of your sins and being baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins (cf. Acts 2:38, 47). As a member of Christ's church, Jesus requires faithful service of us. He said, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). Jesus "Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body" (Ephesians 5:23). I have seen bumper stickers that read, "Attend the church of your choice." My friend, you must be a member of the church of Jesus' choice to be one of the saved!
Are you a faithful member of the church of Jesus Christ that we read about in the new testament? -1311 Sanlor Ave, West Milton, OH 45383.
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