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Where
Does
God's one true
Church
Get its doctrine from?

   Every now and then a person may come to a point in their lives where they
wonder: "With so many Churches around how do I know I'm in the right one?"
Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, they lack the necessary judgment to
answer their question.

   In John 7:24 we find Jesus Christ teaching how to exercise judgment.   His
instructions are to: "Judge NOT according to the appearance,
but judge righteous judgment."
  He warned against being fooled by appearance,
saying that people are to "judge righteous judgment."   This means: practice
comparing whatever may appear to be of God with the Scriptures.   A practice that
is just as important today as it was when He taught it nearly 2,000 years ago.
   And one area of modern day Christianity where it's vital is concerning the Church
itself.   Because, while many different churches appear to be of God, the Bible teaches
there can only be one true Church: "There is ONE body [church], and ONE Spirit..
.ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God..."
Eph. 4:4

   So let's use the Bible in answering a key question concerning God's one true
church.   And as we do, please take the time to ask yourself:

"Does my Church practice what the Bible says it's supposed to?"

Question: Where does God's one true Church
get its doctrine from?

   In Acts Chapter Two we find the Church Christ started growing in leaps and
bounds.   As it grew we see that the members: "....continued stedfastly in the
APOSTLES' DOCTRINE..."
(Acts 2:42)   This early Church had, as its doctrine, what
Jesus Christ Himself taught the Apostles, which they in turn passed on.   But was this
the only doctrine they taught?   Apparently it was, because years later we find the
Apostle Paul reminding a preacher named Timothy that he: "...charge [instruct]
some that they teach NO OTHER DOCTRINE..." 1 Tim. 1:3   John, one of the original
Apostles, also warned about Churches teaching something other than the doctrine
of Christ.   He said: "Whosoever transgresseth, and ABIDETH NOT in the doctrine of
Christ, HATH NOT GOD.   He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both
the Father and the Son.   If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:"
2 John 1:9-10

   God's one true Church has always adhered to the original doctrine taught by
Christ, as found only within the Bible.   However some have argued: the Bible alone is
insufficient in meeting the needs of a congregation, sighting the modern world as
too complex, while the Bible outdated and simplistic.   Therefore they further argue:
the Bible must be supplemented and "brought up to speed."   But nothing could be
further from the truth.   In fact, to these skeptics the Bible says:

   "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine
, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That
the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

                                                                                               2 Tim. 3:16-17

   The Bible is totally capable of suppling ALL the doctrine a Church will ever need.
"All scripture...is profitable for doctrine" and requires no addition or
modernizing.   The Bible alone can make the Christian "throughly furnished[,]"
providing everything they need.   That means Sunday school, Sunday worship service,
Wednesday evening service, and even church activities need only be Bible centered.
God didn't put His church here to teach man-made ideas or traditions.   The Minister
is not supposed to supplement the Bible by teaching the congregation the newest
self-help trend or any other philosophy of the world.

   In fact, Paul the apostle warns against it when he says: "Beware lest any man
spoil you through PHILOSOPHY and vain deceit, after THE TRADITION OF MEN,
after the rudiments OF THE WORLD, and not after Christ."
  Col. 2:8

   Ministers are supposed to "feed" their congregation the Word of God.   The Bible
warns them to: "TAKE HEED therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over
the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to FEED THE CHURCH of God,
which he hath purchased with his own blood."
  Acts 20:28

   The Bible is the God given "owner's manual for the human race."   Everything we
need to know has graciously been provided by our Creator.   Jesus Himself said: "man
shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD OF GOD."
  Luke 4:4   Yet many
Churches have insisted on adding man-made ideas and traditions to God's Word.

WHERE DO OTHER CHURCHES GET THEIR DOCTRINE FROM?
   Today, many churches have allowed so much tradition and man-made doctrine to "creep in,"
that unless a person is familiar with what the Bible teaches they can easily end up TRUSTING THE
WRONG THING TO GET THEM TO HEAVEN.   Some denominations will claim they still follow the Bible
in spite of their use of tradition.   However, close examination will normally reveal them practicing
more tradition than Bible.   The religious leaders of Christ's time claimed to follow the Scriptures,
but Jesus asked them: "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your
TRADITION?"
Mat. 15:3   He said in reality: "For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold
the TRADITION OF MEN, ...ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep YOUR OWN
TRADITION."
  Mark 7:8-9   Continuing His rebuke He told them they made:
"...THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT through your TRADITION..." MARK 7:13

   One Church, using a book supplementing the Bible, has officially stated:
"the Church DOES NOT draw her certainty about all revealed truth from the holy
scriptures ALONE.   Hence, BOTH scripture and tradition must be accepted and
honored with equal feelings of devotion and reverence."
  (Vatican council II, page 755)

   Other Churches have also written entire books supplementing or, in some cases,
substituting God's Word.   Here is a partial listing:
t   Seventh Day Adventist use The Great Controversy.
t   Christian Science uses Science and Health.
t   Jehovah's Witnesses use The New World Translation.
t   The Presbyterian Church uses The Presbyterian Confession.
t   The Methodist Church uses The Methodist Ritual.
t   The Mormons use The Book of Mormon.
t   The Lutheran, Catholic, and Episcopal Church all have a Catechism.

Please take the time to ask yourself:
  Does my church teach me from God's Word?   Are the sermons full of Bible
     verses?
  Does my Minister use information that can also be found at a self
     improvement seminar?   If yes, why doesn't he use the Bible alone?
  How Bible based is the information I am getting?   Is a Catechism or a
     "second" book used?   Is most of what I'm taught from the catechism?
  Are there even Bibles in the pews so I can read it for myself?
  Am I being taught the wisdom of God or of men?   How much tradition am I
     taught?

If you died today, are you 100% sure you
would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says you can!
"These things have I written...that ye may
know that ye have eternal life,"
I John 5:13.

A. You must realize where you stand with God.
1. Your sins separate you and God.   "your iniquities
     have separated between you and your God,"

     Isaiah 59:2.
2. That includes everyone.   "For all have sinned,
    and come short of the glory of God;"
Rom. 3:23.

B. You must realize that Heaven can't be earned.
1. Not by doing enough good things.   "Not by
    works of righteousness which we have done,
    but according to his mercy he saved us..."

    Titus 3:5
2. Not by being baptized, joining a church, or
    obeying the Ten Commandments.   "For by
    grace are ye saved through faith; and that
    not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Ephesians 2:8-9

C. You must be willing to change your direction.
    "the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.
1. Self righteousness will cause you to miss Heaven.
    Rom. 10:2-3; Luke 13:2; Matt. 5:20; Rom. 3:28
2. Faith in yourself, your baptism, your church will
    cause you to miss Heaven, John 1:12; John 3:3.
3. You must repent.   "Repent ye therefore, and be
    converted,"
Acts 3:19.   "The Lord is...not
    willing that any should perish, but that all
    should come to repentance."
  II Pet. 3:9
* Repentance means to change your mind about sin.

D. You must receive Jesus Christ by faith as your
     personal Saviour.   "being justified by faith,"
     Romans 5:1.
     Eternal life was paid for with the shed blood
     of Christ.   Accept it as a free gift.   "For
     whosoever shall call upon the name of the
     Lord shall be saved."
  Romans 10:13

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