God's one true
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.
In fact, 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: Who founded God's one true Church?
One day while in the coasts of Caesarea, Jesus Christ told His disciples:
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will
build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Mat. 16:18
It may surprise some to learn that God's one true church was founded by Jesus
Christ Himself while still on earth. In fact, He was the FIRST Pastor with an initial
membership consisting of the twelve Apostles. "And God hath set some in the
church, first apostles, ...." 1 Cor. 12:28 This very first Church established
all the standard practices conducted by God's one true Church. Practices taught by
Jesus Christ Himself. We will look at just a few of them:
Pastor Jesus ordained and sent out preachers. "And he [Jesus] ORDAINED
twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might SEND THEM FORTH
TO PREACH," Mark 3:14
Pastor Jesus and His congregation were BAPTIZED (by John the Baptist) and
we know, from the Bible, that baptism makes one a member of a local church:
"For by one Spirit are we all BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY [church]" 1 Cor. 12:13
Pastor Jesus DISCIPLED THEM using God's Word: "...he went up into a
mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened
his mouth, and TAUGHT THEM..." Matt. 5:1-2.
Pastor Jesus taught them church discipline, which would have made no sense to
them had they not been part of a church already. Jesus taught: "Moreover if thy
brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and
him alone: ...But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, ...
And if he shall neglect to hear them, TELL IT UNTO THE CHURCH:" Mat. 18:15-17
Pastor Jesus taught only two church ordinances, baptism and the Lord's supper.
"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying,
This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19
WHO IS THE ROCK?
The word ROCK in the Greek is Petra which means massive stone. Some say that Peter is the
rock upon which the church was founded. But Peter in Greek is Petros which means pebble, not
the kind of rock you would normally consider building a Church upon. In fact, Peter himself
quotes God as stating that Jesus Christ is the ROCK: "...Behold, I lay in Sion a CHIEF CORNER
STONE, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him [Jesus Christ] shall not be
confounded" I Peter 2:6. The Bible further verifies that Christ, not Peter, is the rock and
foundation of God's Church:
"For other FOUNDATION can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 3:11
"For who is God save the LORD? or who is a ROCK save our God?" Psa. 18:31
"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF
being the CHIEF CORNER STONE;" Eph. 2:20
Christ promised that, once started, His Church would always continue to be around
until the end of the world as we know it. "...and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it." He spoke those words in approximately 29 A.D. By
comparison let's look at the founding dates of various other churches, and as we do
please ask yourself: can my church trace its roots back to the time of Christ?
◆ Baptist founded in 29 A.D. by Jesus Christ in Jerusalem
◆ Catholic founded in 590 A.D. by Gregory in Rome
◆ Greek Orthodox founded in 1050 A.D. by Arthenogorous in Rome
◆ Lutheran founded in 1520 A.D. by Luther in Germany
◆ Episcopal founded in 1534 A.D. by Henry 8th in England
◆ Presbyterian founded in 1536 A.D. by Calvin in Switzerland
◆ Congregational founded in 1540 A.D. by Brown in England
◆ Mennonite founded in 1585 A.D. by Simon in Europe
◆ Brethren (Dunkards) founded in 1708 A.D. by Mack in America
◆ Quakers founded in 1729 A.D. by Fox in England
◆ Methodist founded in 1740 A.D. by Wesley in England
◆ Free Will Baptist founded in 1780 A.D. by Randall in America
◆ Church of Christ founded in 1827 A.D. by Campbell in America
◆ Mormon founded in 1830 A.D. by Smith in America
◆ Hard Shell Baptist founded in 1830 A.D. by Otterbien in America
◆ 7th Day Adventists founded in 1831 A.D. by Miller in America
◆ Christian Science founded in 1879 A.D. by Eddy in America
◆ Jehovah's Witnesses founded in 1885 A.D. by Russell in America
◆ Nazarene founded in 1907 A.D. by Breeze in America
◆ Pentecostal founded in 1914 A.D. by Parham in America
Please take the time to ask yourself:
§ As I read the practices of that very first church, did any of it resemble what
my own Church practices?
§ Is Jesus Christ Himself stressed as my Church's founder? Is someone else
taught as its founder?
§ Did I even know that Christ Himself Pastored a Church? Did my Church ever
teach me this?
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,"
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..."
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."
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,"
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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