Have you ever heard the phrase
“Join the church of your Choice?” I am sure all of us have. Man, there sure are a lot of choices
anymore! It looks like there is a
church on every corner!
One can find about any choice wanted. There are humanists, modernists, pluralist, technologists, universalists, separatists, futurists, moralists, legalists, nilists-----There are more “isms” and “ists” then one can count! Generally classified as “liberal” or “conservative”, some once considered radical are now almost mainstream! With so many tags, no wonder lots’ of people just turn away with: “I’m so confused!” Many even reach the point of saying “JESUS YES---THE CHURCH NO”.
Churches vie for followers like corporations for “Market Share”. They cry: “Buy our Product”, offering all hype and no hope. Pushing vain promises of wealth and well being they sell the body of Christ like allergy medicine. There are arguments about church. “We All worship the same God”. Or, what difference does it make? The “Church can’t save you”.
There are discussions concerning the invisible church, (the church Jesus established was never “invisible”): be a “Bible based church”, (How could a church be anything else, and if it was, what in world would it be good for?): and even a popular concept about the “un-churched”. (Not a scriptural term)
As a minister, I am constantly told I must “adapt the Gospel to the modern mind” which I find not very modern and not much mind. My Bible tells me what I must do is adapt the modern mind to the Gospel!
I know you are a sincere and honest person wanting to please God and serve Jesus. Should we not examine what the BIBLE says about “church”? I’ve searched, dug, studied modern translations, delved into the original languages trying to find “Join the Church of your choice” or “Un-churched” and I can’t find it! Can you? May I Share with you what I found?
The word “church” appears some 115 times. 77 times it is just “church”. 30 plus times it is used in the plural (“churches”) referring to the “church” in a general geographical area. The balance of the references are descriptive phrases showing ownership to God or Christ, thereby honoring the name of it’s creator.
Just start looking at “church” in the Bible and ask yourself several questions.
1] Is “CHURCH” IMPORTANT?
2] Is that body IDENTIFIABLE? And more importantly,
3] Can I BECOME A PART of it? Notice the following scriptures and look them up for yourself.
Is the “CHURCH” REALLY IMPORTANT????
1. Jesus said He would build it: Matt. 16:18.
2. Eph 5:23-29 Says “Christ is it’s head” and it’s “Savior”, that it is “Submissive to Him”, is “Loved by Christ” so much he “Gave Himself for Her”, is called the “Bride of Christ”, being “Fed by Christ”, and “He nourishes and cherishes” it.
3. Col. 1:18, 24 Says The church is the “Body of Christ”………
4. ……….Which he “Bought with own blood”. Acts 20:28
5. Its leaders are admonished to: “Take care of it” I Tim. 3:5
6. As God’s household it is the “Pillar and support of the truth” I Tim. 3:15
7. “Christ’s glory is to be made known in the church”. Eph. 3:21
8. “God’s Wisdom is to be known in the church”. Eph. 3:10
Does that sound important to you?
IS IT IDENTIFIABLE? In the miserable maze of denominational confusion, can I identify Christ’s Church? Can I even find it? Would I know it if I bumped into it?
In Acts chapter 2 for the first time the church is spoken of as “here” instead of “coming”. Acts 2:47 says the “saved” were added to the “church”. Which one? Do you suppose God would add someone to the wrong one? Paul spoke of the church as the “Body of Christ” and noted that there was “One body” (READ Ephesians 4:4) Paul made it very obvious that was the way God intended. (Read 1 Cor. 1:10-13)
If Paul walked into our community today and asked, “Where does the church meet?” Do you suppose he would understand if the answer was: “Which one?” I suspect he would be as upset with us as he was the Corinthians, don’t you?
That church “Continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine” (Acts 2:42) To be HIS church Its name, organization, manner of worship, mission, etc. would all conform to that doctrine. Centuries of tradition and division would melt away if one could simply “do it the way the apostles did”. Throughout history men have changed many things about that simple church.
LOOK AT THE CHURCH OF THE BIBLE
a. Its Establishment: Jerusalem-Acts 2
b. It’s Organization: Elders, Deacons, Evangelists, with local autonomy.
c. Its Manner of Worship: “Spirit and Truth” Jn. 4:24. Sang Eph.5:19, Prayed acts 2:42; Lord’s supper Acts 20:7; Studied word Acts 2:42
d. It’s Mission: Mt. 28:19,20 “Preach the Gospel to the world”
i. “Care for fatherless widows” James. 1:27
ii. “Bear burdens of Members” Gal. 6:2
e. It wears the name of its founder
i. Showing the ownership “of God” “of Christ” “of Firstborn” “of living God”
ii. Never do we see in scripture “to all the denominations in Ephesus.”
f. “Saved are added to it” (Acts 2:47) You Can’t “Join”, Nobody “Votes you in” (or out), and the same thing that saves you adds you to the “Lord’s Church”. Which saved were added? All of them! Therefore if I want to be saved, I need to be added to HIS church.
It’s really not MY CHOICE----IT IS HIS CHOICE! Since 3000 were added to His church the FIRST DAY: May I ask---added to what? Did God add 500 Baptists, 500 Methodists-500 Pentecostals, 500 Catholics, 500 Lutherans, and 500 “Community” members? Logical thinking won’t allow those conclusions. Search the Bible for yourself---see if the church you attend “looks like” the church of the Bible. Want to talk about it? Write or call. By: Jim Kelly, His Servant.