THE BIBLE ANSWERS
Short Questions FROM OUR READERS
There are so many denominations, how does one recognize the
Church Jesus founded?
B. E., Canada
Greek word "ecclesia"
translated "Church" in
English means "the called-out ones"!
On the other hand, in the WORLD the
very first great event Jesus foretold would be a deceptive COUNTERFEIT
said Jesus, "that no man deceive you. For
many shall come IN MY NAME, SAYING I AM CHRIST; and shall deceive many!"
Notice carefully! These deceivers would come in
Christ's name, saying Jesus IS the Christ. They would be
calling themselves "Christian,"
but would in fact be the devil's representatives. It was NOT THE FEW
who were to be deceived by them -- but THE MANY! It was the FEW
who were to become TRUE Christians! (Mat.
That isn't what the world believes, is it? Probably
that isn't what you have always heard, and come to assume.
But it is WHAT JESUS CHRIST SAID!
How deceived this world has become!
Yes, MANY would come in Jesus' name,
proclaiming that Jesus IS the Christ -- preaching about Christ to the world -- yet,
actually DECEIVING THE WORLD! (Mat.
Simply by preaching ABOUT the PERSON
of Christ -- extolling is virtues, worshipping Him, yet DENYING HIS MESSAGE -- the
GOSPEL OF HIS KINGDOM!
What a CLEVER counterfeit! And most
of those preaching in Christ's name are SINCERE -- sincerely WRONG,
It is SATAN who has deceived them!
Satan has deceived the WHOLE WORLD!! (Rev.
12:9) He is the author of this confusion (I
It is SATAN who has made himself the
god of this world (II Cor. 4:4)
-- and is thus worshipped as though he were God! This world DOESN'T
KNOW THE TRUE GOD, strange as that may seem. This world believes that
if one just "accepts Christ"
-- just "makes a decision for Christ"
-- just "worships Christ"
-- that is all that is necessary for salvation!
That's what MANY preach today! But
what did JESUS CHRIST teach? Did He say it was possible to WORSHIP
Him, and STILL BE UNSAVED?
Listen to His words: "In
VAIN do they WORSHIP ME," said Christ, "teaching
for doctrines the commandments of men ... making the word of God of none effect
through your tradition" (Mark 7:7, 13).
Hard to believe, isn't it? You've probably been so
drugged, so poisoned, so deceived, by this world's deceptions -- SATAN'S
COUNTERFEITS -- that even the words of Christ are difficult to
believe! Well, GOD HELP YOU TO BELIEVE CHRIST! It is one
thing to believe ON Christ -- that is, on His person. It is
something altogether different to BELIEVE CHRIST -- to
BELIEVE WHAT HE SAYS!
few really understand what the true Church is.
The Church is called the "body"
of Christ because it is a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM whose LIVING,
ACTIVE HEAD is Jesus Christ, in the same sense that the husband is
head of the wife (Eph. 5:23, 31).
How does one enter this TRUE Church
of God? -- this SPIRITUAL UNION? Notice:
When God's spiritual New Testament Church was first
founded on the Day of Pentecost, Peter gave the answer to this question. "Repent
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
The true Church is the collective body of
individuals, called out from the ways of this present world, who have totally
surrendered themselves to the rule of God, and who, through the Holy Spirit,
become the begotten sons of God (Rom. 8:9).
Jesus purchased THE TRUE CHURCH by shedding His blood for it (Acts 20:28). The TRUE
Church is not some politically organized denomination which one JOINS or becomes a member, of in order
to be "saved." Jesus
did not die for some one religious denomination or another -- called a church.
Joining a local church congregation does not put you
into God's true Church! Any church you can "join"
is NOT God's Church!
You CAN'T JOIN the true Church; only
God can PUT YOU INTO IT BY HIS SPIRIT (I Cor.
12:13). God alone can make you a member of His Church -- if
you surrender your life to Him.
God will give that Spirit only to those who are
willing to "OBEY HIM"!
When YOU receive God's Spirit --
which is the spirit of a sound, sane mind (II
Tim. 1:6-7), you become at that moment a newly begotten member
of the body of Christ -- which is the true Church of God!
The receiving of God's Spirit and the MIND OF
CHRIST (Phil. 2:5) upon
REPENTANCE and BAPTISM PUTS YOU INTO,
baptizes you into God's TRUE Church!
"For by ONE SPIRIT
are we all baptized into ONE BODY to (I Cor. 12:13).
YOU can be part of God's true Church
by earnestly repenting of your sins -- disobedience to GOD'S LAWS
-- by asking God to cover your sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, by
calling on God's true servants to baptize you, and by claiming God's promise
of the gift of His Holy Spirit. In that way, and that way ONLY,
does anyone enter into the true Church.
Church attendance is not the most important thing!
Church attendance does not, by itself, mean CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
in God's sight! Some people view "church
going" as an end in itself. But it most definitely IS
God expressly forbids His people ever to join in with
the worship of counterfeit church bodies -- no matter how "close"
to the truth they might seem! Only the genuine worship of God with His TRUE
Church is acceptable to Him!
You need to thoroughly EXAMINE YOURSELF.
You NEED TO