OceanSide church of Christ
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THE “TRUE CHURCH” NEVER CROSSES THEIR MINDS
Victor M. Eskew
It is Sunday morning. The household is bustling about, trying to be ready on time. The call comes forth: “Load up!” Everyone scurries out the door and piles into the minivan. Everyone is ready for the weekly gathering of the church. There is anticipation of singing, prayer, and a message from God’s Word by all.
These trips are made by many to many different types of churches. Some will go to the Catholic Church. Others will make their stop at the Baptist Church. Still others will park across the street at the Methodist Church. Most believe that “which church” one attends is not important. The important thing is that one attends church.
Most people are proud of the church they attend. They will gladly tell you where they are members. Many have a heritage in their church. Their mom and dad are members there. Perhaps, their heritage goes back to their grandparents or great grandparents. These individuals love their fellowship. They are deeply sincere about their belief. They labor, sacrifice, and give to their church.
The majority of people who attend church services, however, have never stopped to consider the concept of the “true church.” They have never seriously contemplated the definition of the church. They have never reflected upon the importance of the church. In this article, we want to talk about the true church that never crosses the minds of many religious people.
When we refer to the “true” church, we have reference to the church that is real, genuine, and authentic. It is the church which is God-ordained. It is the church that was planned and established by Deity. It is the church that we read about in the Bible.
One question this writer likes to ask others is: “Did a church exist in the first century?” Another way of asking the question is: “Did Peter, James, and John, and the disciples of the first century belong to a church?” Still another way to ask the question is: “Do we read of a church in the Bible?” Most will answer, “Yes,” to one or all of these questions. This church, dear readers, was the true, genuine, authentic church. A follow-up question is: “Which church was the church of the first century?” To which church did the disciples of Christ belong? We know a church existed. Which church was it? Remember, this was the true church.
As we read through the New Testament, we learn much about the first century church. What we learn shows how important this church was and is. Let’s look at some of the statements found in the Bible about the church that existed about two thousand years ago.
The church was in the eternal plan of God and manifests His wisdom.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph. 3:10-11).
The church was purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
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 church was built by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
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 (Matt. 16:18).
Jesus is the head and Savior of the church.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body (Eph. 5:23).
The saved were added by the Lord to the church.
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (Acts 2:47).
Christ loves the church and will return for it one day.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:25-27).
Paul referred to several local congregations as “the churches of Christ.”
Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
This list of important statements about the church is not exhaustive. These points, however, should be sufficient enough to show the importance of the true church. These concepts are not understood by most “church-going” people. They certainly are not taught from the pulpit in most churches. For this cause, most are satisfied with attending the church of their choice rather than seeking the true church.
We encourage our readers to read over the statements and verses presented above many times. There was a church that existed in the first century. It was of extreme importance. The Lord shed His blood for it. The saved were added to it. The Lord will return for it. The only question that should be asked by the masses today is: “Does that church still exist today?” My friend, we believe that it does!!!