the church of Christ in and of the New Testament
the churches of Christ Salute You Romans 16:16
ALL ABOUT YOU!
One thing you can be sure of
Should some individual or group come along and proclaim the earth will end on such and such a day and hour, you can rest assured it will not happen 'that' day and hour. The end of the world will not happen in a vacuum. When it happens, it will 'go down' within the whole spectacular specter of a universal meltdown. It won't be an accident and there's nothing we can or will be able to do about it, now or then. It is God the Father's will and timing. We have been warned. The end will also coincide with the second coming of Christ. When Christ does come, He will be coming back for the one and only church that He built.
Yo, how serious is that?
THE BIBLE READS:
NOW CONCERNING THAT DAY AND HOUR NO ONE KNOWS
—NEITHER THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN NOR THE SON
—EXCEPT THE FATHER ONLY.
Does it get any simpler than that? Amazing what happens when one let's scripture interpret scripture. Which doesn't happen near enough by the way. Most sit in their respective pews wherever and whenever that may be and blindly follow the blind. The majority swallow whatever pablum is spooned their way oblivious to the fact that whatever is being fed is anything but 'The Way', never mind 'The Truth and the Life'.
So, there you have it.
HOME AT LAST
Notice how Jesus uses the words 'church' and 'kingdom' interchangeably in verses 18 and 19. What does that suggest to you? What is the implication of Him saying "I will build My church? Does the concept of singularity come to mind? As in, Jesus will build 'one' church, His, and His only.
THE HEADLINE READS:
THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR... AGAIN!
... endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:3-6, NKJV
THE LORD'S DAY
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head ofthe body, the church... Colossians 1:16-18, NKJV
By the Way. You do not 'join' the church whom Jesus built. (Yes, I do mean 'whom')
36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
38 Then Peter said to them,
1)38 Repent (Turn away from-Greek 'metanoeo'-to think differently, reconsider morally, feel compunction)
*compunction: a feeling of guilt or moral scruple that prevents or follows the doing of something bad
Acts 2:36-37, 'this Jesus whom you crucified... they were pierced to the heart... what shall we do?'
2) 38 And let every one of you be baptized (Greek- baptidzo - 'immersed/buried') (Romans 6:3-6; Acts 8:38-39)
3) 38 In the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:11-12) 'Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under
heaven given among men by which we must be saved'
4) 38 For (Greek - eis- 'for') the remission (Forgiveness) of sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-22)
5) 38 And you shall receive the gift (Indwelling) of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 8:26-27)
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized (immersed); and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people...
6) 47 And the Lord added to the church (Romans 16:16, 'the churches of Christ salute you') daily,
those who were being saved.
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
26 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matthew 16:24-27 NKJV
YOUR PLACE TOO!
Jesus built 'one' church, Matthew 16:18-19
The church and kingdom are one and the same, Matthew 16:18-19
There is only 'one' body Ephesians 4:4
The body (believers) with Jesus as the head, is the church, Colossians 1:18
Significantly, Jesus is coming back for His kingdom the church and His only, that He built, 1 Corinthians 15:24
Question is, are you in it or are you out?
There's no sitting on 'the fence'.
There's no next 'best thing' to being there.
Nobody else in all humanity can do it for you or to you.
Does any other scripture back up this 'one' church mandate?
(mandate: an official order or commission to do something)
What is this 'one' body referred to here?
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
36 "Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son—except the Father only.
37 As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 38 For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. 39 They didn't know until the flood came and swept them all away. So, this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be:
40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left.
42 Therefore be alert, since you don't know what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into.
44 This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
GET IN TOUCH
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31 NKJV
Most would say, 'Good Luck!
However, truth be known, luck (good or bad) has nothing to do with where you spend eternity. Everybody including atheists go to 'eternity'. As eternity is forever plus one, it's 'where' in the 'plus one' that ought to concern you. Speaking of the 'end', 'what' has everything to do with where you spend your 'forever', is the choice you make and the action you take, in the here and now for the hereafter. And as for the church, your new ark of salvation, well that's where you're supposed to come in out of the rain- or not. You will not be able 'to swim for it' and good luck trying to 'tread it'.
Now, it doesn't mean one shouldn't be concerned about an asteroid or the like hitting the earth. It's happened before. When God destroys the earth from an astrological perspective it could again be hit by something from space though it will be a total wipe out not just a dinosaur thingy. Lord knows we should be as interested in our own demise as we are with Dino the dinosaur. Just how God does it will be a comparatively miniscule event within the scope of a much larger universal event to the nth degree. God will use an even larger or the largest of events to cataclysmically 'melt' down the heavens. We do know generally what will happen and are I suppose, at liberty to try and imagine the rest. Yet, we certainly won't be in a position to understand just how such will all occur then any more than we are now, beyond 'educated' guesswork anyway. As it is with studying the last major catastrophic hit. Still boils down to the more we learn the less we know. Some of the ensuing discoveries, like most, will raise more questions than answers.
In any event, shouldn't we be less concerned about the 'materialistic' here today gone tomorrow drama which is inevitable according to God's Word and more focused about the spiritual matters which will not suddenly 'be no more'? Even the breath of life which God breathed into Adam to make him a living being, returns to God who gave it, as the body returns to the 'dust' from whence it came. However, your soul is something else. It is the essence, the very being of you, your identity, who you are and 'it' being you, is eternal. So, when all the preons, electrons, quarks, leptons, protons, neutrons, atoms and dare I say it, the Higgs Bosons (nicknamed 'god particle') and it's 5 different types, making up all that is material and physical cease to exist- are gone- doesn't it make perfect sense to consider that part of you which was 'made in the image of God' and originally destined not only for eternity but indeed, where you spend eternity? Remember, God is Spirit. We must come to grips with the fact we were made in the image of Who He is, not what He isn't. Lose sight of that and there is no vision for the best of what the future should hold. Swapping long-term for short-term is not a good deal.
Walk by faith not by sight or walk at your own peril. To wittingly or unwittingly spend your precious but limited time and energy on things, including your own physical mortality, that will no longer even exist down the road, be it a long or short trip, is a waste of non-renewable resources. Well, it's said that nobody lives forever. Yes and no. Physically, yes. Today, your feet walk on top of the ground. Tomorrow, they may very well be under it. Nowhere to go but down. Spiritually, your soul moves on. And that my friend, means 'you'. A read of Luke 16:19-31 will enlighten your perspective on moving on.
Now for a little 'light' reading on what the human mind cannot even imagine. That includes you Hollywood.
In fact, in brief
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. NKJV (New King James Version)
In more detail, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written:
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. NKJV (New King James Version)
10 For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. NKJV
Speaking of you, who do you say Christ is?
Lastly but importantly, Matthew 16:13-19, also makes it clear that Peter was not the first pope. In fact, the bible has never authorized a papal position whatsoever. Neither will you find any such church as the Catholic church, in the New Testament. Any why would you? The Catholic church had its beginnings in the third century on the heels of the Roman Emperor Constantine 325AD. Jesus built His church in 33AD. Catholic historical revisionists have over time attempted to retrofit 'their church' to 33AD. Even by falsely claiming Peter was the first Pope, an absurdity easily refuted by scripture, linguistics and logic. Revisions upon revisions all the more so as the bible became available and popular among the general population. After centuries of persecution against those trying to bring scripture to the light of day and make it available to one and all, the invention of the Gutenberg Printing Press made keeping the general population in a perpetual state of ignorance and the bible under wraps an impossibility.
Have you ever wondered why the New Testament never breathes a word about the Catholic Church, any other denominations or follower's names like Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, United, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Mennonites, Lutherans, Baptists or whomever?
Very simple... none of those man-made organizations existed at the time of the biblical writings
A fact that can be easily verified historically. Christ built His one and only church in AD 33 and Christ's followers were and are called even today, Christians. His church is 'the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). God adds to His church those who are saved as described in Acts 2:36-47. The New Testament is His one and only doctrine and once for all delivered (Jude 3). Faith comes only from the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and whatever is not of Faith is sin (Romans 14:23b).
I challenge anyone to prove, by the bible, otherwise
325 CE: The First Council of Nicaea converged by Roman Emperor Constantine I. The Council attempted to structure church leadership around a model similar to that of the Roman system, and also formalized key articles of faith. Constantine legalized his version of Christianity and shall we say, 'Let the perversions begin'. Shall we also say, read Galatians 1:1-9 to set the record straight.
Forewarned is forearmed
Nor does the New Testament sanctify a separate clergy of priests in the one and only church that Jesus built. But these topics will be left to other Scriptorials.
2 Peter 3:10-13
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:13-19, NKJV
AT YOUR SERVICE
21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:21-26; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:18, NKJV