COME AND SEE
The above statement, “Come and see” (John. ), was made by our Lord in response to a question directed to him by two of John’s disciples. The two accepted the Lord’s invitation to “Come and see” and as a result they left John to follow Jesus!
The Lord added the saved to the church that Christ built. (Acts 2:38-41, 47) There was no other church in existence. The same process of obedience that saved them caused the Lord to add them to His church. (Acts )
Not until hundreds of years later was there a single denomination for one to join! Now there are hundreds of man-made churches but there is no reason to join any of them! Why not be just a Christian? A member of the Lord’s church? (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:47; Romans 16:16; Acts 26:28; I Peter 4:16)
Christ promised to build but one
church, when he said: “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.” (Matthew 16:18) Paul tells us that Christ died for but one church: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also
loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25) The words “the church” mean but one. The pronoun “it” can refer to but one. So Christ loved one church; he died for one
church; he built one church. Therefore
he is the owner of but one church. The
plural form “churches” is never used in the New Testament except in reference
to a number of local congregations in a certain section of the country, as “The churches of Christ salute you.” (Romans 16:16) “The churches of
It was founded
CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE
Christ is the head of it, the sole head. Paul says: “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:22, 23) “And he is the head of the body, the church.” (Colossians 1:18) These passages make it clear that when the New Testament speaks of the body of Christ, reference is not made to his physical but to his spiritual body, which is his church. Observe please: (1) Christ is the head of his church. (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22, 23) (2) All that are in Christ are in his body. (Galatians 3:27; Colossians 3:15) (3) All Christians are in Christ. (Romans 6:3; II Corinthians 5:17) (4) Therefore, all Christians are in Christ’s church. Jesus came into the world to establish one, and only one institution through which to save mankind. (Ephesians 3:10, 11, 21)
TO BE ADDED TO THE
GOSPEL REQUIREMENTS WHICH ARE:
Belief in Christ (Acts ) Repentance of sins (Acts ) Confession of faith in Christ (Acts , 37) and baptism (Acts , 41, 47; Mark. ; Acts ) Peter declared “Baptism doth also now save us.” (I Peter 3:21) We are saved by the blood of Christ which was shed in the death of Christ but no accountable person ever contacts that blood until he is baptized into his death. (Romans 6:3) Salvation is in Christ, (II Timothy ) but one cannot get into Christ except by baptism. (Galatians 3:27)
THE WORSHIP OF THE
The items of worship are:
Teaching (Acts ; II Timothy 2:2); Praying (Acts ); and Giving (I Corinthians 16:1, 2) Giving is an act
of worship that must be done on a certain day of the week. As the original
language clearly states, it was done on the first day of every week. Raffling
contests and other such methods of raising money for the church were not
practiced by the congregations under the direction of inspired men of the first
century, and those who do such things today are not identical with congregations
of the first century. Partaking of the Lord’s supper is another act of worship.
(I Corinthians 11:23-29) Does the
New Testament specify a certain day for the observance of the Lord’s supper?
Yes! The day is clearly pointed out in Acts
20:7. The only day anyone can partake of the Lord’s supper with the Lord’s
approval is the first day of the week! A certain day of a certain month is
never mentioned in connection with it. So it cannot be a yearly service.
Neither is a certain day of the month mentioned. It cannot, therefore, be a
monthly service. Singing is another act of worship (Ephesians ; Hebrews )
We are not just commanded to have music, but rather we are commanded to have a
certain kind of music, that is Singing. In Hebrews
we are told, “In the midst of the church
will I sing praise unto thee.” To add instrumental music to the singing
is to go beyond Christ’s doctrine. (II
John 9-11) Any church that employs mechanical instruments in its worship is
not identical with the New Testament church. But the true
DOES HONESTY MAKE ERROR TRUTH?
Since early childhood I have heard people say that it does not make any difference what we believe, that if we are honest and sincere about it, God will save us anyway. Have you ever made such a statement? Most likely you have heard your preacher say the same thing. If he has, ask him for the verse in the Bible. You may have made this kind of statement because you have heard preachers make it, and naturally you thought it must be so. But if your preacher has been making it, he must have some reason for it since he claims to be following and teaching the Bible. He should make such statements providing the Bible says so. And if the Bible does say so, he will know where to find it. So ask him to give you the book, chapter, and verse.
Notice this scripture from II Thessalonians & 12:
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” This indeed is a very plain statement. It positively says that some would “believe a lie.” Certainly there is a vast difference between believing a lie and believing the truth. The truth is recorded in the word of God. If it is not taught in the word of God, it must be a lie.
Does it make any difference which of these one believes? The general idea is that it does not matter, provided one is sincere. Of course, he could not believe anything unless he is sincere. A person might pretend to believe a thing and be insincere about it. But if he actually believes it, he must be sincere. So the Bible speaks of men who are sincere, for it actually says they will “believe a lie.” But what of their sincerity? Will that atone for their mistake? Will God save them anyway, just because they are honest about it? Is that what the Bible said? No, that is not the way it reads at all.
Observe verse 12 again: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth.” Notice the word “damned.” This means the very opposite of “saved.” Yet we are told that certain men would be damned. But who were to be damned? All those who believed a lie or believed not the truth. It does make quite a difference what a person believes! For if one is to be saved, he must believe the truth. To believe something else will result in damnation—regardless of how sincere a person might be.
In II Timothy 2:5 we read this: “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” When people say it makes no difference what we believe, they often add: “We are all striving for the same place anyway.” And evidently this is true. We are striving to reach heaven at last. But is striving the only thing that is necessary in order to reach that glorious reward? This is all that would be necessary if it makes no difference what we believe.
The Bible continues to tell us that striving alone is not sufficient—that a man may strive and still not be crowned, except he strive law fully. The crowning referred to is the eternal reward in heaven—the crown of glory that fadeth not away. But yet a man may strive and still fail to receive the crown. Why? Because he may not strive lawfully. No person can reach that crown unless he strives lawfully! What does it mean to strive lawfully? It means to strive according to the law of the Lord. So if we strive contrary to that law we will not be crowned, regardless of how sincere we may be.
The law of the Lord is revealed in the New Testament. If we strive to go to heaven by some other way, we are not striving lawfully, and will not reach the destination we desire. These truths in the Bible clearly indicate that it does make a difference what a person believes and practices in religion.
SINNERS—NOT INSTRUCTED TO— “PRAY THROUGH”
With the Bible as our rule of faith and practice, containing as it does, the revelation of God’s will to us, we should be very anxious to do just the things it authorizes. This is especially true since we are saved from our past sins and become Christians only if we obey the truth. (John 8:32; John. 17:17) Also we are to be judged by the word of the Lord. (John 12:48) Where does the Bible say, “that inspired men ever invited alien sinners, to the altar to pray for salvation?”
In Acts 22:16, we read of an alien sinner,
engaged in prayer when the Lord sent a preacher to tell him what to do. Saul,
who had been one of the worst enemies Christianity ever had, became convinced
of the error of his way. He asked the Lord what he would have him to do. (Acts 9:6) Jesus told him to go to
We place value upon a thing by what is paid for it. It is obvious that God places the highest value upon the church since he was willing to give his only begotten Son for it. (John 3:16; Ephesians 5:25) Christ not only loved the church enough to die for it (Ephesians ), but his church is the only institution where the lost can find salvation. (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 5:23)
We are dedicated to the restoration of New Testament Christianity. Won’t you lend your influence to this worthy goal? We are neither Catholic nor Protestant. We are simply Christians. (Acts 26:28; I Peter 4:16) Isn’t this sufficient?
We regard the Bible as the final word. We strive to allow a visitor to be a stranger but once. Please “Come and see” and “Go and tell” others!