God's Work His Way
|Topic: Separation||Type: Article||Author: A. Allison Lewis|
THE CHURCH OF YOUR CHOICEJoin the church of your choice? Since the establishment of the church in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost many churches have departed from the teachings of Christ and the Bible. This fulfills the prophecy of the New Testament. For example Paul wrote: Then shall that wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who perish because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 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 . . . . Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle [2TH 2:8-15].
God's servants throughout church history have tried in vain to lead their churches back to the truth. Some of these reformers were put to death for their faith. Their efforts led, eventually, to the formation of new churches separated from the former apostate churches. Throughout history this process has repeated itself time and time again giving us, today, a multitude of different churches claiming to be Christian. In the modern world we have the popular expression, "Join the church of your choice."
Christians throughout the world in this twentieth century, as their brethren have done in centuries past, continue to plead for a return to the Bible and historic Christianity. We call for a return to the Word of Godthe Bibleas the only rule of faith and practice. We call for the recognition of the churches patterned after the New Testament as the churches of Christ's choice.The unity of God's people is to be achieved not by compromise and toleration of infidelity in religious dress. The unity popularly called for today is a unity of God's people with the Devil's people. Unity of God's people can be found only through a return to obedience to the Word of God. The teaching of the churches of Jesus Christ is to be determined not by the traditions and philosophies of men, but by the Word of God. Every individual, not only has the right but the responsibility to study the Scriptures and to follow them to the exclusion of all other religious guides [2TI 2:15-19; 3:16, 17]. If Jesus Christ is your Savior, be sure you make the church of your choice a church which believes and practices the teaching of the Bible. Be sure it is separated from all forms of unbelief whether it be idolatry, modernism, ecumenicalism, the charismatic movement or the cults. The Bible plainly says: What part has he who believes with an infidel? Wherefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord [2CO 6:15, 17].
Many in our generation call for Christian unity? Do these calls measure up to the standard required by the New Testament? We live in a day when the religious world is crying out for "Christian Unity". There is only one problem with this call and that is that most of those making the call are not Christians. We do not mean they are not religious. We do not question their sincerity. We simply mean that according to the Bible's definition of Christian that they do not qualify. These people are welcome to their religious unity, but they have no right to call it Christian.What is a Christian? To find out what a Christian is, any reasonable man must admit, that the only authorative source of information on the question is the first century Nazarene called Jesus, born of Mary in the little village of Bethlehem, and His immediate followers. It was this Jesus Who was called Christ and His followers were called Christians [ACT 11:26]. We find the life of Jesus Christ in what are known as the Gospels. We find the teachings of Christ as given by His followers in the book of Acts, the letters of Paul, James, Peter, John, and Jude, and the book of Revelation. The first question of course is are these writings what they claim to be, are they honest, are they accurate? We believe that the facts do prove that they are what they claim to be. We write from the position that the New Testament is what it claims to be, that the writers were honest, that what they wrote is accurate, and that the manuscripts in our possession today are reliable copies of those original writings.
There are two observable tests to determine whether one is a Christian or not. One is what one professes to believe. The second is one's conduct. Both of these must be viewed in the light of the teaching of the New Testament.
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This Page Last Updated: 03/15/99 A. Allison Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org