WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?


Our Lord Christ Jesus came into the world to do the works of Him that sent Him. He said [John 17.4], "I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."

Before Jesus left for Heaven to sit at the right hand of the father [Acts 2.33], He thought of the future of His followers. Sensing the danger of being divided, He prayed that "all may be one."

Not too long after His Ascension, the church was established in Jerusalem. (Acts 2.) Soon the disciples went everywhere preaching the gospel as ordained by Christ. (Acts 1.8.) In all these places, the churches of Christ were established. (Romans 16.16.) It was just one church. All the apostles and others were members of this one church. No one at that time belonged to another denomination, for there was no other church at that time save the Lord's--the church of Christ.

All those who were converted were called Christians as they belonged to the Lord's church. None of the converts was told to join the church of his choice or the religion of his parents.

At one time, some of the Christians desired another "sect." Some wanted to follow Paul or Apollos or Cephas. But Paul pointed to the prayer of Jesus that all the followers of Jesus be one and condemned that desire and sinful way of thinking. (1 Corinthians 1.12-13.)

From the foregoing, we can see the following:

  1. The church belonging to Christ Jesus began in Jerusalem, in the days of the Apostles. (Acts 2.)
  2. The Lord prayed that His followers be one and He had one church.
  3. It was that one church that the then living apostles and the early Christians were members of.
  4. The apostles did not allow division during their time in accordance with the word of the founder. (John 17.20-21.)
  5. The members of the church of Christ are the only Christians. Being out of that church is being out of Christianity. If not, Paul would not have condemned their belonging to another sect.
Some of the Jews who became Christians taught their fellow Christians to observe the Old Testament law like circumcision and other commandments which are not in force today. But Christians are those who follow Christ and not Moses. Christ's laws are found only in the New Testament. So those who keep the Sabbath and observe other Old Testament laws today are people who are neither Jews nor Christians. Of such people, Paul said, in Galatians 3.1-3, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?"

Again we have many Christian groups which are Christian in words but are ahead of God by doing their own thing in service to God as (a) Voting on a person before baptism (they are perfect to tell who should be baptized), (b) Praying to Mary instead of through Christ (John 16.23-24, 26), (c) Having women preachers and allowing women to lead in worship (1 Timothy 2.11-14), (d) Observing days as Ash Wednesday, Easter, Christmas whereas even the Bible is afraid to record, (e) Use instruments in worship instead of singing (Hebrews 13.15), (f) Taxing members instead of free-will offering. (2 Corinthians 9.7.)

Now, who are you my friend? If you are a "Christian" but try to keep the law of old, you are running behind God, if you are also doing many things that are not found in the Bible, you are running ahead of God. Because the apostles were true Christians, they did not observe the old law nor did they do any of the items religious men have added into the worship of God today.

Be a Christian only by doing what the Bible says. Contact the Church of Christ nearest you.