Churchgoing is a man-made, not God-ordained, exercise. That is, any church that you can see with your physical eyes is man-made. This is true no matter how big it is or how small it is. This is true no matter if it has a building or simply meets in homes. This is true whether you live in it as a commune or only attend online occasionally. To the degree that any man-made church declares the word of God or helps the poor, it does well. However, their activities are never restricted to these, and they always want you to affiliate with them. That is, they want you to keep coming. If you know what’s good for you, don’t.
By contrast, there is a true church in the world today. One true church. Its pastor is the Lord Jesus Christ – our Creator and our God. He is the pastor you cannot see, but can certainly know.
You do not “attend” the one true church. Rather you become a part of it…and thus never leave it. How do you do this? Acknowledge God in every physical realm. That is, you act on what even children know to be true: God is everywhere.
Next, you must repent of your sins and begin to order your thought life in the sight of God – seeking His approval in all that you think, say, and do.
As long as you live this way, the Lord Jesus will keep you in His church. If you return to ignoring Him (as the majority of the world continually does), you will find yourself outside once again. Nevertheless, if you repent, He will take you back. Live a life of repentance and you will not have to leave the garden of His presence.
The word “church” in our English Bibles is a translation of the Greek word “ekklesia.” In biblical times, an ekklesia was an assembly, gathering, or congregation (and not always a religious one). This usage stemmed from the roots of ekklesia which were “ek” (meaning “from” or “out of”) and “klesia” (meaning “called”). Therefore, an ekklesia is a group of people who have been “called out.”
The one true church is the Lord’s “called-out” group. It is the flock of sheep who hear the true Shepherd’s voice. They don’t assemble to each other; they assemble to Him. They don’t even have to know each other’s identities; they only need to know His. The Lord knows those who are His. In other words, the Lord knows the membership roll of His own church.
The one true church is the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God (also called the kingdom of heaven, or even just the kingdom) was the signature theme of Jesus’ teaching in the gospels, and the church we read about in the New Testament was preparing for it. That kingdom came in precisely the time frame Jesus said it would – sometime late in the 1st Century A.D. It has been in the earth ever since, and it will never end.
If you are in the one true church, you won’t look down your nose at others. In fact, you will consider yourself the least in His kingdom, for this is the example He Himself set for us. You will love every human being. You will be generous with the poor, you will be kind to the weak. You will bear witness to the Lord, even if it means persecution – because you know He can help every person.
Since you will be constantly looking for the Lord’s approval, you won’t worry about what human beings are approving of you. You certainly won’t make distinctions in your mind like “this person is in the Lord’s true church but that person isn’t.” You know that the Lord keeps up with the rolls of His own church and He needs no help from us in that regard. Every person is judged by the Lord according to his or her ability; we have no business trying to make such judgments. If we see someone sin, and we have opportunity to restore them, we surely should. But we should be sure the log is out of our own eye before we try removing a speck from someone else’s eye. Our focus should be on our own service to the Lord. Nevertheless, when we are in the kingdom of God we are part of something – we are not alone.
Being in the one true church does not guarantee you entrance into heaven when you die, for everyone is going to heaven. What it does guarantee you is the privilege of serving your Lord and loving your fellow man. Those who walk in the constant light of the Lord Jesus (that is, those who are in the one true church) are the servants of all.
Remember: the one true church is not something you attend – it is something of which you are constantly a part.
Here are some related posts:
And to give a broader context to all these posts, here is an Introduction-Overview to the entire blog.
Bible notes on this post.
The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything else – but Him.