13 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 16:13-17)
Before Jesus went to the cross he told Peter that he was going to build his church and nothing would prevail against it, nothing would ever change it, and Peter would be the one to unlock, or open, his church and proclaim the conditions for entering it.
Jesus also told the 12 to expect another Comforter after his death and what to expect from Him. He would teach them ALL truth and remind them of Jesus teaching...
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13)
But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. (Matthew 10:19-20)
After Jesus rose from the dead and just before he ascends back into heaven he tells his Apostles two important things...
15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)
49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49)
In Acts 2 we read of the Holy Spirit miraculously coming upon the 12 Apostles when Jews from every nation were in Jerusalem celebrating Shavuot, or Pentecost, the spring harvest festival of the Israelites and giving them the power to speak in the different languages of the festival participants which amazed them all. Some even accused the Apostles of being drunk.
Peter then stands up and begins the first gospel sermon. He tells them that what they are witnessing is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy concerning the Messiah they and their ancestors had waited for for many years. Peter tells them the Messiah, the Chirst, they and their ancestors hoped for had come and they had murdered him...
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?"
They believed Peter and were cut to the heart and in desperation they asked the Apostles for the remedy and Peter replied..
38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
And here we come back to Mark 16:15-16, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved;" They heard the gospel, they believed the gospel, they wanted to know how to respond and when Peter told them to be baptized for the "remission of sins," thousands obeyed. And in verse 47 we read...
47 And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 47b)
Somewhere between Matthew 16 where Jesus tells Peter he would build his church and Peter would have the "keys" and Acts 2 where the saved were being added to by the Lord the church Jesus promised had obviously came into existence. On the Day of Pentecost Peter used the "keys" to open the church, belief and baptism, which brought the saved into the church.
And that same exact church still exists some 2,000 years later exactly like it did on the Day of Pentecost. It is still in existence today and will always be in existence in eternity exactly as it was then.
How is that possible?
It's possible on earth because as those in the church pass away, new believers, the new saved, are constantly being added and the passed from this life members live in eternity. The Bible church is a living organization.
What brings out this unending, unchanging existence and unity?
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)
The apostles' doctrine was the doctrine delivered to them by the Comforter Jesus promised in John 16:13 who would guide them into ALL truth. They continued unwavering in the truth delivered from God.
Unfortunately there are countless churches who bear little resemblance to the original church. The Apostle Paul issues a warning to his young fellow co-worker in 2nd Timothy 4...
1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2nd Timothy 1-4)
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (2nd John 1:9)
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him MUST worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)
ANY person or organization who goes outside the doctrine, or teaching, of Christ DOES NOT have God.
When you look at all of the religious bodies in existence today teaching all sorts of doctrines many of which are in direct contradiction with each other the question arises, how can we tell which one is the Biblical one?
One way we can determine whether or not a church is the church of the Bible is to examine the church of the Bible and compare those in existence to the church found the Bible.
We can go back to the very first commandment Jesus gave to his apostles after he rose from the dead in Mark 16:15-16. He tells them to preach the gospel wherever they may go and baptize those who believe and the obedient believers will be saved. Baptism, obedience, follows belief. EVERY New Testament example of salvation includes baptism for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, etc.,)
If anyone or a church teaches Mark 16:15-16, a teaching, a doctrine, of Christ, does not mean what it says they are transgressing and do not have God. Therefore they are not the church of the Bible. (2nd John 1:9)
Another way of determining whether or not a church is the Bible church is to look at its establishment date. If it was not established in AD 33 it is not the Bible church.
And another way to determine if a church is a Bible church or not is whether or not it is based on the teaching of or named after some earthy man or woman such as Martin Luther, Smith, John Calvin, Wesley, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen G. White, Charles Russell, etc. If a church teaches commandments and ordinances of men it is no longer a Bible church.
And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' " (Matthew 15:9)
We invite you to leave the built too late churches founded by men and explore the church of the Bible Christ built nearly 2,000 years ago.
It still exists today.
If we can be of assitance finding where the Bible church meets near you email or call 706 816-7190.
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For Further Information Contact Marv Walker 706 816-7190
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