Skip to comments.The Church Jesus Built
Posted on 08/12/2006 7:45:47 AM PDT by DouglasKC
Jesus Christ proclaimed, almost 2,000 years ago, "I will build My church." He declared that His Church would never die out, promising that "the gates of Hades [the grave] shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). He assured His disciples that He would guide and preserve His Church until His return, promising them, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
What happened to the Church Jesus built? An eyewitness tells us that, immediately after Christ ascended into heaven after His resurrection, His apostles "went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs" (Mark 16:20). The Church had a powerful beginning.
Millions of people profess Christianity; they claim to be members of the Church Jesus founded. But Christianity is a divided religion, composed of hundreds of denominations and schisms. Through the centuries, most of Christianity's branches have assimilated many nonbiblical traditionsphilosophical, cultural and religiousinto their teachings and practices, spawning even more variations.
How can we account for the explosion of contradictory practices and conflicting factions in the world of Christianity? Is it possible to reconcile competing denominational groups with the standards and objectives Christ established for His Church? Can we know whether Christianity's bewildering variety of customs and teachings faithfully represents those of Jesus Christ?
Remember, Jesus not only promised He would build His Church, but He assured His disciples that His Church would not perish. Is the divided Christianity we see around us that Church? Only the Holy Scriptures can provide a reliable answer to this question.
If Christ's promise that "the gates of Hades shall not prevail" against His Church should be considered a guarantee that those who believe on His name could never be misled or corrupted, then we would have every reason to accept the collective sum of the various divisions of Christianity as the Church that Jesus built.
But He guaranteed no such thing. Instead, He warned His disciples that "false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Mark 13:22, emphasis added throughout). Later the apostle Paul expressed his concern to Christians in his day that their minds could be "corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" by the preaching of "false apostles" (2 Corinthians 11:3, 13).
Jesus spoke even more plainly, explaining that "narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:14-16).
In these pages we examine the fruits Jesus and His apostles said would identify His Church. We look at the contrasting fruits that identify those who are influenced by a different spirit and preach a different gospel. We will learn, not from human tradition or opinion but directly from God's Word, how we can distinguish "the church of the living God" (1 Timothy 3:15) from those who follow "false prophets" in sheep's clothing.
For clarity throughout this booklet, the word Church (with a capital C) refers to the faithful Church that Jesus Christ founded. The word church (with a small c) refers to local groups of believers or other physical organizations. Since church is not capitalized in the Bible translations quoted, all scriptural quotationswhether referring to the Body of Christ or a local congregationuse church with a small c.
|The Church Jesus Built|
|¬||A People Special to God|
|¬||The Historical Background of the Term Church|
|¬||How the Word Church is Used in Greek and English|
|¬||'Church' and 'Congregation' in the Scriptures|
|¬||Biblical Phrases and Terms for God's Special People|
|¬||A Spiritually Transformed People|
|¬||The Apostles: A Case Study in Conversion|
|¬||The Mission and Responsibility of the Church|
|¬||What is the True Gospel?|
|¬||Is Today the Only Day of Salvation?|
|¬||The Rise of a Counterfeit Christianity|
|¬||Changes in Christian Scholars' Perspective on God's Law|
|¬||Early Trends That Affected the Future of the Church|
|¬||The Church of God Today|
|¬||What Did the Early Church Believe and Practice?|
As Jesus said to the first pope, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." (Matthew 16:18)
Peter was later martyred on the spot where the obelisk stands today.
Though there have been schisms... And, schisms of schisms... And, schisms of those schisms, the gates of Hades have not, and never will overcome it
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Excellent post. Thanks for the ping!
Thank you Barnacle!
And thanks to DouglasKC for the original posting.
That is why He appointed a shepherd to guide His flock. Thanks for the ping!
Quite interesting how they make you dig through this book to find out just what is (in thier opinion) the "The Church Jesus Built".
I'm glad you got something out of it. :-)
But clearly what Christ meant was that the gates of hell (the grave) cannot prevail against God's church because the members of God's church are destined for eternal life.
There is no biblical evidence that suggests that Peter was ever in Rome, much less died there or ever became Pope. But I do understand that is the tradition you believe in.
Very good article. I know I waste my breath, but the Church is not a building, it is the body of Christ, each believer, and God knows who are His own.
With its pagan Obelisk standing right in the center.
Peter was later martyred on the spot where the obelisk stands today.
Peter was never in Rome......in fact was told not to go there Matthew 10:5-6. I can't think of a more Gentile first century location.....and there were not any "Lost Sheep" in and around Rome at the time. If you remember, it was Paul who was appointed to the gentiles.
Like Douglas says....the Gates of Hades not prevailing means that death will not prevail over Christians. It is not talking about an Organization, a Building or a Theology. He is referring to "Called Out Ones" (Ekklesia)....here rendered "Assembly". Your interpretation is lacking.
See post #11 for correct interpretation.
See Sandy....here is always the problem. I cite you scripture that specifically tells the Apostles not to go there (Matthew 10:5-6) and you come back with, "The Early Church Fathers testify to that." Can you accept the fact that "they" may have been wrong, and what Jesus told the Apostles is correct? Don't you think scripture would show Peter there....if he had been. As important as this is to you folks I still find it incredible that you cling to this false tradition without scriptural verification.
This is why it is real hard to debate you folks....you always let your tradition trump scripture.
The ice cream sounds good....but I'm having a pipe right now...."Black Walnut"!
At some point God did tell Peter to preach among the Gentiles, so your agrument doesn't work.
1Ki 18:21 And Elijah came to all the people and said, How long are you limping over two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.
Isn't the Church Christ's Bride? Shouldn't she be chaste? Or will she continue to be a harlot with her spiritual adulteries?
Peter wasn't told to do it, Paul was chosen Acts 9:11-16. Peter never set foot in Rome in the scriptures and everything you read about him indicates he was far from there.
The scripture you quote is the last time we hear of Peter in the book of Acts and everything about him thereafter in the scriptures point to him being in Babylon and that's exactly where many of the "Lost Sheep" were. This is about the fourteenth paragraph down...."At the beginning of the present era there were many conversions to Judaism all over the Middle East. In about 40 CE, in northern Iraq, the Royal Family and many of the people of Adiabene became Jews. It is estimated that there may have been as many as one million Jews around Babylonia at that time."
Jesus told the Apostles, "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the Lost Sheep of Israel" [Matthew 10:5-6].
Because you say it's false doesn't make it so.
What I say is that you allow your false tradition to trump this above scripture. Rome was Gentile!
Because the Early Church Fathers said something does not make it true! When their pronouncements directly contradict established scripture, I'll go with scripture! I understand you folks don't do that. You will inevitably go with your tradition....ignoring established scripture.
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