Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A church that believes the promises of Christ

Remember the gospel—Jesus the Christ won everlasting life for all who believe in him. This is the gospel, the Good News of Jesus. Those who preach to the contrary are condemned (Galatians 1:8-9)

Whatever the pope’s intentions in recently mentioning that he would make it easy for Anglicans to become Roman Catholics, please let this former Roman Catholic attempt to dissuade you (Anglicans), if you should need some dissuading. I address this particularly to those Anglicans who have avoided allowing women priests into their fold, but I would be glad for others to consider my simple words as well.

I am often told that I will never find the perfect church because many assume that’s what I must be looking for since I am so dissatisfied with what passes for “church” in our time. However, I have often replied that I seek only a church with one real doctrine—and that’s the doctrine which insists that all the promises of Christ are true.

Promises such as “he who believes in me has everlasting life.” Promises such as “this is my body, given for you.” Promises such as, “…and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Promises such as, “I go to prepare a place for you..."

That means that such a church would preach the true gospel based on Christ’s promises that:
“…he who believes in me has everlasting life.” (John 6:47) and

“…he who hears my word and believes in him that sent me, has everlasting life and shall not come to condemnation; but is passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) and

“My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me: And I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

"I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2)

"I will come again and take you to me, so that where I am you may be also." (John 14:3)
This is the Gospel or good news of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God and those who believe it are so glad that Christ alone has won heaven for them that they want to do something for him. They want to obey him. They don’t often do a good job of that, but they try.

Instead of “obedience” a better way to put it is they just want to say “thank you” to Jesus with their lives. Again, they often fail miserably at this “thank you” business—this business of loving God and their neighbor--this business of obediance.Yet, as often as they fail, they also confess and ask his forgiveness and remind themselves that it is Christ that they trust for their salvation and not themselves. Yes, they trust that Christ has won heaven for them, something they know they could never do.

Again, they remember Jesus’ promise that he has chosen them and that their ability to believe in him is a sure sign to them that he has given them the gift of faith. "For it is by grace that you are saved through faith; not of your doing, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Another promise that Jesus makes is to be with them always and to give them his body and blood. That’s what he promised and that’s what we should believe. "For my body truly is the food, and my blood truly is the drink. He who eats my body and drinks my blood will abide with me, and I with him." (John 6:55)

Read that last line again. Jesus promises us his body and blood and that when we, as believers, partake...we abide with and in him.

"Therefore whosoever shall eat of the Lord's bread and drink of his cup unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." (Corinthians 11: 27)

What church preaches this gospel? What church believes all the Lord's promises? BibleCatholics will. --Bro. Jim