Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
We read "The Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved" in the 1st century. (Acts 2:47). New believers are usually advised in follow-up talks to attend a "spiritual" Church. How to identify a true "spiritual" Church? Churches can be broadly divided as True Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal. The main difference is on how one understands the experience of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is wrong to say that the Pentecostal Churches are all "spiritual" and others are not. In the Biblical sense, the word "spiritual" is the opposite of "carnal" or "natural." Hence a spiritual Church would mean a Church without carnality. It is not the style of worship, the form of government, the mode of baptism or the method of breadbreaking that decides whether or not a Church is "spiritual." The deciding factor is its character as a group and the lifestyle of its members. In spite of the fact that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit were in operation in the Corinthian Church (1 Cor 1:7; 14:12a), Paul calls it a "carnal" Church (1 Cor 3:1-3). If we honestly analyse today's situation, there is always a mixture of spirituality and carnality. The percentage, of course, varies! After rebirth one should choose a local Church where he can "grow" into maturity. Some of the characteristics expected of a spiritual Church— 1. It should believe the Bible as the Word of God. It must provide solid Bible teaching which helps believers to grow steady and strong. 2. Worship should be rich in the "truth" content and enthusiastic in "spirit" (Jn 4:23,24). 3. There must be a healthy relationship among the members of the Church. Upholding one another and sharing material blessings with the needy must be practised in the Church (Js 2:14-17). 4. It must be a Church where leadership is not vested on one man but responsibilities are shared. 5. The Church must keep missions and evangelism as its top priority. The Church must not be a clutch. Members should have the freedom to associate themselves with evangelistic agencies and involve themselves in any ministry of their choice. Since no single Church has all these characteristics, do visit other Churches for enlarging your vision and expanding your knowledge. Don't expect too much and get disappointed. If disappointed, don't get discouraged!
I believe there are true believers in almost every denomination. But I also believe that almost every church is in some way in apostasy. Many hold to the true doctrines of salvation by grace thru faith alone, but raise doubtful things to the level of thus saith the Lord. There is much to be learned by studying how Jesus dealt with the Pharisees. There is an old saying that if you go far enough to the right you will end up left. I believe it is true. Many are in bondage over extra biblical rules, or worse, believing that these things are what saves them and instead of following Christ they are led to hell. Then, there are other churches that have become so liberal that almost anything goes. They have no hard and fast rules from the word of God at all. Everything is questionable to them. This is why I believe we are in the last days. We just cannot keep between legalism and liberalism. The bible is still the standard for righteousness. But without the Holy Spirit to guide us we cannot understand it. To many are trusting in themselves to save them selves thru good works. Many live highly moral lives, but there is no fruit of the spirit. They believe they can actually live without sin if they just obey all of the laws, and they believe that law keeping is what saves them. Legalizers will always love laws and rules because it feeds there spiritual pride. Self-righteousness is just as bad as unrighteousness. Jesus told the Pharisees that there would be prostitutes in heaven before them. The traditions and doctrines of men have replaced the gospel. Paul said we are saved without works lest any man should boast. I see a lot of boasting and it is not in the Cross. Our good works are what we do because of what Jesus has already done for us that are saved by his grace alone. I hope I am wrong, but the more I study the bible the more I see these things in the organized church. J Vernon Mcgee once said that he believed in the last days the the true church would be gathering in homes again like they did in Acts. I think he may be right just because the government is going to make it unlawful to preach some things. There are already lawsuits over such things as preaching on homosexuality. We do need to preach the truth in love, but we cannot ignore the truth either. Just my two cents. May God be true and every man a liar.
There is only one faith and one true church of Christ - the church which is His body. (Eph 1:22-23; 4:4-6) "you (true believers in Jesus Christ) also, as living stones, are being built up a SPIRITUAL HOUSE (not physical), a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices (not imposed ordinances of man made religions or the Jewish law system) acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Pet 2:5) But where shall we go "to church", is the usual question when faced with this plain truths. In the first place, believers are the church, "an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Eph 2:21, 22). The Bible word "church" means, "a called-out assembly of people". "Where two or three are gathered together IN MY NAME (Jesus Christ, not some denomination) there am I in the midst of them", said our Lord (Mat 18:20). The Christian household is a small assembly. "The church which is in Nymphas' house", we read in Col. 4:15. The first mention of public buildings for worship is found in Tertullian's 3rd century writings. Meetings need not be advertised by a name but simply as to location. In God's Word believers are called, "Christians", "brethren", "saints", "the church", "the church of God" or, "churches of Christ" (in a large area, for example, "of Galatia"). Other descriptions are, "church which is His body", "the body of Christ", "the house of God", "the household of God", "the family of God". Do you not see how using any one of these descriptions distinctively apart from the others as a banner before an ignorant world is but confusion and ungodly division? The only name in scripture for the one true church is Christ. Paul states that those who divide themselves apart under party names are CARNAL walking as mere men, not children of God. (1 Cor 1:10-13) Spiritual, obedient Christians acknowledge as did Abraham, that they are in themselves "but dust and ashes". They see that not in the description of God's people, or by invented names, must they carry on, but only in "The Name that is above every name", the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, or Head (Phil 2:9; Col 1:18; 3:17). Martin Luther is known to have said, "Do not call yourselves 'Lutherans'. Who is Luther but miserable dust and ashes. Let us call ourselves 'Christians', after Him from whom our doctrine comes" — yes, and our salvation. Thus, do all in Christ's name simply as a Christian only. Truly, in God's family we can say, "The lines (allotments) are fallen to me in pleasant places, yea I have a goodly heritage" (Psa 16:6). First of all we have in common our Father's Word, the Bible, giving us instructions for walk and worship in this present dispensation and wherein things are written of His people "aforetime, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Rom 15:4). The Bible is a "family album", with a roster of heroes of faith (Heb 11). It contains "exceeding great and precious promises" and tells of a coming great family re-union above and of a glorious future in eternity, with our Father's angels being servants as "ministering spirits" (1 Thes 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15:51-57; Rev 21-22; Heb 1:14). Doing "all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by Him" as commanded in Col 3:17, God's separated children are "ambassadors for Christ" (representing Heaven) and are "workers TOGETHER (not splintered into man made sects) with Him" (2 Cor 5:19; 6:1). They are jealous over God's family "with a godly jealousy, fearing lest their minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus" (2Cor 11:2,3). They pray "for ALL saints" (Eph 6:18). Sectarians are narrowed down to: "our people", "our church", "our preachers", "our work", "our missionaries". Spiritual life is found only where God put it—in His born-again family, the church of the living God; not in man's dead works-of-the-flesh sects of which he is definitely not the author 1 Cor 14:33. PowerPoint: http://chihuahua-pups.com/Bible/BodyOfChristOneChurchOneFaith.pptx
The question is not..Which church is the true church, but WHO IS THE TRUE CHURCH? You find the only correct answer in the Bible and only. The Bible is full with verses regarding the True Church as in Colossians 1:18 And he (JESUS) is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Matt 24:24, "For false christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect, if that were possible" 1 Timothy 4:1, "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." Rev 18:4, "...Come out of her, my people." Matt 7:14, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and FEW find it" Matt 7:22-23, "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your Name, and in your Name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" Based on the above sample of prophecies, it is CERTAIN that many will follow counterfeit religion, to their loss on the great day. And then, it'll be too late to do anything about it. So now is the time to face this critical question. This joke that we don't have to do anything, Jesus made an end to the Law, and He will receive us no matter what we do - surely should not appeal to the sober minded. So which is the true Church? Names here are not very necessary, in my opinion. But characteristics are. So let's check what the bible says: A. They are recognized by obedience to the Torah and their testimony of Jesus. Rev 12:17, "Then the dragon was enraged at the woman (Church) and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring (Christians) - THOSE WHO OBEY GOD'S COMMANDMENTS AND HOLD TO THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS." See also Rev 14:12. B. They love God. Romans 8:7, "The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's Law - NOR CAN IT DO SO". (The converse of hostility to God is Love for God, and it has the opposite traits.) See also John 14:15,20,23 C. YHWH is their God, and they are His people. Ezekiel 20:20, "Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. THEN you will know that I am YHWH your God." D. They are holy (as in set-apart) Ezekiel 20:12, "Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I YHWH made them holy." See also Deut 14:1-2,3-20. E. They practice biblical baptism, of full immersion Mark 16:16, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved..." See also Matt 28:19 F. They are One Flock with Yisrael, and Christ is their Shepherd - One Flock, One Shepherd John 10:16, "...They TOO will listen to my voice (like Yisrael), and there shall be ONE FLOCK and ONE SHEPHERD." See also Romans 11:24 Eph 4:4-6 G. They accept the whole bible as the core doctrine for Christianity. Luke 16:17, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law" See also Rev 11:19 Rev 15:5 1 John 2:3-4 I'm sure these are good pointers to the Church of God. Failure to identify with the true doctrine has eternal consequences, just as identifying with the true doctrine. Only the consequences are opposite. Bless
The ones full of Christians. They can be spotted as they don't do things out of habit or traditions. They live their lives guided by these 14 words spoken by Jesus. " I am the way the truth and the life" " love your neighbour as yourself"
The one, true church is you. Jesus is Lord and died so that all would live and His Holy Spirit lives in us. As long as you believe this, your life will be changed forever. You will right wrongs, you will love your neighbor and the sinner. You will give aid where and when you can, all because of the love of Jesus. A true believer doesn't think twice about doing good deeds. It will be second nature because of God's love. Greed, envy and all the vices are crushed under the weight of Jesus' love. Oh, we struggle, but like the Book of Revelation, God wins. One does not need an organized denomination to be part of the family of God. Only your personal relationship with Jesus matters. If you need the fellowship of others, a church just might satisfy that need. But remember, most denominations are self-serving. They have an agenda and that agenda might not be God's plan for your life. Be very discerning when choosing any congregation, if you need one. Prayer is the key to knowing what God wants you to do for Him. I have found that God shows me where I can best use my time and resources to honor Him. It was not until - I know this is a cliché - "I let go and let God" happened in my life that I really knew what to think, how to live and how to serve. Before that time, I was going through motions. I still question many things and continue to grow and learn but those are details that lead to strength in God. Christian denominations are all followers of the Bible. They also have interpreted it in different ways and publish words on how their denomination should behave and believe; preacher requirements, etc. Some have female pastors and many denominations think that is an abomination. Have they consulted their women? I will listen to the word of God in whatever vessel it comes in. I will discern for myself what is valid in my walk with Jesus. The church is you and you determine how that church honors and serves God.
Great question: Which church is the true church? When we look at all the churches that claim to be the true church of God we will not be able to determine which one of them is the true church. There are now over 500 churches registered and recognized by the World Council of Churches, so which one is the true church of God? Notice what Paul says about these last times: Notice: 2 Tim:2:19:.... the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of the anointed one depart from iniquity. In comes down to an individual coming to his God and his Father in the name of Jesus doing all that he knows he/she should be doing to please Him and do according to His will. All those who do so are a part of the true church of God, although they may be scattered throughout all the various denominations in this world.
The "True Church", the bride of Christ, has been described as having the following attributes: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. The Church is one. The Church is Christ's mystical body; just as he cannot be divided, neither can his body. There is one Church, not many; and it is united, not divided. This may seem naïve or callous given the present realities of Christians separated for nearly a thousand years. In the face of this real division, modern men are tempted to despair and speak of a "divided Church," abandoning the creedal faith. The Church is holy because God makes her members holy by union with him. God sanctifies the Church by drawing her into his divine life, supremely through the union effected by the Incarnation. The faith and life of the Church participates in the holiness of God by expressing the divine life in doctrine, sacraments, services and saints - men and women whose lives have been recognized for their holiness. The term "catholic" as originally used to define the Church (as early as the first decades of the second century) was a definition of quality rather than quantity. Calling the Church catholic means to define how it is, namely, full and complete, all-embracing, and with nothing lacking. The Church has been sent into the world, to bring the world into communion with God. Just as the Son was sent by the Father, and the Spirit sent by the Son, the Church has been sent by the Holy Trinity into the world. This sending was first effected with the apostles, thus apostolicity is not only the divine mission; it is also unity of the Church with the apostles who were sent out by Jesus Christ. Thus, there is an apostolic succession by which the pastors of the Church are able to trace their orders back to the infant Church founded by Jesus Christ in the first century.
This is a very difficult question to answer with certainty. Wikipedia (quoting Christianity Today) says there were “approximately 38,000” Christian denominations known in 2012. Since I was raised in what qualifies as a Christian cult, I have wondered if my previous faith in God and Christ was in vain. I truly loved God and Christ and tried to demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit in my life. (Galatians 5:22-26) Because of my background, I have studied a variety of religions searching for truth and I have come to the following conclusions. Jesus said, the true religion would be known by its “fruit” and not necessarily by its doctrine. (Matthew 7:16-17) I believe the “fruit” referred to by Jesus was love and the “fruit of the Spirit” described above. A good example of “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27) I also believe that the true religion will confess “Jesus as Lord” even though that confession may take different forms. And finally, I am comforted by the 14th chapter of Romans wherein the Apostle Paul discusses our conduct in association with those who may differ from us doctrinally in “disputable matters.” Among his concluding words of that discussion were, “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.” (Romans 14:22) Though the context of his discussion involves the “weaker brother” who may have been following elements of the Law regarding eating, drinking, and holy days, the principle would apply to any point of doctrine that does not dishonor God and Jesus. The Apostle Paul best describes my position among fellow Christians who may, in my opinion, not be as accurate in their beliefs as they could be, but nevertheless, are fine examples in their faith that would provide a nurturing atmosphere in which my children could grow in Christ our Lord. Read the entire 14th Chapter of Romans to get the Apostle Paul’s view on maintaining Christian unity amid those practicing what he calls “disputable matters.” (Romans 14:1-23)
The word Church is used about 130 times in the New Testament. It appears that this word related to believers in Christ was used in Acts Chapter 8 and applied to believers. The word means "Called out ones" making it a public name for those that carried the cross, lived by Christ and worshiped by his example. We can say this: that a TRUE Church is the the physical building or worship doctrine of any group, but only those that follow Jesus. The name CHRISTIAN has the same background as you wil note in Acts, and was a title assigned to those that stood on Jesus and what he did on the Cross. Means in one way "Christ Like". You might say the security system of Rome developed this title as we do today by assigning names to groups so you can communicate with few words. The Book of Acts was written by Luke (not an apostle) noted to a man called Theophilus in both books. It appears that Act and Luke were written to explain the appearance of Christianity and what Jesus was about when John was in Rome under trial. Some evidence has arisen to point to Theophilus being a Historical reporter for the Courts in Rome, which would explain why these were written in a Legal Form.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.