By Phil Sanders
I know there are brethren who are weak, foolish, selfish, legalistic, progressive, lazy, rude, and given to fleshly lusts. I know there are some slow to forgive and quick to divide the church. I know there are some who have remained immature and have caused harm in the church. I know there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, people who have taken advantage of the church, and I also know the Lord loves every faithful member of the body of Christ and every member who is trying to walk worthy of his calling. I know Christ does not want any brother or sister to perish but for all to come to repentance.
If the Lord could love a person as weak as me, could willingly forgive me, could see something good in me, and is willing to mold me into the man I ought to be, I reckon I should be able to see something lovely and worthwhile in my brethren. I know there are some who need to grow in Christ, but I also see my own shortcomings. I need to extend grace to others, just as the Lord extended grace to me. I believe it is high time we loved each other and loved the brotherhood. What is right with the church…
- The church of Christ has the right LORD.
- The church of Christ rightly belongs to the LORD Jesus and not to man.
- The church of Christ believes the one, true Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).
- The church of Christ expects people to believe in Jesus, repent of their sins and to love the LORD. We expect people upon the confession of their faith to be immersed in water for the forgiveness of their sins.
- The church of Christ worships in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). It observes the instructions of the New Testament concerning giving, communing, praying, singing, and in hearing God’s Word. It has not gotten lost in the present culture.
- The church of Christ is still made up of autonomous congregations led by Biblically qualified elders and served by faithful deacons.
- The church of Christ has not forgotten the Great Commission. Flavil Yeakley says we are still the sixth fastest growing religious group in America. Our congregations in India and Africa are booming.
- Studies indicate that churches of Christ ranks first in these areas:
- Our people attend better than any religious group in America.
- We have the fourth most congregations of any religious group in America. We are the best distributed for our size.
- Barna found that churches of Christ gave at a greater rate than any religious group in America.
- org found in the 2008 US Religious Landscape Survey that churches of Christ have 22 percent of its adult members ages 18-29. This is two percent above the national average and the highest of any major religious group in America.
- The church is keeping 67 percent of its young people. At age 30 they are still attending faithfully (according to a study by Flavil Yeakley).
- God is still in charge of the church. He still prunes us to make us grow. He still loves us. The Lord Jesus is preparing a home for us.
Daniel 2:44, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” Fulfilled in the 1st century, recorded in Acts 2, existing today.
–submitted by Jerry Sturgill