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 (Q and A on the Basic Beliefs)
Chapter 13: Church
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Chapter 13: Church

13.1 Why is your church called the “True” Jesus Church? Are you telling me that all other churches are false?

·         The word “True” refers to the true God, for God is true (Jer 10:10; Rom 3:4; Isa 65:16; Jn 17:3; 7:28; 1Jn 5:20), and it shows that the church belongs to the true God.

·         Jesus has made known the true God (Jn KJV), and is the true God himself (1Jn ). Jesus said, “I am the true vine” (Jn15:1), and “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). The Bible also refers to the Lord Jesus as “the true light” (Jn 1:9), and as “holy and true” (). So it is proper that Jesus be called “True Jesus.”

·         Because believers are branches of the true vine and they constitute the church—the body of Christ—the church is also the “TrueChurch”. If the church belongs to the “True God” and the “True Jesus,” it is the “TrueChurch.”

·         The True Jesus Church does not only bear the name of the true church. The Holy Spirit abides with the church to testify that this church preaches the truth and that it is indeed the true Church (Heb 2:3-4; Eph -14; ).

·         We have no intention of condemning anyone; but that does not make the church any less true. The True Jesus Church preaches the complete gospel of salvation, has the presence of the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by signs and miracles; it is the true church not just in name but also in substance.          

13.2 The name “True Jesus Church” is just as good as any other name. As a matter of fact, the name of the church is not very significant.

·         The name “True Jesus Church” stands firmly on Biblical ground and best reflects the nature of the church as being the church of the True God and Jesus Christ.    

·         The TrueChurch should bear the name “Jesus”—the name of God—for the following reasons:

1.      Jesus is the head of the church and the church is his body (Eph 5:23; 1:22-23; Col 1:18, 24).

2.      The church is purchased by the blood of Jesus (Acts 20:28; Rev 5:9) and it belongs to Jesus (Mt 16:18).

3.      The Old Testament temple prefigures the church,and the temple was a house for God’s name (1Chr 28:3; 1Kgs 8:16, 18-20; 2Chr 7:20) and God’s name dwells in the temple (1Kgs 8:29; 2Chr 7:16). In the New Testament, the name of God, “Jesus,” has been revealed and believers are saved under the name of Jesus (Jn 17:11). It should not be surprising that the TrueChurch bears the name of Jesus.

4.      The place of worship must be a place for God’s name (Deut 12:5, 11; Ex 20:24). Today, the church is an assembly for worship and should uphold the name of Jesus (cf Phil 2:10).

So the name “True Jesus Church” has a profound meaning and is by no means insignificant.

·         To see why the word “True” is affixed, see previous question.          

13.3 The church of the apostolic era was the true church, but it did not have a name. Why should the true church today establish a name? 

·         The church in the apostolic era was the first church established by the Holy Spirit. At that time there was only one church and false churches did not yet exist. All Christians belonged to this only true church, which preached the name of Jesus. No name was necessary since the gospel they believed and preached in itself was the identity of the church (see Acts -36; -16; -18).

·         In the end time, false prophets, false christs, and false doctrines will arise (Mt 24:24; 2 Pet 2:1; 1Jn 4:1). Today there are thousands of churches and denominations, but there is only one true church. The name of the church would set apart the true church from other churches and draw all men to believe the true gospel of salvation.

13.4 The Lord Jesus is the author of salvation, not the church. As long as I believe in the Lord Jesus and follow the correct path to salvation, I will be saved; I don’t need to go to church.

·         The church is the body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23, , ; Col 1:24). How can a person believe in Christ yet refuse to be a member of the body of Christ? True believers of Jesus Christ are members of the same body, i.e. the church (1Cor -13; 27-28).

·         There is no doubt that Jesus is the author of salvation, but the Lord Jesus imparts his salvation through his church by sending his workers and giving his church the authority and power to forgive sins (Jn 20:21-23, Mt 16:18-19). Baptism, footwashing, Holy Communion, all of which have to do with believers’ salvation are performed by the church. A person must also pray for the Holy Spirit in the true church (see question 11.23, point 1). Furthermore, the Lord is the savior of the church as a whole (Eph -27; see also Acts ). Believers are not saved apart from the church.

·         While those who have been purchased by the blood of Jesus are already members of the church (Acts ), it is necessary that the members stay in fellowship with one another in the Lord (see Acts -47). Church services are held for members to worship together (see Mt 18:20; Heb 12:22-24); to encourage one another (Heb 10:24-25; see 1Cor 14:3-4); to pray together (Mt 18:19-20, see Acts 1:14; 2:42; 4:23-31; 12:5,12); to edify one another with spiritual gifts (Eph 4:11-12,16), so that the body of Christ may be built up to become the dwelling of God’s Spirit (Eph 2:19-22) and be prepared as the bride of Christ (Rev 19:7; 21:2).

13.5 All churches that believe in and preach the Lord Jesus Christ can lead people to salvation. A person need not be affiliated with a particular church; he/she may join any church.

·         The Bible indicates that there is only one church that can lead people to salvation (see next question, point 2). All other so called “churches” that preach different gospels from that of the true church cannot guide people to salvation since they are not the body of Christ.          

·         Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Mt ). Those who do not preach or follow the true gospel of salvation cannot be accepted by God even though they might be “professed Christians.”

·         The true church that leads people to salvation must have the Holy Spirit. Any “church” that does not have the Holy Spirit does not belong to Christ (Rom 8:9), and is spiritually dead (Jas ; see also 1Cor ). The baptism it performs has no effect to cleanse sins because the authority to forgive sins is from the Holy Spirit (Jn -23) and the efficacy of baptism is also witnessed by the Holy Spirit (1Jn 5:6-8).

13.6 A believer’s affiliation with a particular church or denomination is insignificant. Whether I am a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Jehovah’s Witness is not really important. The question we should be concerned with is, “Am I a true follower of Christ?”

·         A true follower of Christ would obey the true gospel preached by the true church. If we claim to be a follower of Christ but refuses to accept the truth of salvation, our claim would be false.

·         There is only one church, just as there is only one body of Christ (1Cor ; Eph 4:4). We are either members of this body or we are not. Whether or not we are in the true church makes an important difference.

·         The question that a believer should be concerned with is “Am I a true follower of Christ and am I in the true church of God?” It is crucial that we become members of the true body of Christ and a branch of the true vine. There is only one church that preaches the true and complete gospel of salvation and is established by the Holy Spirit and can lead people to Christ completely. So to find the true church is absolutely essential.    

13.7 Claiming that your church is the only true church is a sign of arrogance and boasting. Such an attitude is against the Christian spirit of humility. Who are we to judge? (Rom ).

·         What makes the True Jesus Church true is the gospel that it preaches, not the qualification of the members. We preach the doctrine of one true church not because we feel superior to other Christians, but because it is the teaching of the Bible. We do not judge any individual. It is God’s word that judges (Jn ,48).

·         The church belongs to God, not any individual. So when discussing the truth of one church, we cannot take matters personally. Truth is objective. It should not have anything to do with the arrogance and pride of the preacher. We must study the Scriptures to see if the Bible indeed teaches one gospel and one church. If it does, we need to find out what the true gospel is according to the Bible and which church upholds the true gospel. This is the attitude of the Bereans, who diligently studied the Scriptures to examine the message they had heard (Acts ).

·         Paul insisted that there was only one true gospel (2 Cor 11:1-4; Gal 1:6-9). He did not hesitate to condemn all preachers of a false gospel because it concerned believers’ salvation. But he was not boasting about himself. He said, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (italics added; Gal 1:6-9). Paul did not make himself the exception; if he turned away from the gospel, he himself would also be condemned.

13.8 All Christian churches and denominations are members of the body of Christ. Each church has its unique gift (i.e. emphasis on certain teachings); and they should join together to build up the body of Christ (Eph ).

·         There is no Biblical support to show that different churches are members of the body of Christ. Rather the believers are members of Christ’s body (Eph ) and the body is the church (singular; Eph 1:22-23: ; Col 1:24).

·         The church holds only one faith (Eph 4:5). Today different churches proclaim different, or even conflicting, beliefs about salvation. They cannot be of the same body.

·         The church believes in one baptism (Eph 4:5). Many churches, however, disagree on the importance, efficacy, and mode of baptism. So they cannot be of the same body.

·         The church receives only one Spirit (Holy Spirit; Eph 4:4; 1Cor ). Many churches do not even believe that believers need to pray for the Holy Spirit, with speaking in tongues as the evidence. How can they be of the same body with the true church, where believers pray for and receive the promised Holy Spirit?

·         For the church to unite and become one, members of different denominations must remove their differences in faith, become one under the name of Jesus (Jn ), and unite in the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:3-4: 1Cor ) and in truth (i.e. common faith; Eph 4:5).

13.9 How can God be so narrow minded as to save only one church and reject all those others who love him deeply?

·         It is not God who is narrow minded, but those who do not accept his gospel. If God were to accept everyone regardless of whether they obey him, he would not be the just God that he is, and his words would mean nothing at all.

·         The Lord said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” (Jn ; cf 1Jn 5:3). If someone claims to love God but refuses to obey him, his claim is false.

·         God knows who truly loves him (1 Cor 8:3). If a person never hears of the true gospel in his lifetime, it is God who will ultimately determine whether he was a true believer. But as for us who have already known the true gospel, it is our responsibility to accept and obey it.

13.10 There are countless Christians in various denomination all over the world who truly love the Lord and are very fervent. If a person has to be a member of the only true church to be saved, then will these Christians not be saved?

·         Christians of other denominations who have heard the true and complete gospel proclaimed by the church and yet refuse to accept it cannot be called true Christians; for they do not follow the will of the Heavenly Father, even though they might be working fervently in Jesus’ name (see Mt 7:21-23). They will have to take full responsibility for their rejection of the true gospel (Heb 2:1-4).

·         Indeed there are many others who humbly search for the truth and love the Lord with great fervor but have never heard the complete gospel of salvation. These people are the “other sheep I have which are not of this fold” and the Lord Jesus will bring them so that all true believers would be one flock (Jn ). It is the Lord’s will that all believers become one for the glory of the Heavenly Father (Jn , 20-23).

·         “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” (Isa 2:2-4; Mic 4:1-3; see also Hag 2:6-9). This prophecy points to the glory of the true church in the future and that all true believers will join the true church.

·         As for those Christians who never had a chance to find the true church in their lifetime, it is not up to us to judge if they would be saved. The Lord God will be the ultimate judge. But most importantly, we need to accept the complete gospel and the true church once we have found it.        

13.11 If the True Jesus Church is the only true church, why does it have such small membership and slow growth?

·         We cannot measure a church by its popularity. It is the true gospel that saves (1 Cor 15:1). Many who confess the Lord’s name will be rejected by the Lord (Mt -23).

·         “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew -14).

·         When Jesus was crucified, almost all his followers deserted him. Many despised him because of his lowly life and shameful death. But that did not make him any less true. God chose to use what men consider foolish to save those who believe (1 Cor -25).

·         The apostolic faith was also not popular in its days. In fact, people everywhere spoke against it (Acts 28:22). The believers were persecuted, killed, and scattered. But the church was still the true church.

·         Although the church in the current state may seem lowly, God has already promised her future glory and prominence (Isa 2:1-3; Hag 2:6-9; Zech 8:29-23).

·         The true church does not just consist of believers who are now on earth, but also believers of the past (Heb 12:22-23; Lk 13:28-29). In this respect, the true church has more members than it seems.

13.12 Most Christians believe in the same Bible, even though they may be members of different denominations. Therefore they all share the same faith and preach the one gospel.

·         Using the same Bible doesn’t necessarily mean accepting the true gospel. Many Jews during the time of Jesus and the apostles used the same Scripture but refused to accept Christ and his gospel.

·         What makes one denomination different from another is its beliefs. Although all Christians claim to believe and preach the Bible, not all accept the beliefs about salvation. For example, not all Christians agree with the Biblical teaching about baptism, footwashing, Holy Communion, and Holy Spirit, all of which are related directly to our salvation. Only if we obey the truth of salvation can we enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt -23).

13.13 We should not insist on our own doctrines because it all depends on how you interpret the Bible.

·         Although there are many interpretations, when it comes to the truth of salvation, there can be only one true gospel (Gal 1:6-9; Eph 4:4-6). For example, we either need to be baptized to be saved or we do not need baptism. Both cannot be true. We must study and find the true gospel that is according to the Bible.

·         The truth of the gospel does not come from academic research but by the direct revelation of God through his Spirit (1 Cor 3:9-13; Gal -12). In the True Jesus Church, the gospel of salvation was revealed to the first believers, and we who have received the promised Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, are also able to understand and accept the true gospel (Jn 16:13).

·         The interpretation that God confirms is the correct interpretation. Just as God sent fire from heaven to confirm the preaching of Elijah, God also confirms the truth of the gospel with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and miraculous signs (Heb 2:3-4; Mk 16:20; 1 Cor 2:4). Believers in the true church experience God directly when they receive the Holy Spirit; people witness blood in baptism, which demonstrates the power of baptism to forgive sins; many receive healing and miracles when they seek and obey the gospel. All these wondrous deeds of God show that the truth the church preaches is from God.

 

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Publisher: True Jesus Church
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