It answers the biggest mysteries of life that so baffle humanity.
It reveals the plan of the Creator of everything.
We are accountable to it.
It tells us where we are going.
It will give us a guide we can have confidence in as we head to the future.
We should share it with as many people as we possibly can.
It is not on a par with other books; it is superior to all of them.
It teaches He disapproves of religious division.
It reveals the right way to worship Him.
We can know the truth.
We discover some great, precious and exciting truths and promises.
The New Testament church is eternally important.
We should read and study it faithfully.
Investigate the Bible. God’s Word is not afraid of investigation. It has been more scrutinized than any other book ever written, and it still stands. It is a foundation we can confidently build our lives upon. Have you been in the Book of books today?
In the two previous articles I raised the questions: Can I be just a Christian? Can I be just a Christian and not a member of any denomination? Can I be just a Christian and not commit to any of the creeds written by men but let the Bible be my only rule of faith and practice? The answer is an emphatic: Yes! There were no denominations among the early Christians. Denominationalism is an invention of men and no part of the Church Jesus built. All the creeds: catechism, disciplines, manuals, books of church order, etc are the inventions of men and have no divine authority.
Now for another important question: Can a person be just a Christian and have private devotions alone at home and not assemble with other Christians for worship? Absolutely
Not! The early Christians, while not organized into different denominations, did assemble together for worship. Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch for a whole year and while there, “they assembled themselves with the church.” (Acts 11:26) In Troas: “Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.” (Acts 20:7) Furthermore the Bible plainly enjoins: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” t (Hebrews 10:25)
Can I be just a Christian? Yes, of course. Anyone who obeys the gospel; that is, anyone who believes, repents, confesses Christ and is baptized for the remission of sins becomes a Christian.
Can I be just a Christian and follow the Bible alone as the only rule of faith and practice – not adhering to any man-made creed? Yes, of course. The Bible is the inspired word of God and provides Christians with all the instructions they need. The Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Men have taken it upon themselves to write out official statements for the faith and practice of Christians. But whether it is called a creed, catechism, discipline, manual, book of order, etc. all such are the invention of men and have no divine sanction.
Are there any people today who are just Christians, who have no creed book but let the Bible itself be their only rule of faith and practice? Yes, of course. There are thousands of just Christians throughout the world. The North Main Street Church of Christ is such a group of people.
Can I be just a Christian? Yes, of course. The Bible is clear on how to become a Christian. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16) Other passages confirm this: “Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) Anyone who follows these commands to believe, repent and be baptized becomes a Christian.
Can I be a just a Christian and a member of the church that Jesus built but not be a part of any denomination? Yes, of course. At the beginning there were no denominations – just the one church that Jesus built. After hearing Peter’s confession that Jesus was: “The Christ the Son of the living God,” Jesus He said, “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) That’s the church we read about in the New Testament. The denominations all came later. They were man’s idea, not God’s. They have no divine sanction. God requires no man to be a part of any denomination. But all Christians must be a part of the church that Jesus built.
Are there any groups of just Christians who are members of the church Jesus built and not affiliated with any denomination? Yes, of course. There are thousands of such Christians throughout the world. The North Main Street Church of Christ is such a group.
Webster defines normalization as: “The act or process of making normal.” In the last half century we have witnessed the normalization of certain sins. How does this occur? Isaiah the prophet, though he did not use the term “normalization”, aptly described the process in these words: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) Call evil good and good evil long enough and people will start believing it.
One clear example of this is the normalization of homosexuality. Paul described it in these words: “Even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly.” (Romans 1:26-27) Homosexuality is anything but normal, as anyone who knows anything about human anatomy should realize. It is precisely as Paul said, “leaving the natural use of the woman.” Or as he also wrote: “Against nature.” That is, a perversion of the basic human anatomy of male and female.
How is it then that a practice so obviously contrary to human anatomy could possibly become normalized? Well, just as Isaiah the prophet said: “Call evil good, and good evil.” The promoters of the gay movement began calling those who spoke out against the evil of homosexuality by such names as gay bashers, homophobes, and intolerant. And those who favor it were called: tolerant, kind, and loving. “Call evil good and good evil” long enough and people start to believe it.