Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 11, 1960
NUMBER 14, PAGE 13b,14b

Please Investigate

Warren Rainwater, Pensacola, Fla.

When a person goes to buy a new car, a new washing machine, or a new suit, he always wants to get the real article and he makes sure it will do the job desired before he invests his money in it. That is as it should be. However, in religion, most people say, "one church is as good as another". Is this really true? If the Bible teaches it, then we are to accept it; but we can't find this idea revealed in God's Word, then we are duty bound to reject it as false. What does the Word say about it?

Jesus said, ". . . upon this rock I will build my church..." (Matt. 16:18.) This proves that the Lord had in mind a church and that he was going to build it. This was said after John the Baptist was beheaded. Naturally this proves the church was not founded by John the Baptist. If the Baptist founded one (of course he didn't) it was different from the church of Christ. But Christ purchased his church with his own blood. (Acts 20:28.) Christ is the head of the church, his body, and there is but one body, (1 Cor. 12:20), then we see that the idea of one church being as good as another is not according to the Word of God. Surely the church that Christ gave his life for would be vastly better than any human establishment.

While you are investigating the various religious bodies to see which one Christ established, you will of necessity need to know some identifying marks that can be seen in order to help you tell whether it is the true church of the Lord or whether it is a counterfeit. Certain questions should be asked in order to learn of these things.

When was the church established? The church of Christ was established on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ. This account is given in the second chapter of Acts. Will you please turn to this account and read it for yourself. When was the church that you are associated with established? Was it set up in 1735? Or, maybe 606? Or perhaps in a more recent date? This point is very important in determining the true Church of today What goes on in the worship services? Surely this is important. A corrupt service of God is damning to the soul. The true church will worship according to the New Testament pattern in all things. Nothing will be added or taken away. There will be singing. (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16.) Since there is nothing in the New Testament to warrant using an instrument, it will not be used in the services. When it is found in the services, it is there without authority. The early church under the direction of the inspired apostles did not use the instrument. We know it is safe to sing and sing only. Why take a chance?

The true church met upon the first day of the week to break bread. Acts 20:7. You will find the church that Jesus built doing the same thing today. If you find some church meeting for worship on the Lord's Day and not eating the Lord's Supper, you can know for sure that they are not following the Lord in that respect. You must look to some other body to find the true church.

The early congregation gave of their means on the first day of the week. (1 Cor. 16:2.) This is the way to raise money for the Lord. This is the way his children do. The idea of pie suppers, bingo games, and other methods of raising funds are unknown to the Bible. Free will offerings to God will take care of the money proposition. This is to be done when the saints come together to "break bread". If money is being raised any way other than free giving, then you must investigate further.

Yes, a thus saith the Lord is necessary in all things if we are to please our God in heaven. We ask you to investigate the church of Christ in your area. Study your Bible and search the scripture daily in order to learn what God wants you to do in order to be saved. If we speak the same things then we will be the same and unity will prevail in all things. They were called Christians first at Antioch. Who wants to be more... Who dares to be less?