The Church

More than five billion people claim some religious affiliation. Every week, sometimes several times a week, billions gather in places of worship. Christians assemble in churches to worship—but why? To answer this question, we must begin with Jesus.

Suppose Jesus said the following to you: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20). How would you go about accomplishing it?

Jesus did not leave His small band of followers without hope and help, though, in this remarkable task. He told them, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Much as God did when selecting the children of Israel in the Old Testament (Isa. 49:6), Jesus was empowering a group to represent Him to the world. This small group of believers became known as Christians (Acts 11:26).

But, given that there are so many churches today, how can you find the right one? Here is how to tell it apart from the rest:

What is the testimony of Jesus? The Bible tells us that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy (Rev. 19:10). Before Jesus left earth, He told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would “testify of me” (John 15:26; 16:13-15). The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets in Scripture, and He still speaks—revealing the life of Jesus to us, and living the life of Jesus in us.

Christ has the church for you. The question is, Will you join it?