"And the churches of Christ salute you."
In a world so saturated with religious differences it is no wonder that individuals are either confused or tired of the whole process of finding The Church in which the Lord said " upon this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). As we begin to search the scriptures and uncover the truth about this church let us note that only the Bible can be our guide and that the final word on all spiritual matter MUST come from this book. Jesus says and Matthew records in (Matthew 28:18) " All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on earth". Recorded in the same book, Matthew 15:9 "In vain do they worship me teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.” with these two passages in mind we must then draw the conclusion that no matter what biblical subject that we are referring to that Jesus not only has the final say but that He has the ONLY say!!
As we embark upon what is TRUTH we should approach all matters with openness of mind and a willingness to accept what is revealed in the pages of God's word and release from our heart all preconceived ideas and teachings, hence allowing the truth to take root and spring forth the fruit in which it is intended to do. With this said, I want to invite you into a journey and through a path of History in THE Church that is established and its head is JESUS CHRIST.
Let us first examine the prophesy of old concerning the church that Jesus said in the book of Matthew that he would build, Isaiah 2:2 "And it shall come to pass in last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” As the writer of old exclaims in verse three of the same passage that "many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." These two passages give us some of the insight needed to understand the WHEN and WHERE the kingdom of God begins. To further our understanding of this let us focus on some of the teachings from the New Testament.
Beginning from the age of twelve Jesus begins the work here on earth that his Heavenly Father sent him to do, to confirm this Jesus is found in the Temple with the teachers of Law both listening and asking questions. (Luke 2: 41- 49), after which we find Jesus at the approximate age of thirty beginning the final years of his life and selecting the twelve men of which after his death would by the direction of the Holy Spirit teach the TRUTH to the saving of man soul through the Church, (John 16: 13-15). Thus Jesus told those that are going to be his apostles to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high. Beginning in the book of ACTS chapter 1 we find these men after the death of our Lord in the city of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost gathered "in one place" (Acts 2:1), as this day unfolds before them we see these men whom the Lord Jesus chose, being endued with the power that was promised by Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Peter being one of these men began to speak before this great and noble crowd the words of our lord as he is directed by the Spirit that we referenced in the book of John, the message SO powerful and SO moving in spirit that it convicted the hearts of thousands that some fifty days prior " crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). As they heard this message and touched in their hearts they were moved to ask the question "what shall we do" (Acts 2: 37), Peter's reply, for the first time in the existence of the world had the Honor to tell man through the direction of the Holy Spirit " Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Chris for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) With this reply we figuratively see the doors opened by the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus our Lord spake of giving Peter in (Matthew 16: 19).
As we examine the passage of Acts 2: 47 we know that the Church is not only in existence but that it began on that day with the baptizing of about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41) and that from verse 47 we see the growth of the Church as the Lord added to it daily such as should be saved. So we are left with the question what is the CHURCH OF CHRIST? From our study we have seen it is the fulfillment of prophesy, its origin is from Jerusalem, its beginning was on the day of Pentecost and its purpose is to contain the SAVED that only the Lord can add.