What Church Would Christ Attend?

Chuck Bartlett

Although the title’s question is hypothetical, our Lord is present when His followers gather to worship Him (Matt. 18:20). Moreover, we know that Christ dwells within the hearts of the faithful (Eph. 3:17). Knowing these things, the Scriptures provide enough information for us to answer the question.

If Jesus were to walk the face of this earth, where would He go to worship on Sunday? The answer can be found in Eph. 2:19, which describes God’s people as being part of a household. Christians belong to the family of God. When someone goes away on a trip and comes back, which family will he spend time with? That might seem like a silly question, but it will help us understand which church Jesus would worship with. Logically, He would spend time with His family and thus worship with His church.

Jesus said He was going to build His church (Matt. 16:18). This happened when He died on the cross and purchased the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). When someone is covered by His blood and becomes a Christian, the Lord adds them to His body – the church (Acts 2:38, 41, 47; Rev. 1:5). This is why Christ calls them His own special people (I Pet. 2:9).

If Jesus returned to earth, would He assemble with the church that He is the head of (Col. 1:18) or some manmade religious organization? The answer might seem obvious. But would Christ show His love by visiting every denomination? This is an interesting question.

This should cause us to ponder a few things. I expect that Christ would visit every religious sect. He would not visit to worship though – He would visit to correct and admonish, telling them they need to abide only in His doctrine (II John 9) and that there is only one gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). Consider Revelation chapters two and three – the deeds of every congregation were recognized, but they were not all praised.

Let us return to the original question; which church would Christ attend? It would be His. We should not expect Christ to choose to worship with us if we designed worship for our own preferences rather than for His (John 4:24). Furthermore, why would anyone think that Christ would gather where He is not recognized as the head? Paul called the faithful who gathered in certain cities as churches of Christ (Rom. 16:16) because they belong to Christ.

Would Christ be pleased and willing to worship at any place that called themselves a church that is Christ? Not at all. Again, He may go there to rebuke and admonish them to repent, just as He did with the seven churches of Asia in Revelation chapters two and three. Five of those churches were told to repent or else their candlestick would be removed. Jesus could say these churches belong to Him!

Let me make this perfectly clear – Jesus is not coming back to live on the earth again. But He is coming back, and everyone will be judged (II Cor. 5:10). It will be at a time when not expected (II Pet. 3:9-10). It is therefore important to be found faithful. If Christ would not be found worshipping at a manmade church, why would He be pleased to find you at one?

People who claim it does not matter which church we go to should look to the Scriptures and see how Jesus addressed His church. Remember, there will be many in the last day who will think they are going to be received into heaven but will instead hear the Lord say, “I don’t know you” (Matt. 7:21-23). Which church will you belong to?

 

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