For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.2 Corinthians 11:13-15
A method seldom used to understand God’s nature; by comparing opposing analogies of God’s loving character – that is to understand what God hates and what He detests as a means to clarify and to define what is God’s love in essence. The Bible is full of verses and Scripture describing the things that God hates. These verses were never incorporated into the Bible without a reason. And its purpose is to warn people rather than to scare them off.
Here are some example verses in the Bible, openly stating several things that the Lord hates. Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 11:1, Revelation 2:6, Deuteronomy 16:22, Deuteronomy 23:18, Deuteronomy 25:16, Deuteronomy 17:1, Isaiah 1:13-14, Deuteronomy 12:31, Amos 6:8, Zechariah 8:17, Amos 5:21, Malachi 2:16, Isaiah 61:8, Romans 1:18.
If we were to inspect and to summarize all the things that God hates; there is probably only one word for it – that is; unrighteousness. And unrighteousness refers to anything done or executed that is not counted as being done right in the eyes of God and deeds that deliberately suppresses the truth. Thus, Romans 1:18 explains further that as a result of unrighteousness, God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. It is no longer necessary to ask, why bad things are happening to good people. If we see the presence of God’s wrath, we know from the Bible, there is also the presence of unrighteousness and suppression of truth that goes with it.
Now, after carefully understanding the things that God hates, it is therefore much easier to understand what He loves, by simply looking at the other end of the spectrum of what He hates. If God hates unrighteousness, it literally means God loves righteousness. And if God hates suppression of the truth, it means He loves things or deeds that exemplifies the truth. This is the reason why God openly displayed His disappointment and grief, and allowed them to be inscribed into Scripture so that we could never become mistaken with what is true and correct concerning what God loves and hates.
And by using the same methods of inspecting opposing analogies, anyone too could easily identify false churches among us. By studying and understanding what the Bible says about the real church, its characteristics and nature, we too could pinpoint which are the dead church, the corrupt church or even the lukewarm churches.
The Church Of Christ
Any building along a street, having a cross atop its roof or having a signboard next to it with words associating itself with Christianity, would have been casually passed off as a church. In the context of men, a church is a place of worship, a place where people gather together to sing Christian songs and to read the Bible together.
But take a look at how Jesus described His church in Matthew 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” If you read the context from Matthew 16:13-20, the rock refers to both the solid truth that Jesus Himself is God and the requirements of unquestioning faith, in believing that Christ is indeed God, prior to seeing this truth unveiling itself before the entire world. This is the basis on which Jesus said He shall build His church.
And in John 2:19, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” It is also common knowledge among Christians that what Jesus meant is; we are the temple for God’s Spirit to dwell in. A temple, is not a physical place of gathering of people. The real temple of God is within us. Just as full time workers keep the church building and interior clean and tidy to enable conducive sessions to be conducted on Sundays, likewise we too keep our hearts clean and clear from all things hated by God, to enable conducive worship to be conducted from within us.
Therefore it is clear from the Bible, that the definition of the Church of Christ DOES NOT refer to church buildings on earth built by men or merely any group of Christians coming together for any common purpose of their own interest. The true Church of Christ is one based on solid truth, fixated against real faith in the Son of God and the true Church of Christ is a gathering of living temples, the hearts of each and every genuine, born again believer. And this is the most obvious fact among all; the true Church of Christ and its members is one that hell, or Hades or Sheol or death or the place for the departed souls, have no power over. Matthew 16:18
The true Church of Christ is not built by human hands but by Christ Himself. And the true Church of Christ consist of members of people whom are alive with eternal Life. Presently, it is not God’s Church that is in trouble. It is man-made churches that are facing problems with God’s wrath.
(Coming up next tomorrow in Part Two, the characteristics of the True Church Of Christ and what exactly is a false church.)