CHAPTER I - THE TRUE CHURCH
BY THE LATE BISHOP RYLE
Do you belong to the one true Church; to the Church outside of which there is no salvation? I do not ask where you go on Sunday; I only ask, “Do you belong to the one true Church?”
Where is this one true Church? What is this one true Church like? What are the marks by which this one true Church may be known? You may well ask such questions. Give me your attention, and I will provide you with some answers.
The one true Church is composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus. It is made up of all God’s elect—of all converted men and women—of all true Christians. In whomsoever we can discern the election of God the Father, the sprinkling of the blood of God the Son, the sanctifying work of God the Spirit, in that person we see a member of Christ’s true Church.
It is a Church of which all the members have the same marks. They are all born of the Spirit; they all possess “repentance towards God, faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ,” and holiness of life and conversation. They all hate sin, and they all love Christ. They worship differently and after various fashions; some worship with a form of prayer,
6 The Fundamentals
This post continues a lecture from C.H. Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students (read the series so far).
Avoid with your whole soul that spirit of suspicion which sours some men’s lives, and
Suspicion makes a man a torment to himself and a spy towards others. Once begin to suspect, and causes for distrust will multiply around you, and your very suspiciousness will create the major part of them. Many a friend has been transformed into an enemy by being suspected. Do not, therefore, look about you with the eyes of mistrust, nor listen as an eaves-dropper with the quick ear of fear. To go about the congregation ferreting out disaffection, like a gamekeeper after rabbits, is a mean employment, and is generally rewarded most sorrowfully.
This article first appeared in the Baptist Bulletin. © Regular Baptist Press, Arlington Heights, Illinois. Used by permission. Read Part 1.
The heart of the debate comes down to determining our role in God’s plan to reestablish the Mediatorial Kingdom. Do we have a job? Are we supposed to be helping God establish His kingdom? It would seem that most Christians believe this to some extent, simply judging by phrases like, “Helping God bring in the kingdom,” and “We need to reclaim culture for the kingdom.”
Where’s the truth in all of this? Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” If God has asked us to work for Him, and if God’s overall goal in world history is to reestablish His kingdom, then our work must contribute to this in some way. But to what extent are we partners with God in this endeavor? Are we supposed to help God with everything He’s trying to accomplish?
There are three main views on the coming kingdom, and each view answers this question differently.
Premillennialism teaches that the kingdom has not come yet, and that it is going to come in the future in all of its glory, as predicted in Old Testament prophecy, with Jesus ruling and reigning this planet as the mediatorial, human (and divine) ruler.
"It’s ironic that the ministry would be asking for funds, because for 21 years, the association ran one of the most successful charitable gaming operations in the Tri-State, making nearly $4 million from weekly bingo games in Kentucky and Ohio."
This article first appeared in the Baptist Bulletin. © Regular Baptist Press, Arlington Heights, Illinois. Used by permission.
On a recent vacation, I took the opportunity to spy on another church. My family was visiting friends out of state who took us to their nondenominational, nonaffiliated church. My radar was tuned in. From the moment we stepped onto the property to the moment we left, I was analyzing everything.
In such settings, I play a game: see how quickly I can figure out the pastor’s theological perspective and his alma mater. As I was collecting evidence, I noticed several points of interest. A statement at the bottom of the bulletin made an impassioned plea for more people to help in various ministries. The motivational tagline at the end said, “Come join us as we build God’s kingdom.” Interesting. Using a theology of the kingdom to motivate ministry service.
I peered into the church library and spotted the Left Behind series prominently displayed. Interesting. At the end of the service, the pastor announced that they would soon begin a study of Daniel. At this point I was certain the pastor was most likely pre-millennial in theology.
The average dieter puts all his weight back on plus five percent more. Why is that? One reason is that most diets are not maintainable in the long term. The “eating deficits” created now result in binges and cravings later. One diet is all protein and no carbs. Another is no fat and all carbs. The result: Americans weigh more than ever.
On the other hand, those who make permanent, moderate, maintainable lifestyle changes to their eating habits (like measuring ice cream, cutting down on simple carbs) or exercise regimen (taking stairs instead of elevator) may not lose as much weight—but they are more likely to keep off the weight they lose.