By Steven J. Wallace
The Bible is full of challenges that have been issued out by both good and evil men. Goliath stood before the armies of Israel and challenged them saying: “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants...” (1 Samuel 17:8-9)
David answered that challenge and destroyed the enemy of Israel. On the other hand, the great prophet Elijah challenged the people of Israel to make a choice by crying out: “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people answered him not a word” (1 Kings 18:21)
In that spirit we lay forth a challenge for you in the hopes that you will not sit by and “answer not a word.”
A Challenge to Investigate God.
Please do not misunderstand, this is not a challenge to investigate what men, churches, or what some religious leader may say about God. We challenge you to investigate the God of the Bible with your own eyes. Only here the original picture of God remains without human distortions. “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God...” (Romans 11:22). If you are young, realised there is no better time to investigate God than in your youth before you begin to make decisions that will affect your life. First learn Christ who owns and gives you your life! “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Eccl. 12:1)
A Challenge to Investigate the One Faith of the New Testament.
Do not accept the various world religions of Islam, Hindu, and Buddhism, as being of God. Neither accept the divided and contradictory religious world of so-called Christendom as being something that is from God. Such didn’t exist in the time of Christ. Approximately 2000 years ago a man named Jesus of Nazareth, was put to death as a criminal, though he had done many wonderful deeds. It was predetermined by God that he should die and be resurrected (Acts 2:23, 24). If Jesus did in fact resurrect from the dead, then he is certainly God. One correctly observed, “for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). His resurrected person was seen by many witnesses, even by 500 people at one time (1 Cor. 15:6). Followers of Christ at this time were only called Christians. “One name... one faith!” They were not “hyphenated Christians” as so many suggest they are today. Will you investigate the “one faith” of first-century Christians (Eph. 4:5)?
A Challenge to Investigate the Church of Christ.
Just as sure as Jesus resurrected from the dead, he established his one true church, “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). It began in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1ff). It was built by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28). Its law came from Jerusalem, not New York, Switzerland, or even Mt. Sinai as some suggest (Isa. 2:3; Jer. 31:31-34; Acts 2). We challenge you to find where it wears a name that gives honour to a method (i.e., Methodist), an eldership presbytery (Presbyterian); a day (Seventh Day Adventist; Pentecost), or any other concept, doctrine or person (Grace Dispensational, Baptist, Free Will, Saint Paul’s Catholic, etc.). We challenge you to be content with those designations found in the Bible: “church of God” (1 Cor. 1:2); church of Christ (Romans 16:16); “church of the Firstborn” (Heb. 12:23), etc.
Will you investigate the church of Christ?