Which is the true church?
Every Sunday when we attend
church and when we confess the articles of our Christian faith we say: I believe in the holy catholic church: "The communion of saints". (The word catholic comes from the Greek katholikos which simply means "general" or "universal" and is not applicable to the Roman Catholic Church only). The church in which we believe is the Christian church as a whole - that is the only true church.
But we find many different churches in the world. In each of those churches we find true believers and people who call themselves Christians but whom we call nominal Christians. That means that though they are called Christians, their hearts really do not belong to the Lord. But the true Christians in those churches are also members of the holy catholic (general) church, although they are members of
the church they like or were born in. They will be present at the end of time when believers from every race, tribe, nation and language, from every generation will stand before the throne of Jesus as an enormous crowd (read Revelation 7:9-10).
No church, either Roman Catholic, Anglican, Wesleyan, Dutch Reformed or any other, can say: We are the only true church - all you
others are lost. No, there is only one Christian church. All the churches that believe in the Bible as the Word of God, and preach the message of it correctly; that serve the sacraments (baptism and holy communion) properly; that have a proper discipline to guard the holiness of the congregation, can count as members the true believers who belong to the general Christian church - the church which had its beginning on the day of Pentecost.
If you wish to find a good church for yourself among all the thousands that are available, start visiting some churches. Then as yourself:
1. Do they love and obey the Lord Jesus here?
2. Do I feel at home with their way of worship?
3. Do they really care for one another?
4. Do they accept the authority of the whole Bible?
5. Do they try to live holy lives, or is sin tolerated?
These questions will help you to find the right church for you and your family.