The Apostle Paul, through whom the Holy Spirit gave most of the Scriptures we have examined, told the elders of Ephesus:
"I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." (Acts 20:27-28)
The same Apostle wrote:
"According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
There are those who say it makes no difference how a church is organized, that we are free to do whatever we wish. But "Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, 'See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.'" (Hebrews 8:5) Even so, we have been given a divine pattern for the church. This pattern is radically different from the organized church as we know it. While we were ignorant of God's pattern we had an excuse. But in Luke 12:47-48 our Lord said: "And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."
Those who know the pattern for the church of God are responsible to follow it. We cannot pass this responsibility on to others. We are individually responsible. For those who obey, there will be rich blessing. For those who do not, there will be loss. What are we going to do with this information?
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