He assured His disciples that He would guide and preserve His Church until His return, promising them, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
What Compromises Jesus' Church
The Church is comprised of disciples or students of Jesus Christ who convene to receive God's instruction. The Bible is the textbook for these students of Christ. Paul explains that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable . . . for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The teachers are the duly appointed elders of Jesus Christ who preach God's Word (Romans 10:14-15; 2 Timothy 4:2). God holds them accountable for "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15) and for "being examples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:3; 1 Timothy 3:2-7).
The Church, however, is far more than just a spiritual assembly of students who gather to be instructed for their own benefit. Jesus' Church is to be a people special to God, called and chosen by Him to receive salvation (eternal life) as the children of God.
Christians are special to God in the sense that they are cherished for their faith and obedience (Ephesians 5:24, Ephesians 5:29)—not because God regards them as inherently more worthy than others (Romans 2:11; Romans 3:23).
Jesus' Church Today
What happened to Jesus' church? An eyewitness tells us that, immediately after Christ ascended into heaven after His resurrection, His apostles "went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs" (Mark 16:20). The Church had a powerful beginning. Yet today, it is largely divided and mixed with nonbiblical practices.
Jesus said: "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:20-21).
How can you locate God's special people in the midst of the splintered and fractured faith that we know as Christianity? What distinguishes them from those to whom Jesus Christ said, "I never knew you"? (Matthew 7:23).
The Church Jesus built is a truly converted, humble body of people who have repented of their disregard for God's laws. They have been transformed by baptism and the receiving of God's Spirit. They rely, in faith, on Jesus Christ to help them live by every word of God.
Jesus' Church today is the vehicle Jesus Christ uses to proclaim the truth about the coming Kingdom of God to the world (Matthew 24:14). It is the family God is building—His own children—who will receive eternal life at Christ's return (1 John 3:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
As children of God, Jesus' Church anticipates a "new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13). Its members eagerly await the return of Jesus Christ so they can assist Him in bringing true repentance and salvation to the world (Luke 11:2; Revelation 3:21).
To fulfill their mission and maintain the closeness and unity that Christ expects of them, the members of His Church regularly assemble together as commanded in the Scriptures (Exodus 20:8-11). They take seriously the admonition: "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
The Church assembles together on the seventh-day Sabbath, as was the custom of Jesus Christ and the apostles (Luke 4:16, Luke 4:31-32; Acts 13:14, Acts 13:42, Acts 13:44). Its members strive to follow the example of Jesus and the apostles in all things (1 John 2:6; 1 Corinthians 11:1).
The members of United Church of God are dedicated to preserving and proclaiming "the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 1:3, NRSV).
Congregations of the United Church of God, an International Association, are striving to do their part in fulfilling the mission Christ gave to His Church.
We meet in major cities around the world. We are zealously committed to obeying God, loving one another and completing the Church's mission of spreading the true gospel of the Kingdom of God. All who desire to learn the truth, to obey God and fellowship with others of like mind and spirit are always welcome.