God and Jesus Christ inspired the New Testament writers to refer to the Church with a name most English translations render as the "Church of God," which means it is a spiritual organism that belongs to God.
Thus the legal name chosen for the church organization that publishes this booklet is "United Church of God, an International Association." Our chosen name first reflects our commitment to using the biblical name of the Church.
Furthermore, God expects His people to get organized and coordinate their efforts to more effectively fulfill His work. The word "United" reflects our goal of striving for spiritual unity and harmony, which the New Testament heavily emphasizes (Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Corinthians 12).
"An International Association" reflects our representation in many countries around the world and our commitment to fulfill Christ's commission to "go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15, NIV). We are trying to reach everyone of every race in all nations to give them the wonderful "words of eternal life" (John 6:68).
We in United Church of God fully believe that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16). And Christ's followers must be "doers of the word, and not hearers only" (James 1:22; Revelation 14:12).
We are deeply dedicated to fulfilling the twofold commission Jesus gave His Church—to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world and to shepherd and nurture the Church's members. Our recognition of and commitment to this instruction is reflected in our logo: "Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People."
The Bible is full of many warnings to beware of deceitful teachers, such as those who preach about the Messenger but don't teach His message, much less the rest of the Bible (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Matthew 7:20-23; Matthew 24:4-5, Matthew 24:11, Matthew 24:24-25). Much of today's "Christianity" is syncretism, meaning a blend of ideas from many ancient religions. Jesus expects His religion to be essentially the same in this 21st century as it was in the first century (Hebrews 13:8).
The Church as described in the Bible obeys all of the Ten Commandments. This includes the Fourth Commandment about remembering the day that God made holy at creation (Exodus 20:8-11; Genesis 2:1-3). All places in the Bible that mention the weekly Sabbath mean the same thing—the seventh day of the week, which is Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
Therefore our weekly worship services are on the biblical Sabbath. This is the day God made holy. No human being can make any day holy or transfer the Sabbath to another day. And there is not a shred of evidence that God ever took the holiness from the seventh day and transferred it to some other day. (Our free Bible study aid Sunset to Sunset: God's Sabbath Rest gives abundant proof that the Sabbath is still God's weekly Holy Day and that God gives great blessings to those who reverence it, celebrate it and obey Him in this manner.)
We warmly invite all who are interested—and your children—to visit our Sabbath services any time. Or you may desire to talk with one of our ministers first. Contact us for the location of the nearest congregation or pastor.
To learn more, download or request our free Bible study aid booklet This Is the United Church of God.