God's Church Welcomes You

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After Jesus’ resurrection He instructed and encouraged His disciples over the course of 40 days (Acts 1:3 Acts 1:3To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
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). He told them to remain in Jerusalem so they could receive God’s miraculous power. On Pentecost the disciples were assembled in Jerusalem when God gave them His Spirit, validated by signs and wonders (Acts 2:1-4 Acts 2:1-4 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
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). The apostle Peter then spoke to the people who were gathered from many nations to keep that feast (Acts 2:5-14 Acts 2:5-14 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What means this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said to them, You men of Judaea, and all you that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known to you, and listen to my words:
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). On that day 3,000 people believed Peter’s inspired words, repented of their past way of life and were baptized (Acts 2:41 Acts 2:41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.
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).

When the apostle Paul visited gentiles in cities like Rome, Ephesus and Corinth, many kinds of people were added to God’s Church. Age, race or sex made no difference. They all became “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 Ephesians 2:19Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
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). This is an important point: God makes people from all races and ages and from both sexes as one body of believers. We fellowship as the family of God.

But how does this godly fellowship begin?

Our fellowship begins with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3 1 John 1:3That which we have seen and heard declare we to you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
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). It is God who calls us, and it is Christ who works with us and will resurrect us (John 6:44 John 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
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). Christ’s disciples come into fellowship with each other after they have responded to God’s fellowship from above. The disciples of Christ begin their fellowship with God through God’s calling (verse 44). Then, led by God’s Spirit and His human servants, they begin to meet and fellowship with one another (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. 10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
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; Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.
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).

Wonderful Christian fellowship with one another will grow in direct proportion to our respect and reverence for God. “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on [esteem] His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I make them My jewels [literally “special treasure”]. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him’ ” (Malachi 3:16-17 Malachi 3:16-17 16 Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD listened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought on his name. 17 And they shall be mine, said the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son that serves him.
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).

Christ’s disciples look to God first, then to others who also first looked to God. God calls us to His fellowship: “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9 1 Corinthians 1:9God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
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). He invites us to participate in that fellowship through becoming members of His Church. Eventually all people will enjoy the same uplifting and encouraging fellowship when Christ returns to earth.

God’s fellowship is reserved for those who strive to obey God and have faith in Him and His promises. God and members of His Church want you to share in His loving fellowship.

We who are a part of God’s Church are much like you. We desire and pray for God’s Kingdom to come to earth (Matthew 6:10 Matthew 6:10Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
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). But, while we wait for that to take place, we are about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49 Luke 2:49And he said to them, How is it that you sought me? knew you not that I must be about my Father’s business?
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; Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
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; Matthew 28:19-20 Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
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). We are united in a great mission, seeking to please Him by serving Him and mankind.

The United Church of God prays eagerly for new people to become part of the divine fellowship that exists between God and His Church. Those who respond to God’s invitation will enjoy His uniting fellowship through God’s Spirit. “Therefore if there is any consolation [encouragement] in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2 Philippians 2:1-2 1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfill you my joy, that you be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
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).

The United Church of God extends a warm welcome to all those who honor God and His living principles of life.