God's Church Welcomes You

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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). 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). The apostle Peter then spoke to the people who were gathered from many nations to keep that feast (Acts 2:5-14). On that day 3,000 people believed Peter's inspired words, repented of their past way of life and were baptized (Acts 2:41).

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). 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). It is God who calls us, and it is Christ who works with us and will resurrect us (John 6:44). 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; Hebrews 10:24-25).

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).

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). 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). But, while we wait for that to take place, we are about our Father's business (Luke 2:49; Matthew 24:14; Matthew 28:19-20). 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).

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