Marks of the Church

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
2 Peter 2:10b–16
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Marks of the Church
            False teachers of God’s Word are in no short supply. They can be found in all areas of life, even in the church. This can be a frightening thought for the Christian. This is why we do not use worldly measures to judge our church.  Because the church is popular and thousands of people attend and millions more watch on T.V. does not guarantee what is being preached is sound, any more than a small country church with a few dozen members guarantee sound doctrine. What the mark of the true church is, is not found in our personal preferences, our likes or dislikes, but whether or not that church is rightly preaching the Word of God, dividing Law and Gospel, and faithfully administering the Sacraments. When those elements are present Christ is present, and where Christ is forgiveness of sins and life everlasting is present. God did not leave His church without understanding but guides it in the truth of Christ crucified. Find a church that preaches Christ crucified for you, find a church that regularly delivers Christ’s true body and blood for the forgiveness, of sin, find a church that welcomes infant and old to the saving waters of Holy Baptism, and there you will find truth and forgiveness. There you will find Christ Jesus.  
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