Does the Bible reveal the name of the true Church to us? How does the New Testament refer to the Church that Jesus Christ founded?
There are thousands of varieties of names of Christian denominations today, but they are names men have chosen for any number of reasons. Most have overlooked what the Bible says!
Jesus prayed in the evening after keeping His last Passover with His disciples that they would be kept in the Father’s name: “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are” (John 17:11, emphasis added throughout).
Was Christ’s prayer fulfilled? By what name did Christ inspire the disciples to call the true Church? The answer is revealed in 12 scriptures. Unmistakably, they identify the name for God’s true Church.
As a collective body of all members on earth, the name is the Church of God.
- Acts 20:28: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:32: “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.”
- 1 Corinthians 11:22: “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:9: “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
- Galatians 1:13: “For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.”
- 1 Timothy 3:5: “For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?”
- 1 Timothy 3:15: “But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
Two scriptures include the city where the Church of God is located:
- 1 Corinthians 1:2: “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.”
- 2 Corinthians 1:1: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia.”
Speaking of the endurance of the true Church, Jesus said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). “The gates of Hades” means the grave. Said another way, the true Church would never die out! That means the Church Jesus founded exists today!Paul mentions the Church of God three more times in the Bible using the plural form of the name:
- 1 Corinthians 11:16: “But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.”
- 1 Thessalonians 2:14: “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans.”
- 2 Thessalonians 1:4: “So that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure.”
God’s Church survives
Speaking of the endurance of the true Church, Jesus said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). “The gates of Hades” means the grave. Said another way, the true Church would never die out! That means the Church Jesus founded exists today!
Therefore, it is clear that “Church of God” must be part of the name of the true Church. But do not assume that because you see those words in the name of a particular church that it is part of the undying Church Jesus began nearly 2,000 years ago. Having the correct name is crucial, but it is not the only identifying characteristic! God gives us several key qualities that His true Church must have.
They are not difficult to find in your Bible. We urge you to spend the time to research this vitally important subject. For more information on signs of the true Church, continue reading the articles on this website, including the articles in our section “The Church.”