Mt. Vernon Church of Christ Services Sunday A. M. Bible Study - 9:30 Sunday A. M. Worship - 10:30 Sunday P. M. Worship - 5:00 Wednesday Evening Bible Study - 6:00 Address 700 Mill Street Mt. Vernon, Indiana  47620 Contact (812) 838-2635 email Gospel Plan of Salvation Hear - Rom. 10:17 Believe - Mark 16:15,16 Repent - Luke 17:3 Confess - Rom. 10:10 Be baptized - Acts 2:38 Live faithfully - Titus 2:12 “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God...” (I Peter 4:11) Mt. Vernon Church of Christ

My  friends, I have just called your attention again to the statement of the Christ, when Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," the response made by Jesus was a benediction pronounced upon Peter for making that confession.  I regret to say that the effort of the unbelieving world is to rob Christian people of their faith in that one fundamental statement, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

All of these books and lectures exalting Jesus, the man; Jesus, the Great Teacher; Jesus, the Matchless Man of Galilee; Jesus, the Great Philosopher, are laden with downright infidelity. You  may not see that at first mention, but the effort is to exalt Christ as a man towering above his fellows in his ability to teach, to instruct, and in his philosophy of life. But they never mention the fact that he is God's Son. Let me say to you, brethren and friends tonight, I'm not especially interested in Jesus as a man, nor as a teacher, nor as a philosopher, but I am tremendously interested in Jesus Christ as the Son of  God, and the Saviour of mankind. This is where the emphasis needs to go. "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God." "Blessed art thou, Simon." Where did you get it? Flesh and blood didn't reveal it, but my Father did. Now Peter, I'm telling you, "Upon this rock," that is, upon this great fundamental truth which shows my relation to the Heavenly Father: "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."  I think this is the strongest determination expressed. "I will build my church." I've had it in mind;  it's according to God's pre-arranged plan, and from the foundation of the world, it was the intent  of Jehovah, that unto principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God, and for that reason, I expect to build it. All the powers of the Hadean world shall not prevail against my so doing. Now let's analyze just what  he  said  in  that. Christ said: "I will build my church." Who is the builder? Jesus said: "I will build." Now, don't you see this, that any church built by anybody other than Jesus Christ is not the one of  the  Bible? I, Jesus Christ, "will build my church."  Well, suppose N. B. Hardeman were to start out and organize or build a church, could it possibly be the one mentioned by Christ? Don't you know that's not the thing that Christ was talking about? Well, note again.

This church mentioned by Him was builded in the year 33, according to our calendar. Well, again, in Zechariah 1:16, we love the  prophet's declaration: "I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it." In what? In Jerusalem shall my house be builded. Now mark three things:  Who built the church? What's the answer? Jesus Christ. When did he build it? In the year 33. Where did he build it? In the city of Jerusalem. Now that's just as simple as it can be.

Without going into details I'm referring you to the origin of all the denominations on this earth. You'll find an account of them, not in the Bible of course, but in the "Federal Statistics  of  Religious Census," a book your Congressman will send you on request. Now then, after you've  investigated, you'll find this: each one of them was built by some other man than Jesus Christ,  at  some other time than the year 33, and at some other place than Jerusalem. Well, what is the conclusion?  They were, therefore, begun by the wrong person, at the wrong time, in the wrong place. Therefore, they cannot be the thing which Jesus Christ had in mind when he said: "Upon this rock, I will build my church." I think that's very important, and that much depends upon it. Such things ought to challenge our most serious concern, research, and investigation.

Now, note another thing. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 16:18 in the year 32: "Upon this rock,"  a great fundamental fact, "I will build my church." Well, that means that he had not done  it previously. "Will build," certainly cannot point backward. It refers to something not yet done. Now, I just want to say, that unless people in general will get the basic idea, and the fundamental  conception of affairs, we can't make much progress in our efforts to come together. All of you, who perchance, are attached to some organization which teaches that the church was organized  and set up previous to the time mentioned in this connection by Christ, are bound to be wrong about that. Christ said, I will build it. Now may I say to you this, that practically all the leading  denominations represented in the city of Nashville, are based upon the erroneous idea that the church started back in the days of Abraham, or in the days of John the Baptist, or during the personal ministry of Jesus Christ our Lord. There lives not a man on earth, who can prove the correctness of such contentions.  Now we've got to plant our Jacob's staff at the right corner and get our tripod  correctly set, or else, we never can run the line aright and come out with no dissension and no controversy. Let's everybody, therefore, march back to Jerusalem, to the year 33, and recognize Jesus Christ as the builder of that great institution. The church was organized on that day of Pentecost. It was filled with the Holy Spirit and started out upon its great mission as God's institution through which His wisdom was to be revealed unto mortal man.

N. B. Hardeman, The Church, excerpted from Hardeman’s Tabernacle Sermons, Volume IV

The Church
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