As you consider obeying the gospel, many of the “what ifs” will be frightful. I won’t insult you by saying that your path will be easy. But this much I know: if God commands it, it can be done. Our prayer is not for ease but for boldness.
Heaven is the reason why people become Christians. At least, that’s what life in Christ was about in the apostolic age. Its “end” or intended goal was not a better world right now — it was, as Peter saw clearly, “the salvation of your souls.”
Yes, by all means investigate the “churches of Christ.” But when you visit, you’ll need to look deeper than the name and ask lots of questions. That designation expresses a noble idea, but a congregation is not “of Christ” just because it says it is.
As you look for a faithful congregation, don’t be misled by the attractions of entertainment masquerading as religion. You’re searching for the Lord’s people, so “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
You can’t read what happened in Antioch in Acts 11:19–26 and imagine those people downplaying their duties to the Lord’s church in their locality. The entire New Testament assumes that Christians will be members of local groups of saints.
Because the truth is indestructible, the church built upon it is indestructible. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Satan could not prevent God’s Son from accomplishing His mission, and he cannot destroy the church which the Son built.
It is not the church building but the members of God’s spiritual family who make up His “house,” as made clear by the translation “household” in the ESV. This marvelous household is referred to elsewhere as “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
The character of God is the key to the assurance of our salvation. God being who He is, we do not doubt that He desires for us to overcome every discouragement thrown at us by the enemy (1 Peter 5:8). God will give us the help we need — abundantly.
The new Christian needs to know that he has embarked on a process of spiritual growth. Many texts speak of this, but none more clearly than Ephesians 4:15,16 where Paul says that “we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”
There are some things about God’s plan for the church that to our modern “common sense” seem foolish or unworkable, but those things reflect the “manifold wisdom of God” just as much, if not more so, than the parts we happen to like.