"Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers (“episkopos” or "Bishops") in which you tend the church of God that He acquired with His own blood. " - Acts 20:28
There can only be ONE Original Gangster (see video)! If you aren't part of the original, than you are part of an imitation. Throughout the 2,000 years of Christianity, there has been many attempts to tear down or improve upon the original church that Jesus established, but His bride still stands strong today!
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He didn't leave us orphans to figure it all out on our own. He left us with a deposit of faith, oral teachings and a church to guid us. This Church is not just an invisible church, an imaginary church or vague interpretations of revelation. His church is not a needle in the haystack of denominations for us to discover on our own. Jesus did not hide his light under a bushel and the gates of hell have not prevailed against His Church (Matt 16:20). His Church is the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a city set on the hill (Matt 5:13-14); the Pillar and Foundation of Truth." - 1Tim 3:15 This church is ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC (Apostles Creed).
- It is ONE since it is united in faith. Christ's church has authority; the ability to teach us in the name of the God ("It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us..." - Acts 15:18) and is guided by the Holy Spirit ("receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld." - John 20:22).
- It is HOLY, not because of its sinful members, but because it is Jesus protecting His bride. Jesus is the strong man protecting His house (Luke 11:21); He is the Good Sheppard guiding His flock; Jesus is the King ruling His Kingdom; He is the wise man who built His house on rock (Matthew 7:24).
- The Church is CATHOLIC since it is universal; it is for all nations and all times.
- The Church is APOSTOLIC since it was built by Jesus Christ (the Rock, the Chief Cornerstone, the Carpenter and Master Builder!) on Peter and the Apostles. It is Apostolic since it is historical, an "Everlasting Kingdom" (Daniel 2 & 4). It is also hierarchical with Bishops (Episcopos), Presbyters, Deacons (Diakonos) and Elders (see Acts). Just as King David established his Kingdom of Israel with its 12 tribes, Jesus established His heavenly Kingdom on the foundation of the 12 apostles. And just as the Davidic King would have a Prime Minister, who was given the "Keys to the kingdom" as a sign of his office (Isaiah 22: 20-22), Jesus selected Peter as His first Prime Minister and entrusted to him the keys of the Kingdom (Matthew 16:19).
While it is very easy to tear something down, it is not easy to build something up and uphold and sustain it over time. The Bible says that, "If it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God." - Acts 5:39 "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain." - Psalm 127:1 Many critics throw stones at the flawed members of the church or misunderstand her teachings while missing out on the numerous Easter Eggs inside. Many skeptically observe from the outside, and miss the history, tradition, truth, goodness and beauty within (stained glass).
There can only be one original and through the grace of God, that ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, APOSTOLIC CHURCH continues to guide those who seek Him!
"How many forces in the course of history have tried, and still do, to destroy the Church, from without as well as within, but they themselves are destroyed and the Church remains alive and fruitful! She remains inexplicably solid!" - Pope Francis
"To make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Ephesians 3:9-10
Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you.” When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”
"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and of us ... " - St. Peter (Acts 15:28)