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It is written:
Luke 8:11-“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
One of the greatest obstacles to the spread of the Gospel has been the blight and the plight of Denominationalism.
Man-made churches and creeds have hindered the spread of the Good News of Jesus in the world (which is exactly what Jesus would happen when His followers were not united on His Word together-John 17:20-21).
It is here that we are going in to begin a detailed study of what is known as the Restoration Movement.
The church which Jesus established was built upon and reproduced in the world by the Word of God As a seed planted in good soil will bring forth the specific fruit of that seed, so the Word of God planted in good soil would bring forth the kingdom (or church, Matthew 16:18-19) of Christ (cf. Matthew 13:19). The church which Jesus had built on Pentecost (Acts 2:41, 47) was united together on the Word of God (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 John 9-11). However, the Apostles of Christ foretold that there would be a falling away from the Word of God (Acts 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-14). This happened-resulting in the formation of the Catholic church-and was followed by a period known as the Reformation (where sincere followers of Christ within Roman Catholicism attempted to “reform” the Catholic church). This resulted in the formation of many more man-made churches and creeds, and this in tern led to the Restoration Movement.
What exactly is the Restoration Movement?
It is the effort of sincere Christians to cast off man-made creeds and return to the pattern of God’s Word.
“Undenominationalism has been the goal of sincere Christians in every age. It is entirely presumptuous for anyone to suppose that he alone has attained it. Although historical and Biblical evidence is not available as proof, we have stated earlier the conviction that there have been simple New Testament Christians in every age. We are here chiefly concerned with tracing undenominational efforts in the United States. We have, however, deep respect and appreciation for the unsung heroes of Europe, who, unable to bring the New Testament church into historical prominence, gave their lives rather than compromise with a popular and powerful apostasy. The early leaders of the Reformation in Europe had no intention of forming denominational churches. Luther told his followers to call themselves Christians—not Lutherans. Yet the followers of these great men crystallized their progress by “institutionalizing” their fellowship. Succeeding generations referred to their interpretations and defended their conclusions. But not all men were so content, for some have emerged to reevaluate the past in the light of Scripture and to stir their generations to continue the search for the ancient order. Often one worked entirely independent of and unaware of the other’s activity.” (F.W. Matrix & John McRay, The Eternal Kingdom: A History of the Church of Christ, 336 (Kindle Edition); Charleston, AR; Cobb Publishing)
Before we begin a study of the Restoration Movement, it will help us to review the teaching of Scripture regarding the events that preceded it (i.e., the Falling Away and the Reformation).
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.