Our purpose is to love our Lord, our community and each other. Below you will find answers to questions people often ask about the West Visalia Church of Christ. Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.
First off, we do not call it “our church” but “The Lord’s church”, hence the name “the church of Christ. Once you believe in Jesus (John 8:24), change Your Life/Repent (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and are baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38), God saves you by His grace and adds you to HIS CHURCH (Acts 2:41,47). If you don’t think you have ever done these things, or are concerned about your salvation and want to know more, please contact us immediately. If you have previously done these things, and are a Christian new to the area, please contact one of the Elders if you are interested in becoming a member of this congregation. You will be working with a congregation of great Christians who love God and each other. Being an active member of a local congregation is very important to one’s spiritual growth.
NO. In fact, we do not have a creed or council to tell us how to serve our Lord. We believe that God gave us the Bible as the one and only guide book for religion, and that is what we follow. We are just Christians who are trying our best to serve God with all of our heart because of the wonderful things that He has done for us. We are the church of Christ. This is not a proper name, but a descriptive term; we are the church that belongs to Christ.
We don’t refer to ourselves in any divisive man made term such as “Baptists”, “Lutherans”, “Pentecostals” or “Catholics”. The only term we use to define ourselves is Christian.The designations used by the church of Christ are only those which are found in the New Testament for the church and its members. In Acts 11:26 we read that “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch,” Members of the church honor Christ by wearing this divinely given name. In Romans 16:16, we read: “The churches of Christ greet you.” Christ said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). The name “church of Christ” simply means that the church belongs to Christ for He is its purchaser and builder.
As already mentioned, the church of Christ is not a denomination founded by man nor a part of any religious organization founded by man. It originated in Heaven in the mind of God and was set up on earth in the city of Jerusalem on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Lord (Ephesians 3:8-11; Acts 2). Instead of working with denominations, members of the church of Christ plead that all believers in Jesus Christ heed His prayer for unity and become one in His blood bought body, the church (John 17:20-21; Ephesians 4:4-6; Acts 20:28). Some might call that non-denominational or anti-denominational; we call it Biblical.
The foundation of the church of Christ is Jesus Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 3:11). A building is only as strong as its foundation. The same is true of a church. If a church is built upon a man or a human creed, it will fall. Only Jesus Christ has a right to build a church for He alone is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:13-19).
As for our particular congregation, early in the 1930’s a small group of Christians conducted afternoon meetings in Visalia off of Court St. between 1932 and 1933 using the title of “Visalia Church of Christ”. This body of believers has met in many different locations over the years and has gone through different periods of transition. From this original group the West Visalia Church of Christ was started in 1964. Since 2001 our congregation has met and served our community from our facility on Caldwell and Linwood Ave.
Answer: Simple, friendly, and Biblical (and not really that long either :). The worship of the church of Christ is plainly given in the New Testament. Jesus said: “God is Spirit: and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The day Christians worship is Sunday, the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). The ways Christians worship are: singing, preaching, praying, giving, and the communion (Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Acts 20:7; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
NO, we have not, nor will we ever solicit funds from visitors. Giving back to God is part of worship and it is something that most Christians do weekly (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). We also expect church members to give and be engaged in charitable works throughout their lives. When we pass the “collection plate” on Sunday it is not to ask for your money, but to provide an opportunity for members of our congregation to give to God and to financially support the many different works that we are engaged in.
NO, we do not have a Priest or one man or woman leading the church in the role that many churches refer to as “the Pastor”. The organization of the church of Christ follows the simple pattern given in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the only Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22,23; Colossians 1:18). The headquarters of the church of Christ is in Heaven where the Head, Jesus Christ, is (Acts 1:9-11; 2:30-33). Christians in each community meet together to worship and serve God (Acts 20:6,7; I Corinthians 1:1,2). Each one of these congregations is a “church of Christ” and as a whole are “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16).
Each local church of Christ is self-governing under Jesus Christ, the Head. They are led by men known variously as “elders” (Acts 14:23), “bishops” (Philippians 1:1), or “pastors” (Ephesians 4:11). These different designations all refer to the same office (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5,7; 1 Peter 5:1-4). These leaders must have all the qualifications given by God before they can serve in the eldership (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Deacons are servants of the church (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-13) who also must be qualified before they can serve. Evangelists are preachers of the Gospel (2 Timothy 4:1-5). They may serve local churches under their elders or carry the Gospel into new areas (1 Timothy 1:3; Acts 8:5-40; 21:8,9). The name of our primary evangelist is Cliff Sabroe.
Yes it is. The Bible speaks of but one church, the church of Christ (Ephesians 4:4; Colossians 1:18).Christ has promised to save His church at the Last Day (Ephesians 5:23). No salvation is promised to those out of Christ but instead they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Jesus died for the church (Ephesians 5:25). Since the church was important to Jesus, it should be important to us too.
There are many verses in the Bible that mention baptism. Mark 16:16 - Baptism is necessary for salvation, Acts 2:38 - Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins, Gal 3:27 - Baptism clothes us with Christ, Romans 6:3-4 - Baptism puts us in Christ, 1 Peter 3:21 - Baptism saves us. Baptism is necessary for one to be in Christ, receive grace, be saved and be added to the church.