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Membership in the Universal Church

By A.W. Tozer

      Sometimes people come into the local church who have never come into the universal church. People join a church who have never been born into the true church. Some churches actually throw the doors open and say, "Now we'll sing the closing hymn for those who want to unite with the church. Come to the front." Al Capone could come in and join. Nobody asks any questions; they just take in anybody. I do not believe in that at all, and I know you do not either. I believe that if you are going to get into a local church, you should first be in the universal church, which Jesus purchased with His own blood. You should get into the church with rebirth, the Holy Spirit and regeneration. Then you should join a local assembly. It is impossible to receive Christ and reject His people. How do you find the Shepherd? Go where the sheep are! If you do not know where the Shepherd is, then go where the sheep are. All else being equal, that is where you will find the Shepherd. Whoever receives Christ must receive His people too. Jesus said, "He who receives you receives me" (Matthew 10:40a). Whoever rejects the bride rejects the Bridegroom, and whoever rejects the flock rejects the Shepherd. I think that is clear enough.

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