Jesus said the kingdom is like a man who found a priceless pearl (Matthew 13:45–46). The kingdom is the church, so finding the right church is equivalent to finding great treasure—eternal treasure. You can identify it by the following traits:
The New Testament Church was built by Christ and belongs to Him.
Jesus promised, “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). Christ is the foundation and chief cornerstone of the church (1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:19–22). The church carries His name (Romans 16:16).
The New Testament church has a specific pattern of worship (John 4:24).
They meet on the first day of the week (Sunday) (Acts 2:1; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1–2; Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1–2; John 20:1–2, 19, 26).
They partake of the Lord’s supper on the first day of the week (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23–25).
The New Testament church worships in prayer (Acts 2:42).
The New Testament church sings praises to God (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
The New Testament church is edified by the preaching of God’s Word (Acts 20:7; 2 Timothy 4:2–4).
The New Testament church makes a contribution on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1–2).
The New Testament church has a specific organization.
Jesus Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22–23; Colossians 1:18).
Each congregation has its own elders who oversee the work (Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:1–2; Philippians 1:1). They are called bishops or overseers (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7), and shepherds or pastors (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:1–4). The elders must meet specific qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9).
Deacons are the servants of the church (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8–13).
Evangelists, ministers of the Word, are preachers of the gospel (Acts 21:8; Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:1–5).
“I will build My church” Matthew 16:18