Mountain View
church of Christ

Just Christians

Just Christians

We're a group of Christians dedicated to following the teachings of God, and of His Son Jesus, as found in the Bible. We are a congregation of people who care deeply about one another as God has instructed us to love one another. We strive to live our lives in a way that will be pleasing to God and, therefore, according to His Word.

We believe that the Bible contains the words of God, and that we must follow and apply those words to our lives every day. As such, we're on a mission to teach our friends and neighbors that life eternal through God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, is available to all.

We strive to be just "Christians" - men and women following the Bible as best we can and encouraging one another as we go. When we sin we repent and strive to do better next time.

What can we do to help you in your walk?

How do we Worship?

How do we Worship?

Among the early Christians we read about in the New Testament, worship was something that all believers participated in every Sunday, not something they simply watched.  On the first day of EVERY week they would eat the Lord'?s Supper and hear preaching (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 11:23-29). They would share their mutual responsibilities by sharing their prosperity. We find no other examples or commands of collections than this (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). No church hierarchy told them how much money to give. They had no ?church organizations? clamoring for their money and telling them how much to "tithe," but, each member in the New Testament ?purposed in their own hearts? (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).  In their assemblies they would all sing  (Ephesians 5:19) and all would pray when a chosen man of the assembly would lead them (I Corinthians 14:15-16). No one person performed the worship, but each worshipped God as commanded by Jesus Christ.   It was simple but powerful, because each person had a responsibility to worship in spirit and in truth.

Today, God commands that we worship "decently and in order" (I Corinthians 14:40).   God didn't want worship to be a time to be entertained, a time to hear a church orchestra or a powerful orator.  Instead, God gave us worship as a time to thoughtfully and prayerfully turn our hearts and our minds to ways in which we can better serve Him, serve our fellow man and to serve each other.

What is Special About the Bible?

What is special about the Bible?

The Bible was written for everyday people to read, think about for themselves and to put into practice.   The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  His coming (Genesis 49:10), His mission (Isaiah 53, Zechariah 6:13) and His new message (Jeremiah 31:31-33) were all foretold in the Old Testament hundreds of years before He was born.  Jesus Christ wasn'?t simply ?a good man? but He Himself said in Luke 19:10 that He came ?to seek and to save the lost.?  Some have foolishly decided that Jesus is no longer relevant.  But God said in Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, today and forever."   His clear and simple teachings are just as powerful and relevant today as ever.  Maybe even more so!

God Holds Us Each Accountable

We believe that God will hold each of us accountable for our actions.  What we say, what we do and how we live our lives is important.   His only Son said so.  His Son taught us that there are two destinations for everyone- heaven and hell.  He taught us how to live our lives such that we can live with Him eternally-- no matter how bad things in our lives "used to be."

Once we become Christians, we must each check our egos at the door, and we must be personally accountable for following the teachings of the Bible.  The apostle Peter,  when confronted by an arrogant religious leader who didn't like what Peter had to say about this leader's sin and hypocrisy, replied "We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)   We urge our visitors and our members to constantly weigh what they see and hear at Mountain View against the Bible.  If we are in error, we want to know about it. It is our goal to follow the pattern that is outlined in the New Testament.

God holds us accountable for reaching out to others. We care about your soul and we are interested in studying God's Word with you.

The Bible is the complete Teaching of God.

 II Timothy 3:16-17 says "All scripture is inspired by God".  Not just some of the Scripture.  Not most.  All.  It then goes on to say, "...and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."  According to this and other teachings in the Bible, God has given us the complete teachings we need to live our lives-- how to be good parents, good spouses, good employees, good employers, good students, good citizens and productive members of the only kingdom that matters- the kingdom of Jesus Christ!  Why would any of us think that men could improve upon God's words?

The Heart and Mind of Jesus Christ

We believe that The New Testament reveals the heart and mind of Christ (Hebrews 9:15-17).  By studying the New Testament, we learn that no denominations existed?. History shows that these came later. We read of people of faith obeying the conditions of God'?s grace: they believed, turned to God, repented of their sins and were baptized in order to be forgiven of their sins.  It is after they were baptized and thus saved, that they were added to the Lord'?s people, or ?church? (Acts 2:36-47).  As the gospel spread, we see them assembling in congregations in various locations, each local group under the oversight of its own elders (also called bishops, overseers, pastors or shepherds) who did not answer to anyone other than Jesus. These men could not make laws or be masters, but were only given the responsibility of caring for the congregation as shepherds would a flock (Acts 20:17, 28; I Peter 5:1-3). These early Christians only knew of one headquarters: heaven, where their master, Jesus Christ, ruled over each of them (Ephesians 1:23).

This is what we strive to emulate.

Is Being Religious the Same as Being Righteous?

Is Being Religious the Same as Being Righteous?

Perhaps it would be best if we let the Bible answer this question. We see in the New Testament an example of a good and religious man who, although he was a good man, was taught that there was more that God required of him. Acts 10 tells us that this man Cornelius was taught the gospel by the apostle Peter, and baptized into Christ as soon as he was taught what he must do.

Acts 10:1-8

1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ?Cornelius!?
4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ?What is it, lord??
So he said to him, ?Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.  He will tell you what you must do.? 7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.

Peter?s Vision (Acts 10:9-23)

9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour [noon]. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, ?Rise, Peter; kill and eat.?
14 But Peter said, ?Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.?
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, ?What God has cleansed you must not call common.? 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon?s house, and stood before the gate. 18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there.
19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ?Behold, three men are seeking you. 20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.?
21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, ?Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come??
22 And they said, ?Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.? 23 Then he invited them in and lodged them.
On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

Peter Meets Cornelius (Acts 10:24-43)

24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, ?Stand up; I myself am also a man.? 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, ?You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me??
30 So Cornelius said, ?Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, ?Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.[d] When he comes, he will speak to you.? 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.?

34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ?In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ?He is Lord of all? 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.?

The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48)

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered, 47 ?Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

In Conclusion

This passage of scripture teaches us very clearly that Cornelius, who was a devout and good man, still lacked Jesus Christ, and that Peter, a devout Jew who had been very hesitant to teach or even talk to Gentiles, was taught that what God had previously called "unclean" was now able to be clean!  In other words, both Jews and Gentiles now have the ability to have a relationship with God. This entire chapter teaches several powerful lessons, the strongest of which is that God wants all men, no matter how rich, how powerful, how poor, how humble-- to be saved by putting on Jesus Christ in baptism.

Can people be good and even religious and not be righteous?  This passage strongly teaches that such can indeed be the case.

How Do We Know There is a God?

How Do we Know There is a God?

This is one of the most important questions anyone could ever ask!  There are as many answers to this question as there are people on this planet. 

Every thing we see around us speaks to creation- not some random event.  Could it be merely luck that we live on a planet that is not only so functional to its inhabitants- but that is a thing of beauty as well?

Two thousand years ago, a great man, the Apostle Paul, spoke on these things to a group of Greek Philosophers in Athens, Greece (Act 17:22-33).   Paul had noticed that the people of Athens acknowledged that some higher order must have made everything, even though they did not grasp how it came to pass.  Trying to please this higher order, the Greeks had created hundred of "gods" (e.g. Zeus, Apollos and others).  They had created hundreds of temples to these gods and tried, in vain, to please them all.

In speaking to these learned men, this humble apostle said, "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men?s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being."  (Acts 17:24-28)

We would urge you to think about the power of these statements.

First, God made the world.  Think about it-- does it really make sense that all of this merely happened?  Second, God does not dwell in temples or churches made by men.  God, who made everything, dwells everywhere.  Third, who are we to make images of God, or of Christ, and to worship them?  Can the created create their creator?

Fourth, God gave life to us, and to every creature on earth.  Our very essence, our souls, are obvious.  God gave us life for a purpose, and that purpose is clearly spelled out in the Bible- in order that we can live with Him forever.  (Isn't that logical, too?)  Fifth, Paul reminds them that men are men, no matter where you go in the world.  Japan, Russia, America, Africa, Australia-- we are all the same blood, the same DNA, the same people, sharing a common ancestry.  

Sixth, Paul reminds them that God has set aside boundaries for men- physical and spiritual- so that they might stop being self-centered, and start looking for God instead.  Seventh, Paul reminds them that this same God that they have been trying to understand has never been far from any of us- that it's not God that has moved away from men, but men that have moved away from God.  This message resonated with many present that day, and will always resonate!

Finally, Paul reminds them that men and women owe their daily existence, their every waking hour- to the presence of God.

How did they take Paul's reasoning?  The scripture records that the more prominent, simply rejected Paul the moment he began talking about the major proof that God gave- His sending His only Son, who died-- and was then raised from the dead!  But not all rejected Paul- in fact, many turned to Christ that day as a result of what Paul had to say.  Just as today, some will accept, and some will reject.

But we today have these same foundational proofs.  God created us to think: to think about who we are, who HE is, and why He placed us here on earth.

Ask yourself, what is more logical: a big bang, where matter is created out of nothing, or is everything you see from God that created it all?  If there was simply a "big bang" where all matter came together, where did that matter come from?

We will leave you with one final proof to seriously consider. The twelve men that followed Jesus around during his three-year ministry on earth, as described in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Who were these men, and why did they leave everything they owned and follow Jesus?  They were fishermen, businessmen, bureaucrats, and otherwise every day people like you and I.  In John 6:68, the Bible records that Jesus asked these twelve men if they wanted to leave Him.  Their answer, after spending three years with Jesus?  ?Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.?'

Secular history goes on to record that each of these men, except for Judas (who betrayed Him), and John, who lived into old age, died a martyr's death.  They were beaten, they were stoned, they were killed-- because they believed what they saw and witnessed first-hand during the three short years they walked with Christ. 

We believe that is strong proof. What do you think?

Coming Judgment

Coming Judgement

What Happens When People Die?  Is There a Final judgment?

The Christians at Thessalonica worried that the Christians who had already died would miss out on Jesus' return. They were afraid when a person died that they simply ceased to exist.  But in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, God explains what will happen to us all:

"But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Therefore, comfort one another with these words.

The Annihilation of the Earth

"But what about the earth? Will anything be left of, or on the earth?"  The apostle Peter, in his second letter to Christians, warns of the final destruction of the earth on the last day:

2 Peter 3:10-13

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" II Peter 3:10-13

From this passage, we learn that the earth and the heavens will totally be destroyed. Some wonder (and teach) that God must certainly preserve the earth, restore it for His people, and turn it into a paradise, misquoting passages from the book of Revelation.  However, this passage explains that it will be a total  and complete destruction of both the heavens (the sky) and the earth itself. Just as the previous passage explains that God will call us up to be with Him before this old world is destroyed.  Even the "elements",  the things that comprise this world, will be destroyed. Nothing will be left of the world, and the reality that we now live in.

A New Body

"So what happens to our bodies and all of the dead people's bodies?" The Bible teaches that all will receive new bodies - all people both good and evil. In New Testament times, the Christians in the city of Corinth were faced with a false doctrine that denied that there would be resurrection. One supporting argument that was proposed was that our bodies will decay in the grave. So, how could there be a resurrection, since our bodies will be destroyed? The apostle Paul responded to this false doctrine by explaining that we will receive new bodies:

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." I Corinthians 15:50-53

God's Throne and the Final Judgment

"So what happens once we leave this earth and it is destroyed? "Where do we go?" It is difficult to understand the answer because it involves a plane that transcends all that we know and understand. We already know that we have immortal bodies and this plane of existence is destroyed, but even that is not explained further. However, in the book of Revelation, a day of judgment is described. This day of judgment is symbolic of what will transpire that day:

"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

"The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of LIfe was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-15

From this representation, we learn how Judgment Day will appear from heaven's viewpoint. Once we are assembled before God's throne, then we will each be judged and sent to either heaven or hell.  Truly, the reality of heaven will be more beautiful than our mortal minds can now comprehend.  But hell will equally be even more terrible than the symbol of "a lake that burns with fire and is not quenched."

While on earth, Jesus also told many parables about the Judgment day, teaching about the final judgment and separation between the good and evil (Matthew 13:24-30) as well as parables such as Lazarus and the rich man, found in Luke 16:19-31:

19 ?There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell[d] from the rich man?s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham?s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 ?Then he cried and said, ?Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.? 25 But Abraham said, ?Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.?
27 ?Then he said, ?I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father?s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.? 29 Abraham said to him, ?They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.? 30 And he said, ?No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.? 31 But he said to him, ?If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.??

When Will Judgment Day Come?  Will There Be a Sign?

 Many people have speculated and even affirmed specific days as the last day. However, the failure of these prophecies alone teach us at the very least to be wary and skeptic of such predictions. But, does the Bible say anything about the end of the world? In one of the passages that we looked at earlier, the apostle Peter addressed when the last day would occur:

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ..." II Peter 3:10

When does a thief rob your house? The answer - you don't know! It happens suddenly and unpredictably. Jesus was also asked this question by his apostles (Matthew 24:3) .  He answered them candidly and logically, in Matthew 24:36-44:

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

"But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" ...

"Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming, But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

"Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

What conclusion we must draw?  We must conclude that we do not know when Jesus will return. So, we must be ready and prepared at all times.