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).
The New Testament church worships in prayer (Acts 2:42).
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.
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).