According to the Bible there are people who are outside the true Church of Christ who also receive many good things from God such as good health, wealth, fame, etc. whether they are good or bad. However, this does not necessarily mean that everyone who prays or calls
on the Lord will be heard by Him.

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It rains on the just and the unjust
(Matthew 5:45)

Letter to the Editor:
GOD'S MESSAGE, August 2006, p.4

I HAVE A friend who has questions about the Iglesia ni Cristo. He was brought up as a Catholic and went to a Catholic school but did not attend the services of the Catholic Church.   Some of   his  questions  are   as follows: "An individual who is not inside the Iglesia ni Cristo falls terminally  ill but God would still heal his sickness through medication and doctors and grant what that individual hopes for to live.   Doesn't the Iglesia ni Cristo teach that God only listens to the prayers of those inside the Church.    What is the difference between members and nonmembers of the Church,  if people who are outside the Iglesia ni Cristo still receive blessings from God such  as good health, wealth, fame, etc.?    In other words, why does one still need to enter the Iglesia ni Cristo if this is the case?"

Michelle Ann Talicuran
Brimbank, Australia

Editor's reply:

Your friend is correct in his observation that there are people who are outside the true Church of Christ who also receive many good things from God such as good health, wealth, fame, etc. whether they are good or bad. The Bible states:

45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matt. 5:45, New King James Version).

The truth should not surprise us because God even feeds the birds of the air and clothes the grass of the field (Matt. 6:26, 30, Ibid.).

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matt. 6:26, 30, NKJV)

However, this does not necessarily mean that everyone who prays or calls on the Lord will be heard by Him. The Holy Scriptures state:

 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isa. 59:2, Ibid.)

Because of sin man was separated from God. Sin is a barrier between God and man. This is the reason why when a sinful man would call upon God, “He will not hear.” It is therefore necessary for man’s sins to be forgiven and for him to be reconciled first to God through the redemptive blood of Christ. This can be achieved through membership in the Church of Christ, because it is the Church of Christ that was purchased or redeemed by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:13; Heb. 9:22; Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation).

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Eph. 2:13, NKJV)

22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. (Heb. 9:22, NKJV)

Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood. (Acts 20:28, Lamsa)

Who else will not be heard by God when they call? Those who refuse to obey His teachings and those who refuse to listen to God’s call:

 “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” (Prov. 28:9, NKJV)

“Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke,…
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.” (Prov. 1:24-25, 28, Ibid.)

God’s call that man should answer is to have fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ:

“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (I Cor. 1:9, New International Version)

This has been God’s master plan of salvation since the very beginning—that all must have fellowship with or be gathered together in Christ (Eph. 1:4, 9-10, NKJV; 3:21, Living Bible).

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. (Eph. 1:4, 9-10, NKJV)

21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:21, NLT)

This is where the importance of membership in the Church of Christ comes in. The true Church is Christ’s body, and by becoming a member of it, one fulfills the will or plan of God for salvation and at the same time he attains the right and privilege to call upon God (Rom. 12:4-5; Col. 1:18, Rom. 16:16).

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.  (Rom. 12:4-5, NKJV)

18 And He is the head of the body, the church, . . . . (Col. 1:18, NKJV)

16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you. (Rom. 16:16, NKJV)

Here lies the great difference between members and nonmembers of the Church. Apostle Paul explains:

 “At that time you were apart from Christ. You were foreigners and did not belong to God’s chosen people. You had no part in the covenants, which were based on God’s promises to his people, and you lived in this world without hope and without God.” (Eph. 2:21, Today’s English Version)

Being outside of the Church of Christ or being apart from Christ means having no hope and being without God in the world or being apart from God’s chosen people. Bear in mind that it is the prayers of God’s chosen people that God hears:

“Remember that the Lord has chosen the righteous for his own, and he hears me when I call to him.” (Ps. 4:3, Ibid.)


Note: Some cited verses are printed in full to facilitate study.

Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind. For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com or just click link at home page.

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