The Universal Ekklesia of Christ

Jesus said, "...upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18, emp LS).

Sometimes the term ekklesia (church) is used in a universal sense to refer to all the saved. An example of this is in the above quoted passage of Matthew 16:18.

All those that have obeyed the gospel are added to the universal saved group (ekklesia, church), "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:41, 47). Whether one obeys the gospel in Japan or Anderson, the Lord adds them to the church universal, the body of the saved of God. The universal ekklesia (body, church) are all those who by the gospel are called out of the world and through obedience to the truth have purified their souls in the blood of Jesus Christ.

How is one called out of the world?  The apostle Paul says, "Whereunto he called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thessalonians 2:14, emp LS). In fact, for one to be saved, he must be "called" out by the "gospel" of Jesus Christ. God "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom‚ of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13-14, emp LS).

Jesus said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:44-45, emp LS). From Jesus we learn that one that has been "taught" about God (learns the gospel of Jesus), who hears and learns the truth of God's Word, comes (is called out) unto the Father.

Ones that have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:17) and have obeyed it (Mark 16:15-16) have purified their souls by the blood of the Lamb, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth (the gospel of Christ, LS) through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" (I Peter 1:22).

Those saved by the blood of the Lamb are the ekklesia of Christ, whether red, yellow, black or white (Galatians 3:27-29).