The Restoration Plea
What is meant by those advocating Restoration? In essence, it may be called the Seed Principle. In the natural world, God has given seeds of plants the properties which will make for reproduction. Apple seeds will produce apples; corn seed will produce corn; pumpkin seeds will produce pumpkins. And as seen in the above example, taken from National Geogramphic in 1992, seeds retain their reproductive capacity even with the passage of several centuries.
I once transplanted a dogwood tree from my Dad's yard in West Virginia to my yard in Ohio. What kind of tree did I have? Did I have a Buckeye tree since it was now in a new environment? Did I have a Daugherty tree since a Daugherty had it in West Virginia and another Daugherty had it in Ohio? Obviously the answer to these questions is no. Neither the environment, nor the handlers had changed the nature of the tree.
I believe this Seed Principle holds true in the spiritual world as well. When Jesus explained the parable of the Sower to His disciples, He said, "Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God" - Luke 8:11. The word of God, planted in the hearts and minds of good men and women, boys and girls, will produce Christians. To be more precise, the New Testament is sufficient as the authoritative guide for faith and salvation as one follows Christ. It is the essence of Paul's plea to the Corinthians: "Follow me as I follow Christ." - 1 Corinthians 11:1.
Consider some New Testament examples:
Peter reminded his readers in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia that they had "purified their souls in obeying the truth" and that they had been "born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" - 1 Peter 1:22-23.
The book of Acts reports how the gospel came to Antioch. After the martyrdom of Stephen, and the subsequent persecution of the Church in Jerusalem, disciples came to Antioch "preaching the word" and "preaching the Lord Jesus." What was the result? "And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord." - Acts 11:19-21. Was this new Church now something different from the original Church started on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem? No! It was the same. Jerusalem members who came preaching the word were able to reproduce in Antioch what they had been a part of in Jerusalem. They were in full fellowship with Jerusalem as evidenced by the sending of Barnabas for their encouragement and growth. And the Bible says, "The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch" - Acts 11:26.
Whether in Judea, or Syria, or Africa, Asia or America; whether in the 1st century or the 21st century; wherever the gospel is proclaimed and obeyed from the heart - Romans 6:17; the result will be a New Testament Christian. The resultant group of Christians will be a New Testament Church, as long as they continue in faithfulness to the Apostle's doctrine - Acts 2:42; 1 John 1:3.