When you consider the clean, upright people in all churches, Satan has an easy job getting you to believe his whisper, “One church is as good as another.” And as long as you look at those upright people instead of your Bible, Satan has you just where he wants you. But when you start reading your Bible, you discover that God never did establish many churches, and you also discover that more than one church is sin.
Christ did not say, “Upon this rock I will build my churches,” but rather He said, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18). If two churches are right, then two shepherds are right, but Jesus said, “There shall be one fold and one shepherd” (Jn. 10: 16). Though the United States Census Bureau lists hundreds of different kinds of churches, God says that even two are too many. Open your Bible to the Book of Ephesians. God gave Christ “to be head over all things to the church which is his body” (Eph. 1:22, 23). The Holy Spirit says there is “one body” (Eph. 4:4), and “but one” (I Cor. 12:20). For the Gentile Christians to be in one church and for the Jewish Christians to be in another church are ideas opposite to God’s idea, for He wants “both in one body” (Eph. 2:16) with every wall of partition (Eph. 2:14) broken down. You are not following God’s will when you answer to any denominational name, for every one is a “wall of partition.”
In Bible times, that one church (body) was neither Catholic nor Protestant, and you have to close your Bible and pick up something else before you can ever read of Catholic or Protestant churches. The Bible church was called “the church” (Eph. 5:23), “the church of the Lord” (Acts 20:28), “the church of God” (I Cor. 1:2). Various congregations were called “churches of God” (1 Thes. 2:14), and 11 churches of Christ” (Rm. 16:16), but they were not different denominations. All of them together made up “the church” (Eph. 5:23), “the household of God” (Eph. 2:19), “one body” (Eph. 4:4), “my church” (Mt. 16:18).
In Bible times no one thought of a person’s being saved out of the church, for the very word “church” meant the “called-out-from-sin-people.” Even if some hypocrites nominally were in the church, there was nobody saved out of the church for the Lord added to the church “day by day those that were being saved” (Acts 2:47). If a man were saved, he thus automatically became a church member, became a “called-out-to-live-for-Jesus-person.”
In Bible times, people were not saved the moment they believed in Jesus, but after they believed they were commanded: “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins” (Acts 2:38). “Then they that received the word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). And the Lord added them to His church (Acts 2:47). If you believe, repent, and are baptized, the Lord will not add you to any denomination, but He will add you to His church.
In Bible times, the saved people (church members) met on the first day of the week to break bread, to lay by in store of their money, to sing, to pray, and to study the Word (Acts 20:7; 2:42; 1 Cor. 16:2; Eph. 5:19; Col. 4:16).
It is true that there are clean upright people in all churches, but they have not learned the way of the Lord as it is written in His book. If it is right to say, “One god is a good as another,” then it is right to say, “One church is as good as another.”
Be not deceived.
Glad Tidings of Good Things — Volume 8/January 30, 2003