Garden City, Michigan church of Christ Bulletin
Jesus Christ built and established only one church (Matthew ; Ephesians 4:4; -23; 1 Corinthians ). Even casual reading of the New Testament reveals there were no denominations in those early times. People became members of the one church by obeying the gospel of Christ (Acts , 41, 47). When they obeyed, they were “in the body” which Jesus will save (Ephesians ), “in the church” which was purchased by the blood (Acts ), “in ChRist” where are all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3), “in the kingdom” which will be delivered up in the end (1 Corinthians ), and “in the family” where one becomes an heir (Galatians 4:7). If one is not in the New Testament church, he is not a saved individual and has no spiritual blessings.
The inspired writers plainly
revealed that a great apostasy would occur. Paul said, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some
shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of
devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). Among other things, this group that would
fall away would be “forbidding to marry,
and commanding to abstain from foods” (1 Timithy 4:3). Paul revealed in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 that the apostasy
was already at work in his day (verse 7),
and would continue until the second coming of Christ (verse 8). He showed that in
the great falling away one would exalt himself and would sit (or rule) in the
temple (or church) of God (verses 3-4).
Paul said to the bishops of
That time of apostasy, departure,
and many deceivers is mightily upon us now.
The new Encyclopedia of American Religions by J. Gordon Melton lists
1,200 different religions in
Furthermore, if there are saved people in all churches, it would mean that doctrine really doesn’t matter. Distinct doctrines make up the various churches. That churches plainly contradict one another in doctrine none can deny. For example, some churches say that sprinkling is baptism, others fervently deny it. Some teach there will be no place of eternal torment; others rigidly affirm the opposite. The Bible shows that doctrine is important—indeed, it determines one’s relation to God and eternal destiny (2 John 9-11; Matthew 15:9; Romans ). If there are “saved people in all churches,” and “one church is as good as another” as some claim, why can’t one join a church which caters to his own sinful desires? For example, why couldn’t he join a church which promotes worship and obedience to Satan? (Dr. Melton lists eight churches of this type.) Also, if one was inclined toward the sin of homosexuality, why couldn’t he join a church which condoned such? (Dr. Melton lists five homosexual churches.)
People today can be members of the New Testament church
without being members of any denomination. Anytime and anywhere men obey the gospel, they
become exactly what people were in the New Testament—saved individuals,
Christians, members of the body or