Remaining Faithful In The Lord’s One Church
When Jesus asked His apostles, "’But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’" (Matthew 16:15-16). In response to Peter’s confession, Jesus then said, "On this rock I will build My church" (Matthew 16:18). Notice Jesus says, "I will build My church". The word "My" is a possessive pronoun, which shows that the church belongs to Jesus. Also notice that the word "church" is singular, in that he only promised to build His one church. He did not promise to build any of the many denominational churches with their differing creeds, doctrines, and worship. If the Lord didn’t build any of the differing denominational churches we have today, then who built them? Men did. We read in Psalms 127:1, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who built it". Today, there are many people laboring in vain in their man made churches. Also Jesus says in Mark 7:7, "And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." If something is vain it is empty, worthless, or useless and does one no good. I would not want to be a part of a church where my labor and worship was in vain, which will cause me to be lost.
On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:47 we read, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved". How does one become saved so he can be added to the Lord’s one true church? Jesus says, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). One needs help to misunderstand this. Denominational churches laugh and scoff at what the Lord says one must do to be saved, but their scoffing and laughing will cause them to be lost. The Lord adds only the saved to His church. Since those in denominational churches do not believe the Lord’s requirement, that baptism is necessary for salvation, they remain unsaved. And since the Lord does not add unsaved people to His church, the unsaved have to join a denomination. The many different denominational churches that had their beginning down through the ages after Pentecost of Acts chapter 2 are too late and cannot be the Lord’s one true church.
The Lord only established His one church. Ephesians 4:4-6 says, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all". There is only one God even though there are many false gods. There is only one body even though there are many false bodies. What is this one body? We read in Ephesians 1:22-23 concerning Christ that He is the "head over all things to the church, which is His body". Since there is only one body and the body is the Lord's one true church, then there is only one church that belongs to Christ. But just as there are many false gods, there are many false bodies or churches. Jesus is "the Saviour of the body" (Ephesians 5:23). Jesus is only going to save His one body, which is His one church. The Lord will not be saving anyone in the 600+ denominational churches that men have established.
Christ only established His one church, the only one that He claims to be His. The apostle Paul in writing to the congregation of the Lord’s church at Rome, while on his third missionary journey, and having been in a number of different cities, where he had helped to establish congregations of the Lord’s church says, "The churches of Christ greet you" (Romans 16:16). As we have seen from the scriptures, Christ only established His one church, the church of Christ on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 in 33 AD.
What is going to happen to all of the many different illegitimate counterfeit denominational churches that men have started? These are not the bride of Christ. Jesus says, "Every plant My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted" (Matthew 15:13). Since Jesus did not build any denominational church, they all stand under His condemnation. It does one no good to belong to and worship in a denominational church. One is wasting his time and will lose his soul in eternity !!
A counterfeit is made to resemble the genuine in many ways, but the resemblance does not make it genuine. Counterfeits are illegal, useless and worthless. Making and using counterfeit money will land one into a Federal prison. Even more serious are the many counterfeit faiths in the world today that are deceiving so many people. Counterfeit faiths will cause many good people to lose their souls in the eternal fires of Hell, even though they may be sincere in what they are doing. We are to, "Let no man deceive you by any means" (2 Thessalonians 2:3), because our souls are at stake. Jesus warns us to, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing" (Matthew 7:15). Those who promote counterfeit faiths appear as though they are presenting the truth. People do this by "walking in craftiness" and "handling the word of God deceitfully" (2 Corinthians 4:2).
We are exhorted, "That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Ephesians 4:14). Many people are following false teachers. "For such are false prophets, deceitful workers…For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 11:13). They have, "changed the truth of God into a lie" (Romans 1:25).
We are warned to, "beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked" (2 Peter 3:17). How do we protect ourselves from these counterfeit faiths? "Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). We are to try what one is teaching by the written word of God.
Christ did not give Himself for, or purchase with His blood, any of the more than 600+ different denominational churches. Since they have rejected the doctrine of Christ we dare not fellowship them in their error. God’s word warns us, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds" (2 John 10-11). We are to give no help or encouragement to the denominations as they promote their false doctrines; if we do we share in their "evil deeds" and will loose our souls in eternity. We must not fellowship religious denominations in their error by attending their services or have anything to do with them as they promote their counterfeit faiths. We sin if we fellowship religious denominations in any way by becoming a partaker of their evil deeds. In warning against false doctrine, 2 Corinthians 6:17 says, "Therefore come out from among them and be separate says the Lord". We are not to have anything to do with any false doctrine.
But we are to, "Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). The one true faith has been once delivered and it will not change. Counterfeit faiths are designed by Satan to cause people to be lost. All those who follow any of the many counterfeit faiths will lose their souls in eternity. In remaining faithful in the Lord’s one church, we must keep ourselves pure from the world and from religious error.
There are those who were at one time faithful members of the Lord’s one true church, but some have wandered off into denominationalism. They have not remained faithful until death. They have given up their hope of going to Heaven. By choosing a counterfeit they will be eternally lost. To remain faithful until death to the Lord so we can go to Heaven, we must remain faithful in His one church.
Questions Lesson #17
Remaining Faithful In The Lord's One Church
(Click on the button of the answer of your choice)
1) (Matthew 16:18) How many churches did the Lord promise to build.
2) (Psalms 127:1) One is laboring in vain in a church the Lord did not build.
3) (Acts 2:47) Who does the Lord add to His church?
Only the saved.
Those of the various denominational churches.
4) (Ephesians 5:23) Christ is the Saviour, of only the body, which is His one church.
5) (Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:4-6) How many bodies, that is churches, does the Lord have?
More than 600.
6) (Ephesians 1:22-23) Christ is the head over many churches.
7) (Matthew 15:13) What will happen to those plants (churches) which God has not planted?
They will also be saved.
They will be uprooted (lost).
8) (2 Thessalonians 2:3) We cannot be religiously deceived.
9) (2 Corinthians 4:2) How do people promote their counterfeit faiths?
They don't promote them.
There are not any counterfeit faiths. They are all genuine.
By handling the word of God deceitfully.
10) (2 Corinthians 11:13) Satan cannot fool people to believe his false doctrine.
11) (2 John 10-11) What happens to us if we give help or encouragement to the denominations as they promote their false doctrine?
Nothing, God will not hold us accountable.
We become a partaker of their evil deeds.
We will still be saved.
12) (2 Corinthians 6:17) Religiously we are to be separate from those in the denominational world.