The One True Church
Written by Sam Miller
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:40

The One True Church

(By Sam Miller)

Good evening. I’d first like to thank Jay for once again inviting me to give an evening invitation. Since the first lesson I gave, which was on a Wednesday night, I have begun teaching the Wednesday night high school Bible class. I taught that class for a few weeks before Eric asked for someone to step up to teach the Sunday morning teen and young adult class. I jumped at the opportunity since I have enjoyed teaching the Wednesday night class so much.

I quickly learned that a different lesson every week can be challenging, so I decided to start a series of lessons. So over the last 7 weeks, I have been teaching about denominationalism, focusing on a different denomination each week. Not growing up in the one true Church, I know a lot about denominations. I was a Lutheran and all my friends were different denominations, but it was okay since we were all “Christians.” Denominations will tell you to focus on what you have in common, and ignore what’s different. I had Baptist friends and friends who spoke in tongues, but instead of reading my Bible to see why they believed differently than I did, or to see if what they were doing was even Biblical at all, I simply accepted them and didn’t ask questions, thinking we would all be okay and make it to heaven.

That was the wrong thing to do. As 2 Timothy 3:16 says All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” God wants us to turn to the Bible when we have questions or doubts. God wants us to use His Word He provided to us for correction. When I started coming to this church, I heard a lot of things that were against Lutheran doctrine. I had grown up believing in original sin, meaning children were born already sinful. Megan and I sat down and talked about it. She could give me a book chapter and verse for everything we talked about. Just like the verse I just read says, the Bible is for correction and reproof. I couldn’t back up what I was saying. She was telling me Christ’s words when I was following the words of Martin Luther.

That brings me to my next point. Why would we ever follow in a man’s footsteps? According to 1 Corinthians 1:12-13. “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” The message here is clear. Don’t use the name of a man, when clearly Christ was the one who was crucified for us. That means anyone who associates their religion with the name of a man, such as the Lutheran denomination, is unbiblical.

In John 10:30, Jesus is telling a group of Jews “I and my Father are one.” It doesn’t get much more clear than that. For further evidence, Colossians 2:9 reads “For in him [referring to Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” It’s not hard to see that Jesus is not just God’s Son, but also God. This means that any denomination who rejects Jesus’ deity is unbiblical.

Most denominations will tell you that only certain parts of the Bible are necessary for your salvation, and the rest are not as important and aren’t worth worrying about. God tells us in Revelation 22:18-19, two of the very last verses in the entire Bible, ”For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” God makes it clear, the Bible is laid out for us to follow and we should follow it perfectly. Therefore any denomination who leaves out or adds anything to the Bible is therefore unbiblical. This verse was very scary for me when I first starting coming here. If that were true, I would no longer be saved, and neither would any of my denominational friends. But just like the rest of the Bible, it is true.

Even more basic and easy to understand than any of that is this: There is no other church mentioned in the Bible other than the Church of Christ. Ephesians 4:4 says “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” There is only one church or one body. Thinking I was right in my beliefs when Megan and I first started talking, I said to her “You just don’t understand where I’m coming from since your church is the only church in the Bible.” Megan just looked at me and said “I know!” Christ didn’t establish many churches who disagree. The Bible clearly states there is one. One group of Christians, who make up the body, and Christ is the head of that body. 1 Corinthians 1:18 reads “And He [referring to Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.” We don’t have a Pope or a pastor or any man as the head of the church, we have Christ to lead us.

But although no other churches are mentioned in the Bible, others are definitely warned about. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 says “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; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” We are warned that some will leave the faith and give in to the world, exactly as many denominations have done.

            To take that one step further, we are told in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” That’s not what I heard from my friends. They all said that faith is all you need and as long as you believe, everyone is okay. That may be what they said, but it isn’t what God says. God warns us in this verse against denominationalism. They call on the name of the Lord and it isn’t enough. This was another scary verse for me before I became a member of the Church. It meant that I couldn’t rely on faith alone and there was more to being a Christian.

Denominations aren’t Christians. They are separate religions who may or may not use pieces of the Bible without looking at the whole thing. Many of their biggest supporting verses are used out of context. Many of their practices are based on tradition or a modern change as opposed to the Bible. Some denominations, like the Mormons, even venture to say that another book is equally valuable to the Bible, and try to teach and preach using a source other than the Bible. The Bible isn’t some complimentary textbook. It is the one source of pure truth in this world and it should be followed as written, as God intended.

A lot of people here have grown up in the Church and never had to go through a major change in faith. Those people have had the wonderful opportunity to hear the truth from such a young age, and grow up believing the Word of God. I didn’t grow up in the church, but I had a strong faith and loved God. I wanted to do what was right, but it was so different than what I grew up believing. Hearing what the Bible said, and seeing I was going against God’s Word is very scary for someone first learning about the truth. That’s why I chose to teach about denominations and to give this lesson tonight. I can understand having a faith other than Christianity and how hard it can be to hear and accept the truth.

If you have not followed the Bible and obeyed the gospel, you can do so now. Just as God has told us about the one true Church in the pages of the Bible, He has also laid out the five steps we need to follow to become a member of the Church.

You must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17), believe the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16) repent of your past sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ before men (Matthew 10:32-33), and be baptized to wash away your sins (Acts 22:16). Then there’s only one thing to do, continue to follow the Bible living faithfully unto death (Revelation 2:10). Or perhaps you are already a member of the Church but need help or prayers. If you have a need tonight, please come while we stand and sing.