False Teachers Say…
ONE SHOULD JOIN THE CHURCH OF YOUR CHOICE
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)
These sayings remind us of our Lord's question: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" (Matt. 16:13). This question comes under the heading of "hear‑say." There is a vast difference in "hear‑say" and "truth." Peter's answer to the question revealed the truth (Matt. 16:16). There are many "hear‑says" today. They are all opposed to the truth.
The subject of this lesson suggests that there are many kinds of churches. This is true ‑ but not with God's approval. Some seem to think that when it comes to the word "church" it is more or less like a cafeteria. You can just go through and look and pick out what you like ‑ what suits you. The mega‑churches of our day offer people what they want, not what they need. They are big, they grow, swell, but not with the approval of the Lord.
We have heard people ask, "With all of the different churches in the world, why cannot a person choose the church that suits his needs best?" One fellow said that when he moved into another town, he changed from the church that he had been a member of to another church. The reasons that he gave were: it was near by, it was a beautiful building, it had comfortable pews, and it was air-conditioned. It seems that God and His Word do not enter into the matter at all.
When the Gospel is obeyed, the Lord ADDS that one to His church (Acts 2:38-41). Read Mark 16:16 along with Acts 2:47. To whose church were these saved souls added? Denominationalism did not even exist at that time. Far too many have bought into this kind of thinking, "Give the people what they want, and we will grow a big church." This might happen, but one day we must face the Lord in judgment. Let us be content to be a member of the church of the Lord's choice ‑ His church!
If you were choosing a husband or wife, would you say that one is just as good as another? When taking medicine, do you contend that one medicine is just as good as another? While one medicine might cure, another might kill. Why are people so particular about some things and so careless about other things? Why are people so careless about things that have to do with the soul's eternal destiny?
Loved ones, it makes a difference what we preach. We are to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15; Jude 3; 2 Tim. 4:1‑4; 2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Peter 4:11). We are not to preach another (false) Gospel (Gal. 1:6‑9; 1 Tim. 1:3; Titus 2:1). We are warned against false teachers (Matt. 7:16; Acts 20:29‑30; 2 Cor. 11:13‑15; 1 Tim. 4:1‑3; 2 Peter 2:1‑3; 1 John 4:1; Rev. 2:2).
It makes a difference what we believe. We must believe in the God of the Bible (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 4:3; Acts 27:25). We must believe in Christ (John 8:24; 20:30‑31). We must believe in the resurrection (Rom. 10:9‑10; 1 Cor. 15:1‑4; Rom. 1:4). We must believe the Gospel (Matt. 28:19‑20; Mark 16:15‑16). True faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). False doctrines produce false faith (Acts 26:9; Prov. 14:12; 2 Thess. 2:10‑12).
It makes a difference what we practice. We must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24; cf. Col. 3:17). We are not to worship according to the doctrines and commandments of men (Matt. 15:9; 2 John 9‑11; 1 Cor. 4:6; Col. 2:21‑22). The case of Cain is an example of substituting for what God had commanded (Gen. 4).
The Lord built HIS church (Matt. 16:18). Can man build one that is just as good? Christ purchased His church with His blood (Acts 20:28). Jesus is the head over all things to the church, which is His body (Eph. 1:21-22). Jesus is the savior of the body (Eph. 5:23). Jesus has the preeminence (first place) only in His body (Col. 1:18). At the Day of Judgment, would you want to be a member of a church started by man or the one built by Christ?
God is glorified in His church (Eph. 3:21). Reconciliation is in the Lord's church. Man is separated from God because of sin (Isa. 59:1‑2; 53:6). Where is reconciliation found? Is it "in" or “out” of the body? (Compare Col. 1:21 with Eph. 2:16). Christ is the Savior of the body (Eph. 5:23). The body is the church (Eph. 1:22‑23; Col. 1:18). Thus Christ is the Savior of the church. This is where the saved are added by the Lord (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:13).
Please take a look at the parable of the laborers (Matt. 20:1‑16). You will note that the householder hired laborers to work in "his vineyard" ‑ not in someone else's vineyard. Paul wrote that our labor is not in vain "in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58). Are you in the Lord's vineyard? If not, your labor is in vain!
If men had been content with the Lord's church (as
established it) there would not be any man‑made churches in our world
thus men would not be saying, "Join the church of your choice" nor
they be saying, "One church is as good as another."