NOT ALL CHURCHES ARE OF GOD AND OF CHRIST
SOME PEOPLE HAVE the notion that all of the established churches today belong to Christ. Despite their diversities, it is commonly believed that all churches are the same, in the sense that they are simply different paths leading to one ultimate goal, the salvation of the soul. Others believe that as long as they profess belief in Christ, accept Him as Lord and Savior, they are all true. However, we must take precaution because the Bible warned us the following:
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12 NIV)
Although all churches preach eternal life and salvation, but not all lead to life. The Holy Scripture says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Here lies the great danger of not knowing the right way, hence, the importance of identifying the true religion.
When we say “it seems right,” it may only “looks right” or believe to be right, but it is actually wrong. This is the reason why the Bible admonishes us to make an examination or to “test the spirits”:
“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.” (I John 4:1 NKJV)
The Bible explicitly said, “...test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Thus, let us examine the different notions regarding religions or churches. Is it true that all churches belong to Christ? Are all churches true? Do they all lead to salvation? Let us find the answer from the Bible.
IS IT ENOUGH TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST?
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself testified that not all who calls Him Lord will enter the kingdom of God:
“Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do.” (Matthew 7:21 TEV)
There are many people who know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (cf. John 14:6). Christian-professing people all over the world believe that Christ is the Lord and Savior. With this profession of faith and their sincere efforts in their respective religions, they claim for themselves salvation and eternal life. However, faith in Christ alone is not sufficient for one to attain salvation and to be of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven.”
IS IT ENOUGH TO RENDERS SERVICE
TO GOD IN THE NAME OF CHRIST?
The Lord Jesus Christ also testified that even man makes use of the name of Christ, preaching in His name and even performing miracles in His name, if it is not the will of God that He fulfills, he would not be made worthy of heaven:
“When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!' Then I will say to them, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!'” (Matthew 7:22-23 TEV)
The Lord Jesus Himself testified that in Judgment Day many will say to Him, “Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God’s message, by your name we drove out demons and performed many miracles!” This is what we are witnessing today, the proliferation of churches and religious movements using the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and even claiming that they perform “miracles” in His name. However, what will the Lord Jesus Christ say to them? The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Then I will say to them, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!”
Thus, the reason why the Bible warned us that “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Today, all Christian-professing religions profess belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, accepting Him as Lord and Savior, they even preach in the name of Jesus, and by this name they perform miracles. Without careful examination of the truth written in the Bible, we may fall in concluding that these churches are of Christ. Just what the Book of Proverbs said, “There is a way that seems right to a man...” However, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself testified that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter the Kingdom of God, even they render service in His name, preach in His name, and perform miracles in His name, but instead they will be cast away. Just like what he Book of Proverbs said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
CHRIST ESTABLISHED ONLY ONE CHURCH
There is only one Church that the Lord Jesus Christ established. Matthew 16:18 says:
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18 NIV)
The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I will build my CHURCH,” and not “I will build my CHURCHES.” How did the apostles prove that there is only one true Church established by Christ? In Ephesians 4:4-6, Apostle Paul says:
“There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:4-5 NIV)
The “body of Christ” Apostle Paul referring to is the Church:
“And he is the head of the body, the church...” (Colossians 1:18 NIV)
Thus, there is only one true Church of Christ with one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith and one baptism.
“SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD”
The Lord Jesus admonishes all those who want to attain eternal life or salvation to “seek first the kingdom of God”:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV)
The “kingdom of God” the Lord Jesus Christ referring to is His “flock” (cf. Luke 12:32), also called the “kingdom of the Son” whom we have redemption through His blood:
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 NKJV)
Who was redeemed through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? Acts 20:28 reads:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with His blood.” (Lamsa).
Thus, the “kingdom” the Lord Jesus Christ admonishes us to seek first is the Church of Christ which He has purchased (redeemed) with His blood.