Does it make any difference what church I attend?Jesus thought so. He wanted the Jews to move away from the law of Moses to the law of Christ. The Jews held to Moses’ teaching for 1,600 years. But when Jesus began His ministry, He told them His teaching was the fulfillment of the Old Testament, Matthew 5:17, NASB. That means the time of Moses and the law of the Old Testament had been completed. Since Christ was in the world, there was no longer a reason to hold to that covenant. A new covenant was coming, and it was not the law written on stone but a law written in men’s hearts.
So yes, Jesus said it makes a difference in what church one attends.
But really, does it make any difference what church I attend?Yes, Jesus claimed it to be so. Jesus told His disciples He would build His church, Matthew 16:18, NASB. Jesus purchased the church with His blood, dying on the cross, to save sinners from everlasting punishment, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. If one claims He is a Christian – a follower of Christ, then He will have to be in the church Jesus died and paid for.
Ephesians 1:22-23, NASB states that Jesus is the head of the church. That makes sense since it is His church.
OK, but does Jesus really care about which church I attend?Of course, He does. He died for His church. He died for the church that bears His name, the church of Christ, Romans 16:16, NASB. Going to some splinter group is not the same as attending worship in the church that belongs to Jesus.
Many denominations exist today. You understand that all denominations are started by someone other than Jesus. Take any group you want.
|John Smyth and Thomas Helwys
|Pope Gregory the Great
|John and Charles Wesley
|Joseph Smith (either a liar or a lunatic)
|Charles Fox Parham
|John Calvin and John Knox
Now, Did Jesus say He would start the Baptist church? Did He say He would begin the Catholic church? Well, you can go down the list asking this question. And, of course, the answer is “No,” to each of them.
Obviously, if a man or woman started a church movement, it would not be the church that Jesus spoke of creating.
So, again, it absolutely makes a difference which church you attend.
Don’t all “Christian” churches teach the same thing? No, they don’t. If so, we’d all be Baptists or Methodists or such. All of us, and that’s just not the case, is it? It takes a different view of something to create something different than the other. Make sense?
Some people like the “flavor” of the Episcopal church. Others like the way the Baptists do things. But none of these are the church Jesus speaks of in the Bible. They didn’t exist after His resurrection until someone began their version of Jesus’ church. The only church that came to be was His church, the church of Christ.
So, no, different churches teach different things. And again, Jesus does not approve of anyone attending these man-made churches.
Well, we’re all going to heaven, right? We’re just on different paths. Nope. What did Jesus say? “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it,” Matthew 7:13-14, NASB.
So, how many paths or roads are there to heaven? One and only one.You’ll see that many people are taking the pathway to destruction, but only a few will find that narrow path leading to heaven. Might that explain the horrible dilemma denominations are in today?
Alright, so what about “your” church? I am proposing that the only true church is the church of Christ. Again, Jesus said He would build His church and gave orders to the apostles to preach the gospel, the good news of salvation through Jesus. After giving His command, Jesus ascended to heaven but left the apostles to carry on His mission of salvation. On the day of Pentecost, Acts 2, the apostles began preaching Jesus to the crowd in Jerusalem.About 3,000 people believed him and the apostles. Those believers were baptized to wash away their sin and were added to the church belonging to Jesus, Acts 2:41-47, NASB.
No, I’m talking about the church of Christ, those churches with the signs out front. Didn’t Alexander Campbell start that church?No, he didn’t. There was a spiritual awakening in America in his time. Many believed the only path to salvation was to restore the teaching of the New Testament. If folks followed the New Testament, they would be doing the things Jesus wanted to be done. Alexander Campbell was only one man among many believers who felt the same way. The church was not the Church of Campbell but the church of Christ. If one does things in Bible ways, he gets Bible results. It’s as simple as that.
The church of Christ, the real church, the true one, has been around since 33 A.D. You can find historical documentation of that. Google it and find that out. It’s worthwhile to research.
The real church of Christ is in the Bible. Read Matthew and the book of Acts.
The answer to our question is yes, it makes an eternal difference what church one attends.