The church is an important part in one’s journey to heaven. In the Ephesian epistle, Paul taught that it is impossible to divorce the church from salvation because all spiritual blessings are found in the church (“in Christ,” Eph. 1:3-14). All of the people in the church have been saved (Eph. 5:23), and all of the saved people are in the church (Acts 2:47, 37-41; cf. Heb. 12:23).
Wouldn’t it be a tragedy for someone to attend a church his or her entire life, and yet be told “I never knew you, depart from Me” on the day of judgment because he or she attended the wrong church? Someone may say, “That wouldn’t really happen.” Be careful to draw quick conclusions! Jesus would disagree with you. The Lord said that there will be people – religious people – on the judgment day who will not enter heaven because they did not carefully follow “the Will of My Father in heaven” (Mat. 7:21-23). It is vitally important that our religious beliefs are Scriptural (Col. 3:17).
An honest Bible student will find that it actually DOES matter what church you attend. Please prayerfully consider the following points.
[highlight] Christ promised to build only one church.[/highlight] The text is Matthew 16:18. Jesus said, “I will build my church.” He promised to build His church upon the foundation of His deity as the Son of God (1 Cor. 3:11). Note that Jesus said, “I will build My church.” It belongs to Him. Also, notice that the word “church” is singular. The notion that modern denominations are simply off-shoots of the church that Christ promised to build is simply false. He clearly said that He would build one church, His church.
[highlight] Christ died to purchase only one church.[/highlight] In Acts 20:28, Paul was speaking with some elders from Ephesus. He charged them to feed the church, which was “purchased with His own blood.” Once again, please note the singularity of the word “church.” This makes Christ’s church unique. Elsewhere, the New Testament links Christ’s shed blood with man’s salvation (Hebrews 9:14, 22). This is further proof of the inseparable link between salvation and the church.
[highlight] The New Testament teaches that there is only one true church.[/highlight] This is a big statement; one that I am very careful to propose and defend. Look carefully at these words from Ephesians 4:4: “There is one body.” The question naturally follows: what is this body of which Paul refers? Paul already answered the question earlier in the Ephesian letter: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23, emp. added). The body and the church are the same thing. Therefore, it is appropriate to read Ephesians 4:4 as follows: “There is one church.”
Frankly, man-made denominations have nothing to offer us. I do not want to be a part of a denomination. I want to be a part of the church that Jesus promised to build. I want to be a member of the church for which Christ died. I want to be a part of the only church that I can read about in the New Testament.