IS ONE CHURCH AS GOOD AS ANOTHER


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. CONSIDER THESE QUESTIONS:
      1. If you are seeking a companion for life, is one as good as another?
      2. If you are catching a plane, is one as good as another?
      3. If you need a physician, is one as good as another?
      4. If you need medicine, is one as good as another?
      5. If you are computing figures, is one as good as another?
      6. If you are making an investment, is one as good as another?

    2. WE BECOME EXTREMELY CAREFUL ABOUT MATERIAL THINGS AND ARE EXTREMELY CARELESS ABOUT SPIRITUAL MATTERS.
      1. We make careful preparation and are cautious about material things:
        1. Is this the right companion I want to spend the rest of my life with?
        2. Is this the right plane going to take me to the specific place I want to go?
        3. Is this the right physician to help me with my heart, or will just a food doctor do?
        4. Is this medicine exactly what I need for my diabetics? It worked well on my corns.
        5. Is one figure as good as another when you turn in your income tax form?

        COMMENT: I am sure that by now you are getting the point I am leading up to.

      2. Then why is it we will take just anything that comes along religiously as right?
        1. Every church is not the same; neither is every medicine the same.
        2. Every church is not going to take us to heaven; neither will every plane fly us to the same destination.
        3. Every church is not the way to heaven; Only the one built by Christ.
        4. Every church differs in its plan of salvation; Yet only the way or plan will get us through to His Heavenly Father.

    3. STUDY WITH ME FOR A FEW MINUTES THE QUESTION: "IS ONE CHURCH AS GOOD AS ANOTHER".

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. NOT UNLESS ONE GOD IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER:
      1. Different religions have different gods, for example: Buddhism and Shintoism.
      2. But the Bible tells us there is "one God" and "Him only are we to serve". Ephesians 4:6 = "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." ….. Matthew 4:10 = "Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

    2. NOT UNLESS ONE FOUNDER IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER:
      1. Different churches have been founded by different individuals.
      2. But the church of the Bible was founded by Christ.

      Matthew 16:18 = "And I say also unto thee, that thou at Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

      COMMENT: Surely the church founded by God’s Son Jesus Christ is better than one founded by men.
      Matthew 15:13 = "But he answered and said, every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up."

    3. NOT UNLESS THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS UNIMPORTANT:
      1. Only the Church Christ built cost His blood. Acts 20:28 = "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
      2. The Church purchased by the blood of Christ is better than one which cost Christ nothing.

    4. NOT UNLESS THE CHURCHES ESTABLISHED BY MAN ARE AS GOOD AS THE ONE SPOKEN OF IN THE BIBLE:
      1. Christ’s church is spoken of in the Bible as established by Christ [Matthew 16:18].
      2. Congregations of the Lord’s Church are spoken of in the statement: "…The churches of Christ salute you" = Romans 16:16.

      COMMENT: Any church not mentioned in the Bible, surely is not as good as the one that is mentioned.

    5. NOT UNLESS ONE HEAD IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER:
      1. Different churches have different heads.
      2. Christ is the only head of the church mentioned in the Bible.

      Ephesians 1:22-23 = "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

      Ephesians 5:23 = "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the saviour of the body."

      COMMENT: The church which has Christ as it’s only head is unquestionably better than a church with a human head.

    6. NOT UNLESS ONE FOUNDATION IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER:
      1. Different churches have been founded upon different foundations or principles.
        1. Names of men: John the Baptist; Martin Luther; John Calvin; John Weslely; ETC.
        2. Presbyters (bishops); Methods of church government, or organization; ETC.
        3. Doctrine; Creed; Discipline; Catechism; Confession of Faith; ETC. [All of which are written by some one, or council.]
      2. Christ’s church is founded upon the glorious truth that He is the Son of God.

      Matthew 16:16-18 = "And Simon Peter answered and said, thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

      I Corinthians 3:11 = "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

      Ephesians 2:20 = "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone."

      COMMENT: The church founded upon Christ is unmistakably better than one founded upon man, or the doctrine of men.

    7. NOT IF WORSHIP IS IMPORTANT:
      1. Different churches have different kinds of worship.
        1. In rituals that must be conducted according to written procedures by man.
        2. In proclaiming the doctrines of men.
      2. Just any worship is not as good as that of the Bible.

      John 4:23-24 = "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

      Matthew 15:9 = "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

      COMMENT: It is thus very evident just any form, or kind, of worship is not as good as another.

    8. NOT UNLESS ONE DOCTRINE IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER:
      1. Different churches preach different doctrines.
        1. That of men: John Calvin, John Wesley, Martin Luther, ETC.
        2. That of some council of men put into Confessions of Faith, Creeds, ETC.
      2. The Bible tells us one doctrine is not as good as another:

      Galatians 1:6-9 = "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

      II John 9-11 = "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      COMMENT: One church then can not be as good as another.

    9. NOT UNLESS ONE WAY IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER:
      1. Different churches travel down different pathways.
        1. Some of these are so liberal they will include any and everything one would still want to do.
          [Read II Timothy 4:1-4.]
        2. This is the board of way of life, very pleasing to both man and Satan.
      2. The Church of the Bible follows a narrow pathway:
        1. Matthew 7:13-14 = "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
        2. The Lord said: John 10:1 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber."
        3. COMMENT: All churches do not lead us correctly toward the one door. John 14:6 = "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

    10. NOT UNLESS THEY ARE FOLLOWING ONLY GOD’S INSPIRED BIBLE:
      1. Different churches use different Bibles, that have been amended, altered to include wording to support their particular belief, teaching, or doctrine, or Creed.
      2. The church of The Bible follows only the Bible with God’s inspired Word.
        1. II Timothy 3:16-17 = "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
        2. [John 17:8] = "For I have given unto them the words, which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me."  [John 17:14]= "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world". …
          [John 17:17] = "Sanctify them through thy truth: Thy word is truth."

      COMMENT: The Bible is contains the Word of God, while the creeds of men contain their word.

    11. NOT UNLESS ONE BAPTISM IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER:
      1. Different churches teach and administer different baptisms:
        1. Pouring.
        2. Sprinkling.
        3. Immersion.
        4. Baptism to be a member of the church.
        5. Baptism because God for Christ sake has already pardoned sins.
        6. Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
      2. The Bible speaks of only one baptism to be administered and it is that of the great commission.
      3. Matthew 28:19-20 = "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end. . ."

        Ephesians 4:5 = "One Lord, one faith, and one baptism."

        Romans 6:3-5 = "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."

        COMMENT: There is only:

          1. One baptism.
          2. One form of baptism – a buried or immersion.
          3. Administered "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost".
          4. For the remission of (washing away of) sins. Acts 2:38 = "Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." ……..
            Acts 22:16
            = "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

    12. NOT UNLESS ONE NAME IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER:
      1. Different churches have different names: Episcopal; Methodist; Baptist; Presbyterian; Lutheran; Nazarene; Adventist; and ETC. The list is unending.
      2. The members of Christ’s Church wore only one name that of Christ, which in turn brought forth them being called Christians.
        1. Acts 11:26 = "…And the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch."
        2. I Peter 4:16 = "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. THAT WHICH SHOULD BE FOLLOWED AND TAUGHT WAS WELL EXPRESSED BY CHRIST:
      John 12:48-50
      = "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak."

    2. WE NEED TO LISTEN TO ONLY THE WORD OF GOD RATHER THAN THAT OF MAN. WHY? "….The word that I [Christ] have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." = John 12:48.

    3. THERE IS A VAST DIFFERENCE IN THE CHURCHES OF MAN AND THE CHURCH OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.

    4. ARE YOU IN THE LORD’S CHURCH?

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