By Weylan Deaver
An encyclopedia of religions lists over 2,600 faith groups in America and Canada. That staggering figure is in stark contrast to Jesus’ promise that “on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Most who call themselves “Christian” see no problem with thousands of different churches with differing doctrines, as though God were pleased with this arrangement. In fact, many see such diversity as a boon because they think it gives everyone opportunity to look for a church that “fits” them. The number of denominations keeps growing. The world keeps turning. The clock keeps ticking. God’s patience keeps lasting—for now.
All the while, the right church is the one found in the Bible, and not simply one found in a phone book, or with an internet search. Jesus is “the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18). So the church is described, metaphorically, as Jesus’ body. Just how many bodies (churches) are there supposed to be? The apostle Paul wrote “there is one body” and that Jesus is the savior of that body (cf. Ephesians 4:4; 5:23). All who want to be saved eternally must be in the spiritual body of Jesus, which is the church of Christ.
Think about it. If there is only one church that Jesus promised (Matthew 16:18) and then purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28), then every church which is not that church is a wrong church. But, how can anyone tell which church is right? Again, God’s plan is so simple. He wrote a guide for us called the New Testament. When a person obeys what that gospel teaches, he is a Christian. When a group of people in the same location all obey that book, you have a congregation of the church. Which church? God’s church. To find the genuine article, study your New Testament for the earmarks of the church when it first began, then find who is practicing the same now. The New Testament has not changed.
But beware. Satan is a subtle deceiver, making the multitudes content with churches that depart in countless ways from the original blueprint. Yet, Jesus says, “Every plant which my heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). We in the church of Christ lovingly invite you to investigate us. Put our beliefs under a microscope. Shine a spotlight on our teaching. Check our practice against the words of the apostles. Ask hard questions. Think deeply. Dig until the truth is uncovered. It could very well mean you have to leave the church you are in. If so, pay that price. Eternity hangs in the balance. And one church—the Lord’s true church—outweighs every other. Find it.