If you are seeking a companion for life, is one as good as another? If you are catching a bus, plane, or train, is one as good as another?  If you need a doctor, is one as good as another? If you need medicine, is one as good as another?  Most likely, we have answered “no” to these questions.  If so, why are we so careful in material matters and so careless in spiritual ones?

 

So many people see no such necessity in being careful when it comes to choosing a “church”. The idea is that they are all of equal value so it makes little or no difference which one we choose, so long as it is a recognized one. But, is it true that one church is as good as another?

Let’s see what the New Testament says on the matter.

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS ONE GOD IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER – In examination of differing religions we find that they have different “gods”. For example, Buddhism and Buddha and Islam and Allah are two different religions, with two very different “gods.” Yet when we come to the New Testament we see from Ephesians 4:6 that there is but “one God.” The truth is, if God makes any difference, and He does, then one church is not as good as another.

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER IF WE HAVE TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST AS THE “ONLY BEGOTTEN SON” OF GOD – By this it is clear that not all churches are as good as others. This is so due to the fact that not all churches believe that Jesus is the “only begotten” son of God. Jesus issued a strict warning concerning this in John 8:24 where He stated, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” Faith in the Sonship of Christ is not optional.  Therefore, for a church to fail to believe this results in their failing to be as good as one that has such a faith.

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS ONE FOUNDER IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER – When we study the origin of the various religious organizations existing today, we note that they have different founders. But the church that we read of in the New Testament was founded by Jesus (Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:11). The church founded by Jesus should surely be considered as being better than one founded by another (Psalm 127:1;  1 Timothy 3:15).  It is clear that those religious organizations that can only turn to man for their point of origin will be rooted up, while the one planted by Christ will stand the test of time (Matthew 15:13).

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS UNIMPORTANT – Acts 20:28 tells us that the church that we read of in the New Testament cost Christ His blood. Let me suggest that a church which cost Jesus nothing is not as good as the one that cost Him His life, or Jesus was a fool. And, of course, I do not see Him as such.

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS THE CHURCHES NOT MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE ARE AS GOOD AS THE ONE SPOKEN OF IN THE NEW TESTAMENT – As already noted, Christ’s church is mentioned in the New Testament (Matthew 16:18). Various congregation of the Lord’s church are spoken of in the New Testament (Romans 16:16). Yet when it is expressed this way, reference is to the collective number of congregations in a given area.  Those churches which are not mentioned in the New Testament surely are not as good as the one that is mentioned.

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS ONE HEAD IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER – It is evident that each church has its own head. Scripture tells us that Christ is the head of the one mentioned therein (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:23). Surely we would agree that the church which has the sinless Son of God as its head would be better than one which does not.

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS ONE FOUNDATION IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER – One may readily find out that different churches have been built upon different foundations. Christ’s church was built upon the truth that He is “the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 16:16-18; 1 Corinthians 3:11).

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER IF THE WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH IS IMPORTANT – The reason for this is quite evident as we note that different churches worship in different ways. When we properly consider the New Testament we see that one worship is not as good as another (John 4:24; Matthew 15:9).  We can argue all day and night that one way of worship is as good as another, but the truth of the matter is it isn’t, and has never been (Genesis 4:3-5; Leviticus 10:1, 2).

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS ONE DOCTRINE IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER – Once again, when we carefully consider the teachings of the varied and sundry religious groups that exist today, we see that different ones preach different doctrines. If they did not, there would not be different churches. The New Testament helps us to see that one doctrine is not as good as another (Galatians 1:6-9).  As a matter of fact, much of the New Testament was written in order to correct the doctrine of those who were in error.

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS ONE CREED IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER – Here, too, we see that different churches have different creeds. A creed is a formula of religious belief. This is what has caused the world to be as religiously divided as it is.  The church that we read of in the New Testament has only the Word of God as its creed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Surely we would agree that the church which follows the “creed” given by God would be better than those which do not.

ONE CHURCH IS NOT AS GOOD AS ANOTHER UNLESS ONE “NAME” IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER – It is easily seen how that different churches have different names. A drive down about any street where a number of church buildings are located quickly reveals this to be so. When we consider these different religious groups we quickly take note of the fact that individual members of them wear different names. The members of the New Testament church wear the name Christian (Acts 11:26). Undoubtedly, we would agree that this is a better name than one devised by man.

Surely, we can see the difference here. That is not really the question, though. The question is, what will we do about it?

 

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