By Paul L. McElroy
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.". "And I say also to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build MY church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16: verses 16-18-19).
Read Acts, chap. 2, for events that took place when the Lord’s church had its beginning. In Peter’s sermon about the death of Jesus, those who believed asked, "What shall we do," and were told, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38). Verse 47 says: "And the Lord added to the church daily those who being saved." Since faith, repentance, and baptism were necessary for salvation then, would it be any different now? Who would dare to change the "salvation" requirements that Peter preached?
Eph. 1:22-23 tells us that Christ is head over all things to the church which is His body. Notice, the words "church" and "body" are both singular. Who will dare to change the Scriptures to say "churches and bodies"?
Notice the teaching in Eph. 4:4-6--"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all." Does any one have the right to change the "ones" in these Scriptures to "many"?
In John, 17:20-21– read the words of Jesus. "I do not pray for these (apostles) alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
After reading so many Scriptures on the need for unity, why are so many millions of religious people still being taught "choose the church of your choice"? Those preachers and teachers who teach such should heed the words of Jesus– "But in vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:9). Can so many conflicting doctrines be right? Paul said "speak the same things, no divisions" (I Cor. 1:10).
- Paul L. McElroy preaches for the Columbia Church of Christ in Columbia, MS. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org