By Jeff Arnette
Have you ever had someone say that to you? You have spent time trying to express to them the difference between our church and others. You have spent time trying to help them understand what we believe and why, only to have them misunderstand and throw out that statement. I am sure that it happens more than any of us would like to admit. When this happens they walk away with an unfortunate misunderstanding of our church.
This causes them to conclude that we are judgmental and think we are the only ones going to heaven. This is really a sad misunderstanding and yet, in some cases, it has proven to be true for some. Many members of the church do leave the impression that they are the only ones who truly get it and are the only ones who will make it to heaven. That is not true of all members of the church of Christ.
We do, however, like the majority of those who consider themselves Christians, believe that only submission to Jesus will save a person. We believe that unless you submit your will and obey Him to the best of your ability, you will not be saved (Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46-49). We preach and teach in almost every gathering of the church, "If you want to be saved then you must come to Jesus and obey Him."
Submission to Jesus and His word has always been the thrust of the whole New Testament. In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus taught us that if we build the house our way it is built on shifting sands and will not last. When the difficulties of life come it will fail us. On the other hand if we build our house on the rock, the teachings of Jesus, then our lives will stand strong no matter what happens to us. Submission and obedience to Jesus is the only way to be saved from our sins. There is no other way. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”" (Acts 4:12).
I don't think anyone could say better than what God the Father has already said. Once Jesus took His closest friends and went up on a mountain. There He was transfigured before them. He changed from His bodily form to His glorious spiritual form and the disciples were overwhelmed. Peter as he often does speaks first and asks if they should build three memorial's to commemorate the event. At that moment the Father speaks from heaven and says, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.” (Mark 9:7)
This is all I ask of people today and all that we ask as a church. If you want to be saved from your sins and go to heaven; then you must come to Jesus and listen to Him.
- Jeff Arnette preaches for the Central Haywood church of Christ, Clyde, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.