Know Your Bible
What About Your Religion?
Does it concern you that your religion might not be acceptable to God? He does speak of religion that is vain (worthless) in James 1:26 and of that which is pure and undefiled in James 1:27. Jesus spoke of worship that was done in vain (Matt. 15:8, 9), and Paul spoke of worshipping ignorantly in Acts 17:23. Such citations should cause us to pause and ponder our efforts to please God. Things that please us do not necessarily please God. Are you willing to turn to the Word of God to learn His will for us?
Here are questions to study from the standpoint of Bible teaching:
(1) Did you become a member of the church as people did in the New Testament? Read Acts chapters 2, 8, 10, and 16.
(2) Is the church that you are a part of mentioned in the New Testament? Can you even find its name there? Read Romans 16:16 and 1 Cor. 1:2.
(3) Can you find the doctrine of the church you are associated with in the New Testament?
(4) What about what you do in worship to God? Can you put your finger on the verses teaching those things?
(5) Does the group you are affiliated with engage in only those works authorized in the New Testament?
"Friend, these are things that make a difference! The diversity of the current religious scene is not a blessing, but a bane to mankind, serving only to mislead and deceive. Do not base your hopes or rest your faith on the ideas and practices conceived in the mind of man. Go to the Book of God and there learn of His will, by which you can be saved and in which you can serve him acceptably.
The Narrow Mindedness Of Jesus
Some think that Jesus accepts anything and everything. Some believe like the song sung by Tom T. Hall a few years ago: "Jesus and I have our own thing going." We must be as broad minded and narrow minded as He is.
JESUS IS NARROW CONCERNING HIMSELF. Jesus said, "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE; no man cometh unto the Father but by ME." (John 14:6). This leaves no room for Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, nor anyone else. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). We have no options here; it's Jesus or else! That's very narrow minded, wouldn't you agree? Are we narrow minded as Jesus or are we willing to allow for a little more broad minded view when it comes to world religions and the "multi-cultural" society in which we and our children are growing up in?
JESUS IS NARROW IN HIS AUTHORITY. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18). Since ALL power has been given unto Him and "He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence." (Colossians 1:18), this again is very narrow. Are we as narrow minded as Jesus when it comes to whose authority that we recognize? Or are we a little more broad minded and allow for the authority assumed by the Pope? What about the authority of man-made creeds? What about the denominational conferences and conventions which have legislative power to impose constitutions and by-laws which churches are duty bound to abide by?
JESUS IS NARROW IN HIS VIEW OF SALVATION. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16). Notice, it is not: BELIEVE, SAVED, THEN BAPTIZED. It is: BELIEVE, BAPTIZED, THEN SAVED. Someone says, "That's being too narrow!" Not so! That is no more narrow than to tell you my phone number is 328-9235. What if you insisted it would be just the same to dial 532-5329, would that number dial my telephone? No! Is it being narrow to have things in the right sequence? Of course not! If we want to go to heaven we must do God's will in the right sequence or we'll never make it. Jesus is just that narrow!
If we insist upon that which Jesus' word teaches it may cause us to be accused of being narrow minded but so be it. We MUST BE just as narrow as He is!
---E.R. Hall, Jr.
The Lord's Church Is Not...
...composed of people who think they are better than others, but rather those who realize that they should be better than they are and must continually strive to do better. (Philippians 3:12-14)
...composed of perfect people, but rather those who realize they are following a perfect Lord who revealed a perfect Plan in a perfect Book. (James 1:21-25)
...composed of people who never sin, but rather forgiven sinners who acknowledge their faults and forsake them. (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9)
...trying to withdraw from everyone, but is rather trying to draw everyone into the fellowship of Christ by walking in the light of Jesus. (John 12:32; 1 John 1:5-7)
...trying to set up arbitrary rules to hinder anyone, but is rather trying to show the rule of Christ which helps everyone. (Galatians 6:2; 1 John 3:16-18)
...trying to take the joy out of your life, but is rather trying to instill the beauty of holiness and true joy in your life. (2 Chronicles 20:21; Philippians 4:4; I Peter 1:8)
...trying to separate you from your money, but is rather trying to keep your money from separating you from God. (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:13-21)
...trying to rob you of your time, but is rather trying to get you to put the priorities of your life in proper order so you can enjoy eternity. (Matthew 6:33)
The Lord's Church
1. CHRIST built HIS church
2. CHRIST'S BLOOD was the purchase price of HIS church (Acts 20:28).
3. CHRIST is the foundation of
His church ( 1 Corinthians 3:11).
4. CHRIST adds the saved to
His church (Acts 2:47).
5. CHRIST is the head of His
church (Ephesians 1:22-23).
6. CHRIST'S BODY is HIS church
7. CHRIST'S church is HIS body
8. CHRIST is the saviour of
HIS church( Ephesians 5:23).
The Lord did not build any denominations. The Lord has not purchased any denominations with His blood. The Lord is not the foundation of any denominations. The Lord does not add anybody to any denominations. The Lord is not the head of any denominations. The Lord's body is not composed of denominations. Denominations do not comprise the church of the Lord. The Lord is not the saviour of denominations.
There is not a reason on earth why anybody should be a member of a denomination. Everybody who makes any pre- tense of religion ought to be satisfied to be just a Christian, a member of the Lord's body-the Lord's church. THEN there would be "one Lord and one body-one shepherd and one flock." The Lord prayed that all should be ONE (John 17:20). Denominationalisn stands squarely in the way of answering the Lord's prayer!
We appeal for all to be one in Christ and members one of another. One church is NOT as good as another. The Lord's church is the best one.
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