Being united in Jesus is the only way to heaven
by Sparta Live | February 5, 2018 6:30 am
By Derrick Coble- West Sparta church of Christ
In any 21st century city, one does not have to look very far to observe a multiplicity of religious groups. These groups range from conservative to radical, and each one is distinct in its own rites and customs. With this in mind, one can see the validity of what the Holy Spirit stated as recorded in 1 Timothy 4:1: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
Jesus promised to build only one church (Matthew 16:18), and He prayed for the unity of that church (John 17:20,21). It was His church that was established on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), with only one Lord as the head (Ephesians 1:22), one body as the servants (Colossians 1:18), and one doctrine as law (John 7:16; Acts 2:42). Nonetheless, the purity of the one church that Jesus established was soon plagued by religious division.
At Corinth, the apostle Paul powerfully pleaded, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Following this, Paul asked a question that is vital for all to contemplate today: “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13). Having realized the biblical answer to this question is undoubtedly, “no,” some have made an effort to create unity amidst religious diversity.
Jesus’ desire was not that differing religious bodies come together maintaining their diversity under the guise of “unity.” Jesus’ desire was that all would come into His church (Matthew 16:18; Acts 14:22), follow His doctrine (Mark 1:22), reject the creeds and confessions of men (Matthew 15:8,9), and boldly live and proclaim one message centered upon His Word (Galatians 1:8,9; Philippians 1:27; Romans 15:6; 1 Peter 3:8). Jesus died for His church—the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). It is only by His name that one can be saved (Acts 4:12), and it is only by His word that one can live (James 1:22,23). Authority is not derived from historic confessions, catechisms, associations, conferences, or synods but by the holy inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16,17). God’s word is the only basis for unity in the world. Christ is not to be divided. His Word will judge every soul at the last day (John 12:48). Thus, let each soul examine himself (2 Corinthians 13:5), try the spirits (1 John 4:1), and obey the Gospel to be added unto the church of Christ 38-47).