THE CHURCH - HOW MANY? #6
What saith the scriptures?
I believe that sufficient scriptural evidence has already been given to prove they say: Since AD 33, God never has had, nor never will have more than one church.
I shall now review with you all that evidence. No, I will not go back and review each and every scripture; but I shall with only two statements declare what I believe all of them, in many different ways, proclaim. One. the will of God for this dispensation of time is found and only found, in the New Testament portion of the Bible. Two. in order to be saved, we just as the people in the morning hour of this age, must also have for doctrine, all but nothing more than all of God's will.
My dear readers, since I believe this is what the scriptures say, and inasmuch as all of us know that those who are members of different churches conform to one or more different teachings, well I believe I have the right, yea the responsibility to ask, how can there be more than one church?
Nevertheless, as I said in last week's article ,There are many good,honest people who do not believe this. So, the purpose of this article shall be to continue with a consideration of the reasons why they believe God has more than one church.
Some say: Yes, we as churches do teach different things; and true, some of our teachings are contradictory. However, the teachings which cause us to be divided are nonessential. So you see, say they: Inasmuch as all the churches adhere to all the essential teachings, well, God accepts all of them.
True, if all the churches truly did agree on all essential teachings, then those who take this position might have something. However, I believe this is a mistaken idea.
Please consider with me the following examples: Example #l--0nly some of the churches teach that infant baptism is essential. Example #2--Some, but not all churches teach the alien sinner is saved at the point of faith. Example #3--There are those who do, and others who do not, teach that the alien must be baptized for the remission of sins. Example #4-Some, but not all, who teach baptism is essential, do not agree on what constitutes scriptural baptism. Example #5--Some teach it is essential that children of God cease to live a life of sin. Whereas others teach children of God cannot so sin as to lose their soul. Example #6--A11 churches teach that salvation is conditional; but as the above five examples cited and more than a hundred others, which could have been cited, proves all churches do not agree on what the essential conditions are. Example #7--Some. but not by any mean all. churches teach that God's essential demands are found and only found in the New Testament portion of the Bible.
My dear readers, inasmuch as all churches teach that God's essential demands must be taught and practiced and some. but not all, teach this and that is essential, and since they all do not even agree on the Book of Books in which God's essential demands are to be found, then I ask and I ask and I ask, how shall we say that all the churches are teaching and practicing all of the essential demands of God?
My readers, I believe that even this thumbnail portion of evidence will suffice to establish that churches of today are not teaching all of what even they say is essential. Therefore, to contend that God recognizes all of the present day churches, because they all teach and practice all of the essential demands of God, is to contend in vain.
However, even if all the churches were teaching what they believe to be all of God's essential demands, this would not convince me that they were all acceptable in his sight. Because I believe there is not to be found even one nonessential, in his Book. Yes, I believe the scriptures which were given in Volume 3, articles one through 5, prove we must do all but nothing more than all. of that which God has demanded.
Let us briefly review the following points made by all those scriptures. Point #l--God's covenant with us is the Jeremiah promised new covenant (Jer. 31:31-34). God gave us this covenant through Jesus (Deut. 18:18-19, Acts 3:22-23, Heb. 8:6-13, Heb. 1:1-2). God has said: We must give an accounting unto him, for whatsoever he has spoken unto us through Jesus (Deut. 18:18-19, Acts 3:22-23). Point #2-That we are saved by the word of God is proven by these scriptures (Rom. 1:16-17, Rom. 10:11-17, James 2:21). Yet, other scriptures affirm that God's word will only save those who obey it (Mat. 7:21, Mat. 7:24-27, James 2:21-25). Then too, there are scriptures which give us examples of people being saved by their obedience unto God's word (Acts 11:14, Acts 10:1-6) and (Rom. 6:15-18,1 Pet. 1:22-23). Then finally. Rev. 22:14 says those who obey the commandments of God will be saved; and II Thes. 1:7-9 affirms that those who refuse to obey the same, will be lost.
Yes, all these scriptures say we are saved by complying with God's New Testament demands. True, these scriptures do not say we must obey all of his word: but there are others which do. According to Acts 20:26-27, Paul told a group of people, I am free from your blood, because I declared unto you the whole counsel of God. In saying this, he was as much as saying they could not have been saved by anything less than all of God's word. John, in Rev. 22:18, proclaims that God will take away our right to enter the Holy City, if we take away from his word. Then James, in Ja. 2:8-12, teaches that to set aside one demand of God is (in his sight) to set aside all of them.
Point #3-God has never engaged in issuing nonessential demands. For every transgression of any demand of God found in the Old Testament, there can be found a scripture which says the transgressor stood condemned. In fact, one New Testament scripture (Heb. 2:1-4) says every transgression received a just recompense of reward. Then too, for every demand of God found in the New Testament, There is a scripture to be found which declares that all who fail to comply with it, will be condemned. So no, oh no, there is no such thing as an unessential Biblical teaching.
Therefore, if the doctrine of the church which I am a member, is less than all the teachings of the New Testament, then it is not acceptable with God.
By: Tommy Hodge
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