How Shall I Answer?
A study of the question of "Who will be saved?"
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation [manner of life] in Christ" I Peter 3:15 -16.
It happened again today! That old question came up!
"Do you believe that a person must be in the church of Christ to go to heaven?"
Why do we not just give a "yes" or "no" answer?
Neither answer conveys the true picture nor accomplishes the will of God to lead the questioner closer to Jesus.
The difficulty is compounded when a Christian really believes that the Bible teaches that
all believers in Christ should be "one", and that there is one body, the church over which Christ is
head. (See John 17:20-21, Col. 1:18, Eph. 4:4; 5:23.) If he says "yes", he feels that he will drive
a wedge of animosity into the heart of the inquirer; if he says "no", he feels that he has betrayed
the word of God.
One of the first things we have to admit is that we have no control over who says they are
"members of the church of Christ."There are some shoddy examples of so-called "New
Testament Christians." If all of us were living exemplary lives and always showing love, honesty,
and purity of life to our fellow men, it would not be so hard for folks to see the difference
between the religion of Christ and the religions of men. But we are not perfect. The: church will
always have her Diotrophes and Demas, her Ananias and Sapphira, and even the moral failures
of the Corinthian brethren. Those human weaknesses do not prove that Christ does not have a church, but they make it much more difficult to find, especially for those who are happy and satisfied in a religion that gives them support for the beliefs they want to hold.
It is interesting and impressive that despite the unpopularity of the position that Christ
only established one church, people continue to accept that idea in one form or another! Most of
those who contend that "one church is as good as another" only hold membership in one "brand".
There are some who will back off from their contention when it is mentioned that there is a
"Church of Satan", and some will exclude certain cultic religions when naming churches
they believe to be acceptable to God. However, there is an ardent desire to include as many
religions as possible as a part of the one church.
Continued . Click on orange button