A believer’s affiliation with a particular church or denomination is insignificant. Whether I am a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Jehovah’s Witness is not really important. The question a true believer must be concerned with is, “Am I a true follower of Christ?”
– A true follower of Christ would obey the true gospel preached by the true church. If we claim to be a follower of Christ but refuses to accept the truth of salvation, our claim would be false.
– There is only one church, just as there is only one body of Christ (1Cor 12:20; Eph 4:4). We are either members of this body or we are not. Whether or not we are in the true church makes an important difference.
The question that a true believer must be concerned with is “Am I a true follower of Christ and am I in the true church of God?”
It is crucial that we become members of the true body of Christ and a branch of the true vine. There is only one church that preaches the true and complete gospel of salvation and is established by the Holy Spirit and can lead people to Christ completely. So to find the true church is absolutely essential.
There are countless Christians in various denomination all over the world who truly love the Lord and are very fervent. If a true believer must be a member of the only true church to be saved, then will these Christians not be saved?
1. Christians of other denominations who have heard the true and complete gospel proclaimed by the church and yet refuse to accept it cannot be called true Christians; for they do not follow the will of the Heavenly Father, even though they might be working fervently in Jesus’ name (see Mt 7:21-23). They will have to take full responsibility for their rejection of the true gospel (Heb 2:1-4).
2. Indeed there are many others who humbly search for the truth and love the Lord with great fervor but have never heard the complete gospel of salvation. These people are the “other sheep I have which are not of this fold” and the Lord Jesus will bring them so that all true believers would be one flock (Jn 10:16). It is the Lord’s will that all believers become one for the glory of the Heavenly Father (Jn 17:11, 20-23).
3. “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” (Isa 2:2-4; Mic 4:1-3; see also Hag 2:6-9). This prophecy points to the glory of the true church in the future and that all true believers will join the true church.
4. As for those Christians who never had a chance to find the true church in their lifetime, it is not up to us to judge if they would be saved. The Lord God will be the ultimate judge. But most importantly, we need to accept the complete gospel and the true church once we have found it.
Most Christians believe in the same Bible, even though they may be members of different denominations. But a true believer must have the correct faith and preach the true gospel.
1. Using the same Bible does not necessarily mean accepting the true gospel. Many Jews during the time of Jesus and the apostles used the same Scripture but refused to accept Christ and his gospel.
2. What makes one denomination different from another is its beliefs. Although all Christians claim to believe and preach the Bible, not all accept the beliefs about salvation. For example, not all Christians agree with the Biblical teaching about baptism, footwashing, Holy Communion, and Holy Spirit, all of which are related directly to our salvation. Only if we obey the truth of salvation can we enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt 7:21-23).
A true believer must obey the complete truth of the bible.
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