Which church is the right church?

This is a fair enough questions as there are so many different denominations, divisions and brands of Christianity that it would be hard to count them all. In 1 Corinthians 1:12 we see these words.
What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

In truth, asking someone what Church they go to is similar to what Paul says about this. “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?”. So asking which Church is the right Church is like asking which person is the right person to follow, Paul, Apollos, Cephas, or Christ.

So what is the answer then? The true Church is the Body of Christ. It is the Church that Jesus built and is building. Scripture teaches us that there is only one Church. The Church is made up of many parts, but these parts are not denominations or a man made organizations.
The bible calls the true Church by these 3 titles.

  1. The Body of Christ
  2. The Bride of Christ
  3. The Church (which means assembly) 

The scriptural description of Church rules out the possibility that any one denomination is the correct Church. In fact we should avoid anyone that claims that their Church is the only Church or only right Church, unless it is Jesus of course. Apart from Christ, all others are deceivers and ignorant of the fact that that the true Church belongs to Jesus Christ himself.

Matthew 16
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it”.

This scripture shows us clearly that the Church belongs to Jesus. No man has the right to say my Church or your Church. It is better to be honest and say ‘my organization’ or ‘our denomination’. It is important to make this distinction as we do not want to deceive people into believing that man’s works are God’s works. This sort of deception leads men to blaspheme God because man’s works are destined to fail. Remember that all of man’s works fall short of God’s glory and we shouldn’t say that something is of God when we know that it is from man.

Remember the Tower of Babel. They built a big tower so they could make a name for themselves and they even included God in their plans. Yet God judged them by dividing them into different languages, so they couldn’t unite again in this work of iniquity. Perhaps you can now see why there are so many denominations. Denominations are like the languages of Christianity, and is actually the result of a curse which is designed to lessen the impact of man’s iniquity dressed up to look like God’s work. When men are united in iniquity, much evil can result, so God divides men to lessen the impact. We see this clearly with all the denominations out there.

Division in any measure, is evidence that something is not right. Can you see why many denominations build big extravagant buildings and try to make a name for themselves. It’s just history repeating itself. Man’s carnal nature is always trying to glorify itself through its own works, and if God judged this sin before he will certainly do it again. Not all denominations are of course are guilty of serving themselves more than God, but by reason of their structure, they require money and time to run and the result is nearly always the same, they demand that people serve them or prop them up, otherwise they fall over. Yet our resources are better spent giving directly or helping the poor and needy and looking after needs that arise from spreading the Kingdom of God. Denominations by nature even openly compete with other denominations for members instead of demonstrating the true unity that Christ prayed for in John 17:11

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

How does the above scripture compare to the ads you see where Churches compete to attract members.

Jesus said in John 17:21
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

The church needs to come out of Babylon and God through his prophets will call his people out of her. Many Denominations are clear demonstrations of man’s works claiming to be of God and I believe that God is judging all institutions and doctrines that bind up his people, so he can liberate the Church, so she can come under the true government of his Kingdom.

Does this mean that it is wrong to belong to a denomination ?
The answer depends on your motive. Its like saying is it wrong to belong to a Library. Of course it is not sin to have membership to the local library, but if you substituted the Library for the Church, then that would clearly be wrong. So if you think membership to a denomination means you are part of The Body of Christ or that you are going to Heaven, then you are sadly mistaken and you need to repent of your sins and turn to serve the Living God. Then and only then will you belong to the one and only Church, The Bride of Christ.

Here is an important truth that I want you to consider. If you are saved, you are a member of the Church now, whether or not you go to a Sunday meeting or not. That is because Jesus Christ’s Church is made up of all true believers from all peoples. Remember that only people who are saved can belong to the Body of Christ. If you are a practicing sinner, or if you have no faith, or you reject God, then you cannot belong to the Church, (unless you turn from your sins and serve God). Yet these types of people can belong to denominations and many do. So here we can see a contradiction. Practicing sinners can and do belong to denominations, but scriptures are quite clear that only the saved belong to his Church. Perhaps this explains why Jesus will say to many:

Matthew 7:21-22
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?

You may then say, what about the 7 Churches in the Book of Revelation such as the Corinthian Church for example, doesn’t the Bible mention more than one Church? On close examination, you will find that these are simply geographical boundaries of the universal Church. The seven Churches in the Book of Revelation are seven cities. When it says “To the Church in Ephesus, it is addressing the members of God’s Church that reside in the geographical boundaries of the city called Ephesus. These are not denominations or man made organizations like we see today. They are just simply convenient geographical locations where fellowship tends to take place by reason of proximity. A further example of this can be found in Colossians 4:15
Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the Church in her house.

Jesus Christ rules his Church and he has delegated his authority to the Apostles, Prophets, Elders, Teachers and Preachers. His Church does not belong to this world, so we do not have to fight and compete like other groups in this world. Jesus said that if his kingdom was of this world, he would have soldiers fighting for him. Instead we are here to love and serve and encourage one another. Our goal is to preach the Kingdom of God to every nation and person.

Of course many think that the Churches history is written in the blood of many. But I think that it is fair to say that politics, organizations, and denominations that claim to be the Church or have power over the Church have done these things. Jesus is the head of the Church, and he certainly has not asked us to kill in his name. He said himself in John 18:36
“My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Also in Matthew 26:51-54 Jesus said:
51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

Anyone who kills in the name of Jesus is doing exactly what Jesus said not to do and murders have no place in the Kingdom as written in Revelation 21:8
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Instead we should to fight the good fight, and run the race that is prepared for each one of us. Also, we should never fight against flesh and blood, instead against evil rules and principalities in high places. Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Here are a few scriptures that talk about the Church in the true context.

1 Corinthians 1:2
To the Church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus.

Notice here it is talking about the Church of God in the area called Corinth.

Ephesians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus.

Paul is addressing the Saints in Ephesus.
You could take out the word Ephesus and put in the name of you town or city to get the idea.

Romans 16:5
Greet also the Church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.

1 Corinthians 16:19
The Churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the Church that meets at their house.

Colossians 4:15
Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the Church in her house.

The last 3 examples show us that a locality can even mean some ones house.
In other words these Churches are the local Church or that part of the universal Church that resides in a specified locality.

There are only 2 requirements to belonging to a local Church.

  1. You have a right relationship with Jesus Christ
  2. You live or meet in the locality.

 

If you fulfill these 2 requirements then you are a member of that local Church whether you like it or not.

Here are some more characteristics of the Church.

Ephesians 2:19-22
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Here the Church is likened to a Building or Temple that is a holy temple in the Lord which God lives in by his Spirit.

Acts 2:47
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

The Lord was adding to his Church daily as much as were being saved. There is no mention of these people being added because they signed up for membership of an organization or denomination. Those who were being added were receiving salvation.

Ephesians 4:4-5
4 There is one body and one Spirit– just as you were called to one hope when you were called– 
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 
Here the Church is described as one body.

Revelation 19:7
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

We are shown that eventually the Bride (Church) will be ready to meet the Bridegroom.
This means that we the Church is not ready yet.
One thing the Church needs today is unity.

Jesus prayed these words in John 17:11
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me so that they may be one as we are one.

And in John 17:21
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

These last 2 verses are part of Jesus prayer just before he was betrayed by Judas. If someone was about to die then the prayer or words that they uttered would normally be something that was very important to that person. Jesus prayer was that his people (Church) be one as He and the Father are one.
John 17:21 also shows us that the world would believe that the Father sent him if the Church was one. It is very hard convincing men of the truth when those who claim to have that truth are in division. We need to unite under truth. True unity must be based on truth. If we sacrifice truth to obtain unity then all we are doing is uniting ignorance, so we look good from the outside but inside we have division.

I encourage all believers everywhere to see the Church the way God sees her and to be in unity with all believers. This is God’s will and it really isn’t much to ask. If you truly love your brothers or sisters you will gladly do this.
It doesn’t matter if the denomination down the road has more people than the one you go to. We should be working for the Lord which means working together not competing. Look beyond man’s structure and see God’s structure.
To quote Derek Prince (a teacher of Gods Word) he says “That the Lord must surely weep when he reads the religious section of the newspaper”.

Here is a perfect example of Men trying to make a name for themselves. Competition is evident and this does not witness the Kingdom of God to the world, it is more of a turn off to the world as it appears to be know different to say the computer industry, where you have a number of companies competing for the dollar.
If you were to ask 200 people as they walked down the street what they thought the Church was, most would probably say “which church are you talking about ” and then they would probably say that it is an organization that holds meetings on Sunday for religious purposes.

Many people would say this because this is what they have been shown. It is the image that the Church has given to the world for years.
There are many people today that understand the true concept of Church and this is because they have looked beyond the works of Man and can see what God is doing.
We are the Light of the World and I pray that God’s light would shine from his Church, so the world will see the glory of the Lord and believe.

To conclude I will quote two more verse. You will notice what this verse describes is quite different from what the world thinks the Church is.

1 Corinthians 12:12
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 
14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 
16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 
18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 
19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 
22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 
23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 
24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater special honor to the parts that lacked it, 
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 
28 And in the Church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.

This scripture shows us the following:

  • There are many parts to the Body of Christ.
  • God, not man has arranged the parts of his Body to the positions he wants.
  • There should be no division in the Church.

 

The word translated Church probably derived from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house”), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship. In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly.

Finally I will sum up by quoting In Psalms 127:1.
Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.

We do not have the right to build a Church. We should only labour for the Church that Jesus built which is called the Body of Christ. Why not be a member of the true Church and shun all counterfeits. Also, it is time to realise that we do not go to Church, rather we are the Church.

Well congratulations on reading this letter thus far. Unless you skipped to this section.
You are most probably someone who searches out the truth.
May God bless you abundantly as you seek him.

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