Denominations

When you have read this article, read the article called 'Ecumenical Churches', too. In that article you will see what a Christian is and what a real church is. But let me say again what a real church is...

The True Christian Church is made up of all Christians everywhere. It includes every Christian who has ever been born. And it includes all Christians who will be born in the future. That means that the Church is NOT a building...the Church is, in fact, PEOPLE. Who are these people? They are Christians. What is a Christian? A Christian is someone who has heard the Gospel, and who God has decided to save. God saves a person even before he is born! In the Bible we are told that all the people who would be saved, were saved before the world was even made! (Read the book of Romans, for example).

We cannot get saved ourselves. We are not saved when we go to the front of the church building. We cannot be saved just because we want to be. We can only be saved if God has chosen us. Sometime in our lives, God will speak to us about our sin and we will feel so bad about it, that we cannot think of anything else. Then, we will ask God to forgive us and we will repent. Our lives will change and we will no longer want to sin. (Yes, we will always sin - but we will not really want to sin anymore. That is the difference. Another difference is that ONLY THE CHRISTIAN can choose to sin, or not to sin! Someone who is not saved cannot choose...all he can do is sin. He cannot do good). When all this has been done, we know we are saved.

If a few saved people get together, then it is called a 'meeting of the Church'. That is, a meeting of Christians. It does not matter where they are...they can even be outside! Now when there are too many Christians in one place, it is best to find a larger building. When Christians meet in a building regularly, the BUILDING is called a church, too. The people inside it are called 'The Church' (see that we use a large T and a large C to spell it). And they now meet in a church building. Because most of the Christians live in the area, it is called a 'local church''.

The local church is just a good place to get together. It can hold a lot of people. A local church is a place for Christians, NOT for unsaved people! Unsaved people are welcome to visit - but the local church is not their building and it is not their meeting place. The Anglicans say that their local churches are for everybody who lives in the area. But they are not!

A local church is ONLY for local Christians.

If ALL the people who have meetings in a local church are Christians, then that is fine. But if they have unsaved people with them, it is not a meeting of the Christian Church anymore... it is a meeting of the saved and the unsaved. Nearly ALL local churches have saved and unsaved in them... and that is one reason why we must not have denominations.

A denomination is made up of lots of local churches, who decide to join together. Examples are the Baptist Union, the Church of England, the Methodists and so on. The trouble is this...because there are lots of local churches in a denomination, and because nearly every local church has got saved and unsaved members, it means that most of the denomination is unsaved!

God says that Christians must not mix with the unsaved. We are told that we cannot join with people who are not saved, because they do "works of darkness". That means the unsaved do evil things. It does not mean that they murder, or go off with other women, or they are drunks. Yes, some of them are like that. But most people live quietly and are nice. But, if they are unsaved, God says they are sinners who do works of darkness and so they will go to hell. So, Christians must not join with them in their churches. But, many Christians do not listen to God and so they meet with unsaved people.

In the Bible we do not read about denominations. That is because there is ONLY ONE CHURCH...it is the Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, because it belongs to Him. There are no other churches. Some denominations say that they are the real Church...like Roman Catholics and Mormons etc. But they are liars, because Jesus Christ has got the True Church! He says that all Christians are members of the True Church. So, there is no need for denominations.

Some denominations started because things were not right. The Baptists started because many local churches did not baptise. What we ought to do, is do what ALL the Bible tells us. There is no need to start a denomination!

So, a denomination is not needed. Also, we cannot find denominations in the Bible. We are told that every Christian belongs to the ONE Church. This means that each Christian belongs to every True local church in the world! This is because each Christian is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, which is the ONLY Church. This means that every Christian is a brother or sister in Christ. We are all one big family.

If you are in a local church which is part of a denomination, be careful that you do not let it bring in sinful things or wrong beliefs. If it does, go to the pastor and tell him what the Bible says. Pray for the pastor, so that he will change his mind and do what the Bible says. But if the sinful things are too many, you must leave and find a True local church. God does not want denominations!

© December 1993

Published on www.deafbibleministries.org.uk

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