Years ago, a realtor was driving me to a house that was for sale. Nearing the address, we passed six church buildings. "Isn't this wonderful?", She said. "You’ll have an assortment of churches within walking distance!"
Many people would agree with the realtor - they also consider it wonderful that there are so many different churches today. I even recall hearing a “televangelist” praising God for the great variety of churches in the U.S.
But is this plethora of religions with their conflicting beliefs and practices truly pleasing to God? The only way to know is to examine what God says in His inspired word, the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
In John 17:20-21 Jesus prayed, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
Jesus could not have made it clearer concerning His intention for His followers. The multitude of different churches and denominations today serve not to answer but contradict our Lord’s prayer for unity among His followers.
Moreover, Jesus said in Matt. 16:18, "on this rock I will build my church (not churches) and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (not them)." In John 10:16 Jesus also stated, "There will be one flock and one shepherd."
The apostle Paul reaffirmed this in Eph. 1:22-23, “(God) gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body..." In Col.1:18 he wrote, "He is the head of the body, the church." In 1 Cor. 12:13 He declared, "for by one spirit we are all baptized into one body". And in Eph 4:4, "There is one body…”
If the surplus of different churches is “wonderful”, then Jesus and the apostle Paul were mistaken. However, the truth is that there is ONE Savior Who built ONE church and is head over that church. Our challenge is to be the church about which Jesus prayed, built and died. We can accomplish that by carefully studying the New Testament, then believing and practicing those things that Jesus intended for His followers.
A RECOMMITTED ME IN 2023!