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Question #223

Are you the only ones going to Heaven?

If you think that the church of Christ is the only church going to HEAVEN, then I feel sorry for you. My question is What's in a name!!!! What matter is what are you doing in the House that Jesus prepared. Are you teaching the HOLD [sic] BIBLE, from GENESIS to REVELATION or are you just using scriptures that will satisfy your church, not JESUS' CHURCH. You pick out scriptures that support your church, I challenge you to read the hold [sic] chapter and get an understanding. If you did, then you would know that it's not about the church of Christ but the Church in Christ. The seven churches in the Book of Revelation are not called the church of Christ, so I'm sure you think they all went to hell also. There are many things in the BIBLE that men including preacher, bishops, apostles, evangelist, etc. don't understand, because that is the way that God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit designed it. HE is INFINITE All POWER and UNLIMITED, we are finite, limited power. We don't know everything, if we did we wouldn't need Jesus. Apparently you know everything, that scares me to think that you can take a few scriptures and determine everyone’s Faith. I'm glad that Jesus made me and knows all about me. If man was in control, he could send someone to hell when things don't go man's way. Thanks be to God, who made us and knows all about us, that through HIM we all have a right to the TREE OF LIFE. If you would stick to Preaching and Teaching an UNCOMPROMISING GOSPEL WHICH IS JESUS you would be what I like to call the TRIPLE A (ANOINTED, APPOINTED and APPROVED BY JESUS). STOP SUGAR COATING THE GOSPEL for you, it's not about you. Pray and ask Jesus to show you the way. I also assume that you baptized in Jesus name only. If so, you should baptized in the NAME OF THE FATHER (GOD) THE SON (JESUS) and the HOLY SPIRIT , they are co-equal. You teach man's doctrine, which is taking what you think applies to your life and trying to spread that false doctrine on others. I pray that you would take on JESUS DOCTRINE, by reading and getting an understanding, and digesting the WORD OF GOD well, for the uplifting of the KINGDOM OF GOD!!! May the LORD have MERCY on you. Furthermore, the CHURCH is not in a building, BUT IN EACH INDIVIDUAL. We go to the building that Jesus has prepared for us, to receive more FIRE POWER, WHICH IS THE WORD OF JESUS. Then we are to go out as ambassadors to spread HIS WORD, telling a dying world that OUR REDEEMER, JESUS YET LIVES. STOP SUGAR COATING THE WORD OF GOD/JESUS/THE HOLY SPIRIT to satisfy man's church of christ.

The Answer:

It is difficult to know where to begin with this “question.” The fact is that this statement is not a question but a list of charges. It is strange that one who so strongly urges attention to scripture does not even refer to, must less quote, a single passage. In spite of the difficulty and in spite of the critical negative spirit that pervades the statement and in spite its rambling and incoherent nature, we shall do the best that we can to respond.

  1. The writer expresses sorrow for anyone who believes that only the church of Christ will be saved. Were it not for the remainder of his statement one might be inclined to ask what he believes as to the breadth of salvation. If one can be saved outside the church of Christ then one can be saved outside of the body of Christ because the church is the body of Christ. See the answer to Question 148 on this website where you will find scripture to support that statement. Additionally, see the lessons on the church. If one can be saved outside the body of Christ, does that extend salvation to the Muslim, the Hindu, or the Humanist? The writer’s assertions indicate that he has an erroneous view of the New Testament Church. Apparently the writer feels that ThyWordIsTruth has misused scripture in that which it teaches, but the writer fails to identify one such passage or demonstrate one arguments fallacy. Such a shortcoming ill becomes one who would be a teacher of scripture. In this same connection the writer belittles ThyWordIsTruth based upon “if you (ThyWordIsTruth) think . . . .” Numerous times on this website emphasis is given to the fact that what one thinks is of no importance unless those thoughts harmonize with scripture. It is true here. If anyone has stated what he “thinks” without giving scriptural support for those thought, it is the writer of the statement to which response is here made.

  2. The writer states that “what matters is what you are doing in the HOUSE that Jesus prepared.” This is one of the writer’s statements that is not clear. It is assumed that the word “house” refers to the church. (Based on John 14:2 (ESV and others) it could be a reference to Heaven, but that is unlikely given the context.) The writer is correct that it does matter what you do in the HOUSE, but that does not end the matter. Not only must you do the right thing, you must also be in the right HOUSE. The Lord only has ONE HOUSE or church. See Eph. 4:4 (one body); Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18 (the church is the body); thus, there is one church or house. It is sin to be in the wrong house and it is sin to do the wrong thing in the right house.

  3. Next, the writer asserts that ThyWordIsTruth needs to use the whole [assuming that is what the writer means by HOLD] and not just a few passages that support what he describes as “your church.” Once again (it has been stated over and over and over again on this website), neither ThyWordIsTruth nor anyone associated with it has a church. That which is set forward here is the church of the Lord (Christ). It belongs to Him. He purchased it with His blood, Acts 20:28; to belittle His church is to belittle His blood. When the writer states that this website does not support “Jesus’ church,” it is respectfully suggested that he demonstrate based upon Scripture where that has failed to be done. The writer does make a broad assertion that “it is not about the church of Christ but the church in Christ.” What church does he believe is “in Christ” if not the “church of (that belongs to) Christ.” Moreover, the writer has it all wrong. The church is not “in Christ”; Christ dwells in the church. Christians are lively stones from which the church or house of Christ is built. 1 Pet. 2:5. Christians are the temple of God in which the Spirit of God dwells. Anyone who defiles that temple will be destroyed. 1 Cor. 3:16-17. The writer is certainly correct that not every discussion includes all of scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Not all of those passages have any relationship to the subject under discussion. What is true is that no point expounded and no argument made can contradict Scripture. However, that is not to say that all Scripture applies directly to Christians. For example, the Law of Moses was given to the Jews, it was done away even as to them (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14), and it was never given to or binding on Gentiles except for proselytes during the Mosaic dispensation. Finally, it seems too obvious to need stating that if one wants to learn about the church of the New Testament he finds little useful information in Gen. 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It makes much more sense to go to those passages that deal with the church.

  4. The writer asserts that there are many things in the Bible that man does not understand and that God designed it that way. This charge borders on blasphemy. It asserts that God requires us to follow His Word to be saved, but that He gave us a Word that we cannot understand. Certainly there are passages in Scripture that are difficult. Even Peter admitted it. 2 Peter 3:16. However, “hard to understand” and “impossible to understand” are two entirely different things. Certainly Peter went on to say that some hard passages are misused to lead men astray. It is still true; one only needs to tune into the “health and wealth” television preachers to hear it done. The same thing is true of the fanciful theories that are spun from the Book of Revelation. However, the truth of the matter is that Scripture can be understood. Eph. 3:4.

  5. “We don’t know everything. If we did we wouldn’t need Jesus.” Correct, we don’t know everything. (The writer asserts that “Apparently you know everything,” but he apparently knows that that is not so because the sarcasm is literally dripping off of the statement.) That aside, the real error in his statement is that “if we [knew everything] we wouldn’t need Jesus.” Man does not need Jesus because of either the presence of all knowledge or the absence of all knowledge. If that were the case, would not the need for Jesus increase or decrease based upon the amount of knowledge possessed by a person? Man needs Jesus because of sin. Jesus saves from sin, not from ignorance. True, ignorance can be dispelled through God’s Word, but the ignorance dispelled is often called the wisdom of man. See 1 Cor. 1:18-24.

  6. ThyWordIsTruth is charged with taking a few scriptures and determining everyone’s faith. Here it is not clear if the writer meant determining everyone’s faith or destiny. Either way, the point may be the same. One of the problems with the statement is that, to the extent that which is asserted is based upon and in harmony with scripture, it is Scripture, not ThyWordIsTruth, that is making the determination. Once again the writer fails to cite even one passage of Scripture that has been misused. It shouldn’t take long to do so since only a “few” are involved according to his statement.

  7. “If man was in control, he could send someone to hell when things don’t go man’s way,” the writes. Maybe so, but that is a big “IF”! Man is not in control; man does not and can not send anyone to hell. Nor can man admit one into heaven. God is in control; however, God does not send any man to hell. Man is going to hell on his own because of his sin. God stands by to save man and has given man an understandable message so that man can read it, believe it, obey it, and be saved at last. By man’s sin he is bound for hell; by God’s grace that destination can be changed.

  8. The writer is glad that through God we all have a right to the tree of life. In this great truth we should all rejoice. However, having a right to something and actually possessing that to which we have a right are two different things. There are two different ways – the broad and the narrow. All have a right to enter in by the narrow gate, but few there are who find it. Matt. 7:14. If all who have a right to enter are going to be admitted, then salvation is universal. All will be saved from the atheist to the Apostle Paul. Who can believe it?

  9. We are urged to teach an “uncompromising gospel.” What is it that the writer thinks that ThyWordIsTruth has compromised? It has not compromised the teaching of the Bible on the nature and number of the church. It has not compromised the teaching of scripture on what a man must do to be saved? It has not compromised the teaching of scripture on acceptable worship? What has it compromised? The closest the writer comes to answering that question is the charge that the gospel has been “sugar coated.” In what way and what passages is unidentified. He somehow believes that the gospel has been “sugar coated for [ThyWordIsTruth],” but in what manner he does not say. He asks that we pray and ask Jesus to show us the way; however, Jesus has already show the way. It is called the Scripture, and it is by that scripture that we shall be judged. John 12:48. The writer is correct that the gospel is “not about you” in the sense that he uses the expression. Of course, in another sense it is all about me because I am a sinner in need of salvation. The provision of that salvation is indeed found from Genesis to Revelation.

  10. The writer assumes that we teach and practice baptism in the name of Jesus only. Had he read the answer to Question # 175 on this website he would know that his assumption is incorrect. It is much easier to criticize than it is to study.

  11. The charge is made that ThyWordIsTruth teaches man’s doctrine. Man’s doctrine is defined as “taking what applies to your life and trying to spread that false doctrine on others.” Once more clarity is lacking. Is the writer admitting that what is written here is correctly applied to our lives but incorrectly applied to the lives of others? According to the Great Commission, the gospel is universal, i.e.¸ applies to all men everywhere. Since that is the case what is in the gospel applies to all men in the same manner and to the same extent. On the other hand, the writer may mean that scriptures are misapplied. No answer can be given to that charge because not one example is given or one passage cited. Whatever he could said has most likely already been answered on ThyWordIsTruth if he is interested in studying the Scripture.

  12. The writer prays that ThyWordIsTruth would “take on Jesus doctrine.” Apparently he means by that “reading and getting an understanding, and digesting the Word of God well. . . .” On that we can agree. Jesus doctrine comes from and is only found in the Word of God. In response the reader is referred to Romans 2:1: “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Of course, instead of being as the noble Bereans, Acts 17:11, the writer will most likely charge that the passage has been “sugar coated.”

  13. “The church is not a building” and “is in each individual,” he writes. We have already learned that the church is not a building. Moreover, we have learned that the church is not in the individual, but that the individual is in the church. See paragraph 3, above. It would seem that the least the writer could do is to conform his statements to scripture instead of assuming that scripture conforms to his statements.

  14. Finally, the writer refers to “man’s church of Christ.” That statement is contradicts itself. If the church belongs to man it cannot belong to Christ; if it belongs to Christ it cannot belong to man. Jesus said he would build His church. Matt. 16:16. In that same context he identified the church as the kingdom by using the terms synonymously. That kingdom was established and men were translated into it. It was established. It belongs to Christ. He paid for it with his blood. Acts 20:28. It is for that church and no other that ThyWordIsTruth contends. The writer is urged to read and understand what he needs to do to be added to that church, Acts 2:14-42 and other passages discussed on this website, and join in this great endeavor.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)