Jesus was asked this pivotal question that we need to answer today: “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?” (Lk 20:2). There are hundreds of different denominations with different doctrines and practices. Can they all be right? There are divisions in the churches of Christ. Are they all right? Did the Lord teach all those doctrines and authorize all those different religious dogmas above all others?
Some people quote their parents: “My mother always said.’ . . ” or “This is the way my parents taught me.” Parents should teach, and children should respect them, but parents are not the final authority in religious matters (Matt. 10:34-39).
There are those who attend the family oriented church, others select the friendly church, or the one where their special friends worship. How many are there that seek to please the Lord and attend the biblically correct church?
Another authority is often identified by the words: “I think.” Comments on various doctrines and church activities are determined by the words: “It seems to me” or “I do not see anything wrong with it.” By whose authority are you determining your way of life? “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).
“Our preacher said” or “Our elders said” are other expressions by which one may identify his authority in religion. Any man or even an angel would stand accursed if he preached any other doctrine than that which the inspired apostles taught (Gal. 1:6-12). “If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). “That in us you might learn not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Cor 4:6). If the church which you attend cannot prove their faith with book, chapter, and verse, you are attending the wrong church!