Many claim to be faithful Christians, but few are. They attend church services each Sunday and even attend each time the church doors are open. Many claim that there is no perfect church, and that one church is as good as another. Despite what they claim, the church which Christ built is perfect and is the manifold wisdom of God (Eph 3:10). The church which Christ built is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim 3:15). So, how can we know if the church we attend is the Lord’s church?
Denominational Churches Change
Many attend denominational churches whose dogmas, and beliefs have changed throughout the ages. They change to accommodate the sins of the time. The Catholic church, for instance, has changed many times over. They once baptized by immersion, but now they sprinkle or pour. They once allowed their Popes, Bishops, and Cardinals to marry, but now they forbid it because women were divorcing them, and taking Catholic property.
Not only the Catholic church has changed its beliefs and practices, but most all denominational churches have changed, and continue to change their doctrines. There was a time when denominations didn’t have instrumental music, but most do today. Most didn’t allow women in their pulpits, but most do today. Most didn’t allow gays and lesbians in their churches, but now they fill their leadership roles and pulpits. Most all churches used to forbid adulterous marriages, but now their pews are filled with them.
The Doctrine Of Christ NEVER Changes
The doctrine that was true for the apostles is true for us today (1 Cor 11:1). The apostles baptized by immersion (Acts 8:38). The apostles taught that forbidding to marry was the doctrine of devils (1 Tim 4:1-3). The apostles taught Christians to sing and make melody in the heart, and never taught the use of instrumental music (Eph 5:19).
Women were forbidden by the Lord Jesus Christ to speak in the churches, were forbidden to teach the Word, or to usurp authority over men, but to be in silence (1 Cor 14:33-40 f; 1 Tim 2:11-15).
Homosexuals and lesbians were described both in the old and new testament as abominations who were worthy of death (Rom 1:25-32). Adultery was described as anyone who was divorced and remarried contrary to the doctrine of Christ. Except for the cause of fornication, man was forbidden to divorce his wife and remarry (Mt 5:32 f; Mt 19:9). Except for the death of her husband, woman was called an adulteress if she remarried with a living husband (Rom 7:2,3 f; 1 Cor 7:39).
Conclusion: Any church which teaches any doctrine contrary to the doctrine of Christ has not God (2 Jn 9). The church can’t be the foundation of the truth and then be carried about with every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14). Any church which does not speak where the Bible speaks and remains silent where the bible is silent speaks not the oracles of God (1 Pet 4:11).
Any church which teaches not the gospel of Christ is not the church which Christ built (Gal 1:8,9). Any church that doesn’t teach one has to believe and confess Jesus is the Christ (Rom 10:9,10); Any church that doesn’t teach repentance and baptism for the remission of sin (Acts 2:38); And any church that doesn’t teach faithfulness until death, is not of God (Rev 2:10). Any church that doesn’t meet each Sunday to take the Lord’s supper, and give of its means is not the Lord’s church (Acts 20:7 ff; 1 Cor 11:24-26; 1 Cor 16:1,2); Any church that bears not the name of Christ is not headed by Christ (Eph 1:22,23 f; Col 1:18).
The church of Christ, the church which Christ built and died for abides by only one doctrine that changes not (Mt 16:18 f; Acts 20:28). If you are attending a church which either has an ever-changing doctrine, or a doctrine contrary to the gospel of Christ, you are not attending the Lord’s church, and are worshiping God in vain (Mt 15:7-9). The Lord changes not, his church changes not, and the saints which attend His church changes not (Heb 13:8 ff; 1 Tim 3:15; Eph 4:14).