Many people who profess to be Christians would angrily protest if they were told they did not believe the Lord. A failure to believe Christ is not a new problem. During His earthly ministry, Jesus said to the Jews, “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he sent, him ye believe not” (John 5:38). Jesus repeated His indictment again, saying, “For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words” (John 5:46-47). Words have meaning! Jesus forthrightly declares, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). The majority of people who profess belief in the Lord (that He exists) do not believe Christ! We will offer proof to back up this assertion.
First, members of religious denominations claim to believe in Christ, but they do not believe what He said about building His church. Jesus clearly states, “…I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18, bold in all Scriptures, emphasis MLW). One cannot believe this statement of the Lord and believe that He intended to build many different churches! Man has absolutely no right or authority to establish or build a church. Paul affirms what Jesus taught in saying, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling” (Ephesians 4:4). Paul again teaches, “For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Lord’s church is blood bought (Acts 20:28) and did not originate in the mind of man. Christ is “…head over all things to the church, which is his body…” (Ephesians 1:22-23). The Lord has promised to one day save His body [church] (Eph. 5:23), not multiple man-made religious bodies teaching contrary to His divine will! Those who align themselves with “churches” established by men may believe in Christ, but they do not believe what He taught.
Second, many people believe in Christ but do not believe what He said about being called by the gospel. It is not unusual to hear one talk about his “experience” that occurred before he was “saved.” Just about every one of these “experiences” told to me differs from every other person’s supposed “experience. The truth is that the Bible mentions nothing about any “experience” preceding one’s salvation. Every person called by the Lord is called in exactly the same way—by the precious gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14). The Lord’s plan for one to become a member of His church requires belief (Hebrews 11:6), repentance (Luke 13:3), confession (Romans 10:9-10), and baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). The Gospel is the only “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16), whether Jew or Greek! One may believe in Christ, but he does not believe Christ if he refuses to obey the gospel.
Third, even many church members believe in Christ but do not believe what He said regarding the kingdom of God being first in their lives. The world we live in is a busy place, and there is always something to do. However, the Lord has instructed believers to “seek…first his kingdom, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Brethren must learn that spiritual matters take priority over worldly matters. One fails to seek first the kingdom when he allows things such as sports, company, school activities, recreation, or vacation take priority over assembling with the saints to worship God. Brethren may believe in Christ, but they do not believe what He said in Matthew 6:33, when they allow worldly activities (no matter how good and innocent) to cause then to forsake assembling with the saints (Hebrews 10:25).
Fourth, some brethren believe in Christ but do not believe what He said about those outside of His body being lost! It has already been established that there is a Gospel plan of salvation. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). The Lord did not say, “He that believeth and is not baptized shall be saved,” but this is exactly what those of denominational persuasion teach. Sadly, many brethren today are convinced there will be saved people who are not members of the Lord’s church! The word of the Lord declares that salvation is in Christ (2 Timothy 2:10) and that one is “baptized into Christ” (Romans 6:4; Galatians 3:27). Paul understood and taught that vengeance will be rendered “to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). One may claim to know the Lord while refusing to obey His will, but John writes, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).
- The Bible (37)
- The Church (33)
- Holy Spirit (2)
- Bible Authority (11)
- Calvinism (7)
- Nature of God (9)
- Faith (19)
- Family Matters (7)
- Denominationalism (10)
- Attitudes (46)
- Christian Living (57)
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