Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 2, No. 1 Page 5 January 2000

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Signs of Two Churches
on One Post

By Basil Overton

I saw in Weakley County, Tennessee where I was born and reared, one sign post which held two signs.  The post stands by two church buildings which are only a few feet apart and are the meeting places of congregations of two very popular denominations.

“It Makes No Difference”

People in these denominations say that it does not make any difference to which one belongs.  Seeing those two church buildings so close together and the one sign post that holds both the signs concerning the two churches, made me wonder if people in such churches really believe it does not make any difference to which church one belongs.  If they really believe this, why do they meet in different buildings?

I suspect that deep down in their hearts such people really believe it does make a difference to what church they belong and what they believe and practice.  Many nice and sincere religious people who say it does not make any difference to what church one belongs have been known to get very upset when one leaves a church to become a member of the church of Christ.  This also indicates that those who thus get so upset do not really believe it makes no difference to what church one belongs!

A Problem in Some Marriages

There are religious problems in some marriages.  One of these is involved where a member of a church of Christ is married to one who is a member of another kind of church.  There follows an imaginary case which illustrates the problem.  Tom is a member of the church of Christ.  Mary is a member of another church.  They are husband and wife.  Mary tells Tom she will go to church with him half the time if he will go with her the other half of the time.  Tom tells Mary that he will love having her go with him to church, but that he cannot go with her because it matters very much with him what is done in worship.  He tells her that he does not believe the worship is according to the New Testament where she goes to church, and that it matters very much with him what is done in worship for it to be worship “in spirit and in truth.”  He tells her that Jesus said that for worship of God to be true worship, it must be “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

Tom knows that Mary has told him that she does not think the difference in worship in the two churches matters and that she can worship in good conscience in either place.  Mary tells Tom that for him to be fair, if she goes with him to the church of Christ to worship, half the time he must go with her to worship at her church the other half of the time.

Tom then tells Mary that what she proposed would not be fairness because it matters with him how he worships but it does not matter with her how she worships.  Obviously, Tom is right!

Solution in the New Testament

We can all read about the one church in the New Testament and learn from that book the following truths about the Lord’s church.

1. It was started by the Lord on the first day of Pentecost following the resurrection (Acts 2).
2. It is the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of Christ on earth (Colossians 1:13, 18; 3:15).
3. It is the one body of Christ and it is to be united (Ephesians 4:1-6).  Division in it was condemned (1 Corinthians 1:10).  Jesus prayed for unity of it.  When there is division in it, we should not approve of the division, but instead we should keep on teaching the Gospel and show that the body of Christ must be united.
4. The only way to get into the body of Christ or the church we read about in the New Testament is by believing in Christ (John 8:24), repenting of sins (Acts 17:30), confessing faith in Christ as God’s Son (Acts 8:37) and then being baptized into him (Galatians 3:27; Acts 22:16).  No one should think he is in the one body of Christ until he has thus obeyed the Gospel.  Study the New Testament and you will see that this is true.

Frequently, I hear men on TV and radio talk about the body of Christ.  It is very obvious that they do not understand the foregoing New Testament truths about the body of Christ.  Everyone in the body of Christ should work hard to help people who are not in it to learn what God says in his book, the Bible, about it.  God has the solution to all the confusion in the religious world and he put it in his Book for us to learn.


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