THE UNDISPUTED INDISPENSABILITY
OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
By CELERINO G. BACLAAN
NOT KNOWN TO MANY, either for lack of information or without any information at all, in matters of worshipping the true God that is worthy to Him and of attaining His promised salvation, the Church Of Christ founded by Christ (Matt. 16:18; Luke 12:32; Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation) is undisputedly indispensable. In fact, this Church was preached and propagated by the apostles during their time (Rom. 16:16; Acts 2:47) and by Brother Felix Y. Manalo at the time called by the Bible ends of the earth (Isa. 43:5-6; Matt. 24:33, 6-7, New King James Version). Contrary to the very popular “faith alone” belief, this extremely important biblical teaching has been ignored or rejected by those who choose to believe what they personally think as acceptable to the majority and what they consider convenient to them. What they do not know though is that this “faith-alone” or “just-accept-Christ as-your-personal-Savior” belief does not only oppose the great plan of God for man’s salvation (Eph. 2:3-10) but also will cause him the ultimate, most tragic, and disastrous end—destruction on Judgment Day of ungodly men or all sinners (Prov. 11:31; I Cor. 6:9-10; II Pet. 3:7, 10) and eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).
The Church Of Christ in these last days (John 10:16; Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation; Rom. 9:24; Isa. 43:5, Moffatt Translation) has been committed to fulfill the commandment of Christ, the Savior, Himself:
“… ‘You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. But those who refuse to believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16, Living Bible)
This instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ which His apostles followed aims to fulfill God’s will:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, New International Version)
God’s will expressed in Christ’s commandment to preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere for man’s salvation has been the inspiration behind the collective efforts of the Church Of Christ to realize the objective of its worldwide Abundant Fruit Bearing campaign.
Man’s gravest problem
Even long before the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the purpose of God in creating man was made known as clearly stated in the Old Testament:
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandment, for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Eccles. 12:13-14, Ibid.)
The wise King Solomon declared a very important truth every person should understand and reflect on. The king himself finally came to this realization when he found out the vanity of everything man accomplishes in this world—knowledge, wealth, power, honor, and fame (Chapters 2 and 3 of Ecclesiastes)—but he fails to fulfill God’s very purpose why He created him, for when he dies he is accountable to God who will judge him according what he has done.
Foremost among the commandments of God to man is to love Him above all, that is, he should recognize Him as the only one true God (John 17:1, 3), worship and serve Him (Ps. 95:6-7; 100:2-3), obey His commandments (I John 2:3), and live righteously (Eph. 4:23-24). Those who refuse to accept God’s plan to save them through Jesus (II Thess. 1:8, LB) and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus (II Thess. 1:8, NIV) will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction (II Thess. 1:10, Today’s English Version) which is the second death, death in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).
The only solution to man’s
No less than our Lord Jesus Christ whom the Almighty God appointed as the Savior (Acts 5:31) explicitly commanded:
“I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold though me will be safe. …” (John 10:9, Revised English Bible)
Anyone who wants to be saved then must enter the door that is no other than our Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who followed this command are found in the fold or flock which is the Church Of Christ redeemed by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation) and the body whose head is Christ (Col. 1:18) to be saved by Him (Eph. 5:23) from the wrath of God (Rom 5:9). Thus, people who are outside the Church Of Christ will be judged (I Cor. 5:13, Revised Standard Version) or will be burned (John 15:6), for they will be the ones to pay for their sins (John 8:24) since they are not among those redeemed by Christ; and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Heb. 9:22).
Dismissing any belief that disregards the undisputed significance of the Church Of Christ to the rendition of acceptable worship of God and man’s salvation, Christ emphasized the indispensability of His Church which is God’s will—grace and plan for man’s salvation (Eph. 1:8-9)—as He stated:
“Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God’s message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!’ Then I will say to them, ‘I never know you. Get away from me, you wicked people!” (Matt. 7:21-23, TEV) *
Copied from PASUGO GOD’S MESSAGE SPECIAL ISSUE 2014/Pages 72-73