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Just Christians

Have you ever wondered why there are so many religious groups, all claiming to follow Christ, yet all teaching contradictory things? Can all of these groups be right at the same time, even if what they are teaching is mutually exclusive?

First, let us examine what it means to be contradictory. Two propositions are contradictory if both cannot be true at the same time. Such often leads to confusion. Here are example contradictory doctrines taught by christian religious groups.

  • A man's faith saves him. He does not need to do anything else to be saved.
  • A man must ask for forgiveness and stop sinning (repent) to be saved.

One or both of these doctrines must be false. Both cannot be true at the same time, yet men simultaneously purport both as truth. Confused? You should be! Note what the Bible says about confusion:

For God is not the author of confusion.
1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV)

Who then is the author of confusion? Man is!! Unfortunately people will find someone who will tell them what they want to hear. Since many people want to hear different things, contradictory doctrines are taught and confusion abounds.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2 Timothy 4:3 (NKJV)

Depending on how you classify churches, some estimate the existence of over 1000 distinct denominations. "Join the church of your choice", so the advertisement goes. Does God approve of denominations? Let us now examine some things that God's word tells us about divisions.

We must all teach the same thing; divisions are wrong.

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1 Corinthians 6:10 (NKJV)

Unity can be achieved by teaching the pure and complete word of God, the gospel of Christ. We are not to preach or receive anything else. We cannot make up our own way of doing things.

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
...I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Romans 15:19b (NKJV)
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 (NKJV)
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:8 (NKJV)
Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
Proverbs 30:5-6 (NKJV)
If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life.
Revelation 22:18 (NKJV)

We are not to wear the name of any human or denomination.

For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? ... For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
1 Corinthians 1:11-13, 3:3-6 (NKJV)

We belong to Christ and wear His name.

And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.
1 Corinthians 3:23 (NKJV)
And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Acts 11:26 (NKJV)

We cannot join the church of our choice. There is no such concept in the Bible. The church is the body of Christ, there is only one, Christ is its head, and God decides who is in it.

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body.
Ephesians 1:22-23 (NKJV)
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:4-6 (NKJV)
And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:47 (NKJV)

God is the One being worshipped. He gets to decide how we are to worship him. If we choose our own way, God will reject our worship.

These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
Matthew 15:8-9 (NKJV)

Prejudice and discrimination are wrong. We have no right to exclude anyone from Christianity. God accepts everyone who obeys Him, regardless of race, color, social class, nationality, age, sex, or other factor used by men to discriminate.

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
Acts 10:34 (NKJV)
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galations 3:27-28 (NKJV)

Christianity, if practiced by everyone as God has prescribed, will cause men to treat each other with mutual love, kindness and respect, removing prejudice, want and need from this world.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8 (NKJV)
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them.
Matthew 7:21 (NKJV)
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27 (NKJV)
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galations 6:10 (NKJV)
Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, "Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you." So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves? And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Luke 10:30-37 (NKJV)

Isn't this the kind of person you want to be? Choose today to be just a Christian and nothing else.

God's word tells us in Acts 2:47 that God adds people to His church when they are saved. Acts 11:26 tells us that these saved people are Christians. Read about how GOD says one becomes a Christian here!

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