[GCFL-discuss] Re: Many churches
gcfl-discuss at gcfl.net
gcfl-discuss at gcfl.net
Wed May 5 22:27:31 CDT 2004
be careful about deciding who is and is not on that narrow road. I said before what the teaching that tells us what makes us one of Christ's lambs and it is the belief that He died for us, He defeated death for us, He reigns on high for us. John 3: 16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasing life, For God sent not his Son into the work to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. KJV
gcfl-discuss at gcfl.net wrote:
>Jesus started one true Christian religion. So today there must be just
>one body, or group, of true worshipers of God. (John 4:23, 24;
>Ephesians 4:4, 5) The Bible teaches that only a few people are on the
>narrow road to life.Matthew 7:13, 14.
Jesus also said "Salvation is of the Jews" -- although I can't put my
finger on the exact reference, and I don't believe it means all
Christians need to become Jewish.
Jesus did not define an organization, or issue lengthy and detailed
doctrine. He laid out some principles, explained them every way he could,
told his disciples they really still didn't understand what he was trying
to teach, and opened up a relation with God to all nations, rather than
just one chosen people.
The early church did not have councils or bishops, and doctrine was a
matter for lively discussion. When it got codified by church councils in
the 300s and 400s AD, a lot of nonsense was grafted on and made orthodox.
I know of no reliable, authoritative, Scriptural basis to identify any
denomination, organization, or body of doctrine, as defining the "one
true Christian religion." The Roman Catholic Church has always claimed to
be it, by Apostolic Succession from Saint Peter. If that is true, can the
Reformation, we must all submit to Rome again. If not, then who of the
various theological voices, most of which have emerged since 1450 AD or
so (the Pentecostal revival is only a century old) shall we recognize as
true and demand that all shall bow to?
Go back to Wycliffe, and you will find that translating the Bible from
Latin to English was undertaken so that every individual Christian could
read it for themselves, and develop their own relationship with God,
rather than take the authority of any hierarchy for what it said or what
Perhaps some who call themselves Christians ARE in error. God will let us
know in his own good time, but I can't tell you. We are both human.
I believe that Matthew 25:31 to the end of the chapter settles that God
is pleased by those who follow what Jesus calls us to, whether they ever
heard the name of Jesus or not. As to only a few being saved -- that goes
back to Calvin's doctrine that an elect are predestined to be saved.
Despite my Presbyterian upbrining, I prefer John Wesley's teaching of
free grace for all. It is more consistent with what Jesus taught.
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