Olsen Park Church of Christ

“Will Only Members of the church of Christ be Saved?”

Introduction.  This question is one that we encounter from time to time in our interaction with people, in this form or some other form.  It is important that we are prepared to answer it properly.

Definition of Terms:

•  “church of Christ.

A.  Jesus came to build “His church”  (Matthew 16:18).

B.  The Holy Spirit condemns division as carnal (1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:1-4).

C.  There is a “church of the firstborn” made up of those who are “registered in heaven”  (Hebrews 12:22-24).

•  “Members.” (Note: NT often uses “member” of our bodies).

A.  Christians used to be “strangers and foreigner” but in Christ become “members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).

B.  There are many members - one body  (Romans 12:4,5;  1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:25; 5:25-30).

•  “Be Saved.” We have already seen that the church is made up of those “registered in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23).

A.  The church is those who are saved (Acts 2:37-47).  Some early manuscripts don’t use the word “church.”  This is reflected in the ASV and NASB that omit.  That conclusion may be subject to debate, but the conclusion is the same. In the phrase “added to them,” we must ask the question, who is “them”?  It is those who had come to Christ, i.e. His church (cf. Acts 5:11; 8:1 talking about the same people, describes them as the “the church”).

So under these definitions it is accurate to say, yes:

Only members of the Lord’s church (or church of Christ) Will be Saved.

But, let’s clearly define as well what that does not mean.

•  Not simply those who are members of some human denomination that calls itself “the church of Christ” or “the church of God.” 

A.  The Lord knows those who are his (2 Tim. 2:15-19).

B.  What the Lord has not established will be uprooted (Matthew 15:12-14).

C.  Commandments of men = vain worship (Matthew 15:8-9).

•  Not simply those who have obeyed the gospel.

            A.  We must abide in the word (John 8:31).

            B.  Those who follow Christ in truth are his (Romans 8:9).

Conclusion.  Why be a member of a human denomination?  Why not seek, together with those at this place to be members of nothing more and nothing less than the Lord’s church?  You can do that by obedience to the gospel.

Kyle Pope 2011

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