Scripture tells us our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ started only one church.
Later, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, his apostles provided examples of
how people are to conduct themselves both during the church service and out in
the community. THE SEARCH BEGINS
Today there are several thousand churches and they disagree on almost
everything, from the day of worship (Saturday or Sunday); how the service is to
be conducted (to have communion or not); tithing or not and whether to speak in
tongues or not. Some recognize baptism as a requirement for salvation, others do
not. Some vote new members in, others do not; Some allow divorce and some do
not; Some allow women pastors, some do not. Scripture is clear on each of these
issues. Yet they treat Scripture like a Chinese menu: one from column A, two
from column B and we will not worry about item D. This cavalier attitude
establishing dogma without serious regard to apostolic examples leaves us
unconvinced they are valid Christian churches.
These churches, realizing if they criticize each other they themselves can be
criticized, all agree to recognize each other as valid and part of the body of
Our authority for questioning these new churches is:
2 Cor 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the
apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an
angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be
transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to
We would be remiss if we did not protect ourselves from false teachers and
ministers that are out and about seeking souls to devour.
When one is a member of any organization, be it the Boy Scouts or the US
Marines, one is expected to follow certain policy and procedures specific to
each group. In the church that Christ started one is expected to follow the
express commandments and examples of the apostles.
We give thanks before every meal because the apostles, when in the presence of a
shipload of people, stopped to give thanks (Acts 27:35). We do the same, whether
we are at home or out in public. Nowhere are we commanded to do this. But we do
it because they did and we follow their example!
We are also expected to follow their example when performing church functions.
They had communion on the first day of (every) week and we do the same (Acts
To show how Protestant churches do not make the grade we begin with Old
Testament prophecy about a coming kingdom, a spiritual fellowship. We will then
describe how Christ promised a new church, how it started and how people entered
that church. Then we show how denominations acted indiscriminately, without
design or control, and confused the religious landscape.
During the Reformation of the 1500s, new churches sprang up as a result of
opposition to the long sinful history of the Roman Church. With the Bible having
been concealed for so long the time was ripe for new dogmas. We will show how a
false path to salvation was introduced by respected but inexperienced leaders
and accepted by the multitude who also knew very little about the Bible. The
people seized the doctrines of these mentors and demonstrated their strong faith
in Christ by stubbornly refusing to consider anything, even the truth, when it
conflicted with what they had been taught.
NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK
The phone book of any decent sized city reveals hundreds of different churches,
each claiming to be Christian and “Bible Believing.” The IRS has accepted tax
forms from thousands of different groups, all claiming to be Christian churches.
Most churchgoers attend the church of their choice because of convenience or it
is the one their parents took them to, it has a nice “outreach program.” Perhaps
a friend recommended it or they saw it on TV. We suggest a more diligent search
would be appropriate.
If there are 1000 churches and Christ only started one (Matthew 16:18) we
can say with assurance that at least 999 of them are false. So it is
important to search for that one diamond in the rough. How do we do that?
Let’s start at the beginning.
KINGDOM: a realm, domain; sphere of influence;
Members of Christ’s kingdom accept the spiritual influence of Jesus Christ!
CHURCH: (Greek ekklesia) those called out from the world; a religious
congregation; assembly of those who have similar beliefs. Members of
Christ’s church accept the spiritual influence of Jesus Christ!
Our search for the Lord’s church begins with prophecy in the Old Testament.
A NEW AND BETTER WAY FORETOLD
Many modern denominations look forward to a future kingdom that will reign
on earth for a thousand years. However, there are several prophecies in the
Old Testament foretelling of a kingdom that will arrive a lot sooner than
Jeremiah 31:3-34 tells us there will be a new covenant (replacing the
Mosaic Law) where the law will not be chiseled in stone but will be in the
hearts of God’s people. The Book of Daniel prophecies the Messiah will bring
this about during the Roman occupation of Jerusalem.
In brief, the Messiah will do away with the strict Mosaic Law and Jesus
Christ will start a kingdom of repentant sinners who will do good because
they want to, not because they have to!
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain
of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his
ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the
throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with
judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD
of hosts will perform this.
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose
brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was
terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of
silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part
of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without
hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and
brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver,
and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the
summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was
found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain,
and filled the whole earth. This is the dream; and we will tell the
interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings:
for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and
glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field
and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made
thee ruler over them all.
Thou art this head of gold.
And after thee shall arise another kingdom
inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass,
which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be
strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all
things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and
bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay,
and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of
the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry
clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so
the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle
themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another,
even as iron is not mixed with clay.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,
which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to
other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut
out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the
brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to
the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and
the interpretation thereof sure.
With God’s help Daniel interprets the King’s dream. He tells of a kingdom
that will be established during the fourth of four earthly kingdoms. We can
look back in history and see the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar were
followed by the Persians, who were followed by the Greeks, under Alexander
The fourth kingdom to take control of the ancient world was the Roman
Empire. It was to be during the Roman domination that God’s spiritual
kingdom would be established and the Mosaic Law would be replaced by the
Holy Spirit (righteousness would be in the hearts of the people, not
mandatory by law).
Further evidence of this specific prophecy is found in Luke 24:47 where
“repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all
nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” That is fulfilled in Acts 2:38 where
repentance and remission of sins were preached in Jerusalem.
Prophecy regarding the Lord's kingdom, the kingdom of Christ, the Church of
Christ, was fulfilled in Jerusalem during the Roman occupation.
People joining God’s kingdom will repent and put away adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, hatred, wrath, strife, envyings,
murders, drunkenness and such. They will be good examples to all mankind,
producing the likeness of a city on a hill, a guiding light to all who seek
righteousness! God calls people to join His kingdom, turns their lives
around and transports them off to heaven for all of eternity.
Regrettably there are many who refuse to give up their worldly pursuits and
they will never be a part of this fraternity.
The Church and the Kingdom are the same
We noticed earlier that a kingdom is a realm, a domain, a sphere of
influence. It is not necessarily a designated area where people live. Much
like a house without walls, this kingdom can be anywhere and everywhere. As
long as one accepts the spiritual influence of Jesus Christ they are in his
We read that the Lord’s table was to be in the kingdom. The church at
Corinth had the Lord’s table. Paul said that we are “translated into the
kingdom.” John said, “I, John, who also am your brother and companion in
tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:9). If
these men are in the kingdom and the church then they are part of the
assembly of forgiven sinners who look to our Lord for guidance. The church
and the kingdom are the same. There are Churches of Christ throughout the
world. For this reason we say the kingdom of Christ is not limited to one
area but can be found in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
This is something few of the many small new churches teach.
The New Testament tells us the kingdom was in existence after Pentecost and
that the Christians were in that kingdom.
1 Thess 2:12
That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you
unto his kingdom and glory.
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath
translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
We also see how the kingdom would continue forever, outlasting all other
kingdoms. From this we can look forward to the kingdom of Christ becoming
the kingdom of heaven. Those who sought salvation, followed the instructions
of the apostles and obeyed the gospel will enjoy eternity with our loving
Jesus said he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail
against it (Mt 16:18). In Luke 1:33 we see his kingdom will have no end.
While it will have no end, it will have a beginning, in Jerusalem.
But with the overabundance of churches available, how does one find the
THE SEARCH NARROWS
In looking for a church that began in Jerusalem during the Roman occupation
I find I can eliminate the Roman Church and the Protestant churches that
broke away from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation of the
During the Reformation new churches sprang up as a result of opposition to
the long sinful history of the Roman Church. Catholic history includes
brutal torture, slaughter, and mass murder. The history of the individual
popes includes rape, homosexuality, murder, adultery, incest, drunkenness
and the selling of religious offices, including the papacy itself. According
to the apostle Paul, “You can be sure of this: The Kingdom of Christ and of
God will never belong to anyone who is impure or greedy, for a greedy person
is really an idol worshiper--he loves and worships the good things of this
life more than God” (Eph 5:5 Living Bible).
Soon a groundswell of opposition to the Roman Church spread across Europe.
New churches developed protesting the authority of papal Rome, hence the
term “Protestant.” Today there are thousands of different churches, all
falling under the umbrella of “Protestant Church.”
The Roman Catholic Church boasts it was started in 33 AD by Jesus Christ.
This is a distortion of the facts. For a well-documented testimony of how
the Roman Catholic Church evolved away from the apostolic teaching and is
built on one fabrication after another, see “Why I Am Not a Catholic”
under “Special Topics” on this website.
Meanwhile, here are some of the Protestant churches that started after
1500: (Remember, prophecy foretold of the Word going out from Jerusalem
during the Roman occupation.)
Martin Luther founded the Lutheran Church in Germany in 1517.
After the Pope refused to grant Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of
Aragon and the right to remarry Anne Boleyn he founded the Church of England
in 1534. (He influenced Parliament to enact the Act of Supremacy. It stated
the King of England to be “the only supreme head on earth of the Church in
England.) This is an ironic situation. If the Catholic Church were the true
church, Henry was wrong. If they are not the true church Henry was still
wrong for creating a “subsidiary” of the Roman Church. Today most of England
remains in that church.
Scotland’s John Knox founded the Presbyterian Church in Scotland in 1560.
Prospective members are required to obtain the approval of the local
Membership Committee. (See Acts 2:47 where members were added by the Lord,
not a committee!)
First Congregational Church, founded in Scooby, England in 1606; Leaving
England in 1620, assuming the nickname ‘Pilgrims” they drafted the
“Mayflower Compact” and formed the Plymouth Colony on Cape Cod.
The Methodist Church was founded by John and Charles Wesley in England in
1744. (They now believe in the ordination of women, in spite of 1
The Baptist Church was started in 1609 in Amsterdam; The Dutch Reformed
Church began in 1628; they are staunch believers in “Sola Fide.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) was started by
Joseph Smith in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829. Nowhere near Jerusalem! (See: Why I
am not a Mormon” elsewhere on this website.)
Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Scientist movement in Lynn,
Massachusetts in 1879.
Many religious organizations came along, such as Church of the Nazarene,
Assembly of God, Community Church, Jehovah's Witnesses and independent
churches such as the Heart of Life Church, City of Life Church, Life Church,
and the Bread of Life Church. All started long after the decline of the
Roman Empire and far, far away from Jerusalem!
WHERE TO LOOK
The New Testament church began on Pentecost, 50 days after the
resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Book of Acts and the epistles mention
church activities from time to time. As we read and study we see evidence of
the early church.
There is no “Ten Commandments” type list of what to do during a worship
service. But if we follow the pattern of the early church, if we can do what
they did we can expect the same salvation offered to the 3000 on the Day of
Pentecost (Acts 2:47). If we follow the example of the apostles we can
expect to be in that church!
Conversely, if we fail to follow their example we cannot expect to be in his
church! Similarly, if you fail to follow the examples in the New Testament
can you say you are in his church? (When was the last time you had
communion? Did you use one cup and one loaf as he did or have you “improved”
We find the start of the Lord’s church in Acts 2. First, they demonstrated
their faith in Christ. Then, Peter, using the keys given to him by Jesus,
opened the door to the kingdom by telling them what they must do. They were
to repent and have their sins washed away in baptism. From this we learn
what we must do if we hope to enter His kingdom.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 shows that when they came together on the first day
of the week they donated to provide the needs of others in the church. They
did not tithe but gave as they were prospered, i.e., those with less gave
less; those with more gave more. In 1 Corinthians 11 we see the purpose and
method of the communion. Church leadership, in the form of elders, is
discussed in 1 Tim 5, 1 Peter 5, Titus 1:5 and throughout Acts. Colossians
3:16 informs us they sang and prayer is mentioned so many times throughout
the New Testament we can conclude it was included in every worship service.
Most modern churches have prayer, singing and a form of collection. A
message from the leader, a pastor or elder or such is important. What is not
common to most churches calling themselves Christian is the communion. Some
do it once a year, some never do it. Jehovah’s Witnesses have it once a year
but limit it to the 3000 or so who are still alive from the 144,000 who are
going to heaven.
We notice in Acts 20:7 that they came together on the first day of the
week to break bread. Just as, “remember the Sabbath” meant every Sabbath, we
conclude this meant they came together on the first day of every week.
WALKING THE WALK
After the Lord adds souls to his church there are things truly repenting
people need to do to clean up their act. (No, you don't have to be perfect
to join his church but you do have to be prepared to leave the ways of the
majority and become a new person.)
Those who seek righteousness are blessed. Some benefits of membership in the
Lord's kingdom are love, joy, peace, gentleness and goodness. Not to
mention, confidence in your future!
THE ‘FAITH ONLY’ DOCTRINE
One of the problems with most of the Protestant churches is their collective
acceptance of a false path to salvation- sola fide. What seems like a
positive set of guidelines becomes a doctrine of deception!
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Some will say, “See! Baptism is not required! God’s grace saves us, not
We agree it is not the water that saves you. It is the repentance one
feels and the pledge of obedience one makes when being baptized. We would
also agree that faith is required. At the same time we read confession and
remission of sins are also necessary. Thus the path to salvation requires
several different acts of obedience, not just one.
Earlier we noticed the start of the Lord’s church in Acts 2. When they
demonstrated their faith in Christ, Peter opened the door to the kingdom by
telling them to repent and have their sins washed away in baptism. He did
NOT tell them, “You were already saved the moment you believed." No, there
was more for them to do. It takes more than belief if we hope to enter the
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
Right away we see faith is not the sole requirement for salvation!
The concept of “Faith Only” is a detour down the “Roman Road” away from true
salvation. That salvation is a gift of God is not in dispute. What is missed
is the rest of God’s plan of salvation. We are not to add or take away from
the Bible yet the “Faith Only” doctrine overlooks several things! Reading
only part of the plan of salvation is the same as taking away from the
Bible. As far as they go they are right. But they don’t go far enough.
All churches agree Christ died to save the world. We also agree the
adversary of God, the Devil, would like nothing better than to divert as
many as possible away from salvation. We know he is devious and clever. Look
around, do you see anything that looks like a scheme to turn people away
from salvation? Not likely. So, do you think he has given up or do you think
he might still have a subtle plan to sidetrack people away from God’s plan?
‘FAITH ONLY’ is introduced
Augustine (354-430), the bishop of Hippo, was the first to seriously propose
the doctrine of justification by faith alone. He was opposed by Pelagius’
(c. 354-418) who believed that humans are born “with a capacity for good and
evil” and that humans could perform meritorious acts which would cause them
to be accepted by God. This is the origin of the ‘faith based salvation’ vs.
‘salvation by works.’ Neither of which we agree with.
The Roman Catholic Church, as they do today, embraced Pelagius’ doctrine of
salvation by works. As the Catholic Church evolved into the main voice for
Christianity the faith based doctrine went into a dormant status.
In the 1300s the Reformation was on the horizon. John Wycliffe (1320-1394),
called the, “Morning Star of the Reformation,” produced dozens of English
copies of the Latin Vulgate Bible. According to the Roman Church this was
He was an Oxford professor, scholar and theologian and was known for his
opposition to the organized Roman Church. Forty-four years after his death
the pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible
into English that he ordered Wycliffe’s bones dug up, crushed and scattered
in the river! (How absurd! -ed)
Standing against the Roman Church he wrote:
Trust wholly in Christ, rely altogether on His sufferings; beware of seeking
to be justified in any other way than by His righteousness. Faith in
our Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for salvation.
John Wicklif (Wycliffe)
Thus he dusted off the long dormant “FAITH ONLY” doctrine!
The Catholic Church had been teaching that one could earn their salvation by
doing works of penance, by venerating relics, or by obeying the Pope. We
suspect that in his haste to oppose this “Salvation by Works” Wycliffe saw
the preponderance of verses that promoted faith and prematurely grasped an
idea that contradicted the hated Catholic canon. He proposed that man
had “NO” responsibility in the salvation process.
In his attempt to
refute Catholicism he seized “faith” and overlooked other equally important
aspects of salvation.
We point out that neither comes from inspired Scripture. Augustine proposed
faith only while Pelagius opted for salvation by works.
With the Protestant movement exploding during the 16th century John Calvin,
an influential French theologian, stepped up as a leading authority on the
Bible. When he dusted off John Wycliffe’s proposal that faith in Christ was
sufficient for salvation his ideas were seized by the “Bible thirsty,” many
of whom had never read Scripture.
Faith is certainly the first and foremost thing necessary. But there is
more. In promoting the error that man has no responsibility in the salvation
process Wycliffe, and later Calvin, missed repentance, missed the
forgiveness of sins, missed confessing the name of Jesus before men. Without
a good heart turning away from sin there is no hope of redemption. With our
sins washed away and the grace of God we have an assurance of eternity with
our Creator. But to only have faith that Christ is Lord is not enough. Even
the Devil has that!
I HAVE A MAP FOR SALE
Here is a good analogy of how faith is only the start of the salvation
process. If I offered to sell you an authentic treasure map would you buy
it? It shows the X on a Caribbean island, where a pirate buried his booty.
If you buy my map you will be rich!
You believe it is real so you fork over $1000 and I give you the map. Are
you rich yet? Not hardly! You still have to follow the directions, rent a
boat and find the exact location. There is more to do. Opening the treasure
chest and selling the doubloons is what makes you rich, not just believing
the map is authentic.
This is why I say just believing in Christ is not sufficient. Believe in
the map and you will be rich (eventually)! Believe in Christ and you will be
saved (eventually)! Belief is the essential first step leading to further
action! In conversion you will repent, confess his name and have past sins
washed away! Only when your sins are removed, when your 'robes are white,'
will you be qualified to enter the presence of our pure and sinless God!
DOES FAITH ALONE SAVE?
Some professed ‘Christians’ would have us believe that a sinner receives
forgiveness the moment he believes in Jesus as Saviour. There is no need for
obedience or works of any kind. In particular, water baptism is considered a
“work” and is not necessary for conversion or forgiveness of sin. However,
we need to point out that baptism is no more a “work” than is prayer!
They point to John 3:16 for support. This is probably the best-known passage
in the New Testament. We see it on signs at sporting events, on T-shirts and
billboards. Countless adherents point to John 3:16 as the way to salvation.
But let’s look at this verse and see if that is true:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
Many understand this to mean that God sent Jesus and whoever believes in
him immediately receives everlasting life. But notice, it doesn’t say,
“belief saves you.” Belief is conditional; pointing out that if you believe
you should not perish. Jesus did not say you, “will not perish.” He said
you, “should not perish.”
Yet millions of followers are convinced salvation is secured by anyone who
simply believes in Jesus. This is not true. Even the demons believe and they
tremble because they know they will face the wrath of God on Judgment Day.
THE ROMAN ROAD
Most denominations use one version or another of the “Roman Road” as their
guide to salvation. We contend “The Roman Road” is a detour away from
salvation because it is incomplete. This road is very convincing in that it
is true, as far as it goes. But to say it offers salvation is wrong!
- The first step on the Roman Road is Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God." We have all sinned. We have all done things
that are displeasing to God. There is no one who is innocent. Romans 3:10-18
gives a detailed picture of what sin looks like in our lives. (Okay so far!)
- The second step is Romans 6:23 which tells us about the consequences of
sin - "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord." The punishment that we have earned for our sins
is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death! (Okay so far!)
- The third step on the Roman Road to salvation picks up where Romans 6:23
left off, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 5:8 declares, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while
we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus Christ died for us! Jesus'
death paid for the price of our sins. Jesus' resurrection proves that God
accepted Jesus' death as the payment for our sins. (Okay so far!)
- The fourth and final step to salvation is Romans 10:9, "that if you confess
with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him
from the dead, you will be saved."(Not okay!)
This is where the “Faith Only” advocates misread Scripture to “prove” what
they want to prove. First, notice it says “you will be saved.” However, they
teach you are saved the moment you accept Jesus as your savior. Not so!
WHY ARE WE NOT SAVED ON THE ROMAN ROAD?
Carefully notice how the verses referenced in the Roman Road lead to
salvation but do not provide it! “You should be saved,” “you shall be saved”
and “you will be saved” all point to the future, not the immediate reward
Also, notice not one of these verses tells us faith alone will save us!
Faith is required, faith is essential but faith is only the first step!
After repentance, and confession comes baptism to wash away your sins. It is
the answer of a good conscience toward God when you have your sins erased.
This is what saves you! (Not the water but the good conscience of obeying
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not
the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good
conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Not one verse in the Roman Road actually offers salvation. Not one verse
includes, “faith doth also now save us.”
It seems convincing when someone teaches, “Because of Jesus' death on
our behalf, all we have to do is believe His death was the payment for our
sins - and we will be saved!” Then they quote Romans 10:13, "for everyone
who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Again, “will be saved” is
in the future. You will be saved – eventually. After you show repentance.
After you confess his name before men and have your sins forgiven!
Calling on the name of the Lord means following the teachings of Christ
and his apostles. “Why call me Lord and not do the things I say? (Luke 6:46)
One of the things taught by the apostles is that baptism is for the
remission of sins.
John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a
worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
Notice, one must be both a worshipper of God and
before God hears him. Belief alone is not sufficient because he remains a
sinner until he bows down to God's will and, among other things, has his
sins washed away.
WHERE IS BAPTISM?
Among the many verses that promote baptism for the remission of sins we
Romans 6:3-5 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus
Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by
baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the
glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if
we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also
in the likeness of his resurrection:
Sadly, while this is in the Book of Romans it is not included in the
“Roman Road.” Why not? Because it promotes baptism! Those who advocate Faith
Only are blind to baptism. But Romans 6 clearly states that unless you are
buried with him in baptism you will not be raised in the likeness of his
resurrection! It could not be more clear!
The Book of Romans has the truth but the “Roman Road” very subtly detours
around this and away from salvation, down a dead-end road, taking you far
from where you want to be!
WHAT ABOUT THE THIEF ON THE CROSS?
Adherents of “Faith Only” point to the thief on the cross and argue that he
was granted paradise for simply believing. This is a perfect example of how
Satan distorts things in his favor. Yes, the thief was forgiven, just as
Christ had forgiven many other sinners during his three and a half year
earthly ministry. As the thief was still under Jewish Law he would find
himself in Paradise along with other Jews, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and
It would be another 53 days before the start of the Christian
Dispensation. At that time baptism was used for the remission of sins,
bringing in a new and better way of doing things (Jeremiah 31:31)!
CONTINUING DOWN THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD
Some falsely claim water baptism is a public testimony – the outward
confession of an inward experience. In baptism, they claim, we stand before
witnesses confessing our identification with the Lord.
Others claim that baptism is an important step of obedience in the
believer’s life, yet only an acknowledgment of the salvation experience
already accomplished – baptism itself has no power to cleanse or save from
Saying baptism has no power to cleanse contradicts Peter who tells us (in
Acts 2:38) that the purpose of baptism is to obtain the remission of sins.
At this point many churches replace baptism with saying a “Sinner’s Prayer”
to confirm this is a willful decision and a sincere step of faith by
actually calling on the name of Jesus. Of the many examples of Christian
conversion in the New Testament not one includes such a thing. Christians
call on the name of the Lord continuously. Just not in the form of a
AN INTERESTING JUXTAPOSITION
Mt 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with
you always, to the very end of the age. "
If baptism were merely an attempt to publically demonstrate one’s faith
why would all Christians be commanded to baptize others but at the same time
the others are not required to receive it?
Another problem we have with accepting “faith only” is that baptism is
considered a public relations exercise, “to show one’s faith.” If that were
true why baptize in private? When one man baptizes another it is followed by
the announcement in church that it was accomplished. If baptism is not
required why not just make the announcement that the convert is now a
faithful believer and let it go at that?
YES, BELIEVERS ARE IN DANGER!
Mt 7:21-23 Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the
kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in
heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in
your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you
Here we see a tragic example of believers who had faith in Christ, work all
their lives for the Lord and he tells them to depart for he never knew them.
The message is clear - faith alone does not offer salvation!
We meet the Lord when we are buried with him in baptism. Without
having our sins removed we are unfit for heavenly service. Believing in
Christ does not wash our sins away.
If you still feel “Faith Only” is sufficient for salvation I refer you to:
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and
wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
We are not the only ones who recognize that “faith alone” is insufficient
for salvation. One of the best can be found at:
WHAT I HAVE FOUND
Of these thousands of churches, denominations and sects, I have found:
a) None were started in Jerusalem during the Roman Occupation;
b) Most accept the Devil’s Detour in teaching the Roman Road;
c) Few perform the communion on the first day of the week
(Every first day of the week).
The Church of Christ teaches that the church is the singular body for
which our Lord and Savior died (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4; 5:25). It is the
only church which was purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28) and it is the
body into which all the saved are added by God (Acts 2:47). The only way to
heaven is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
WHY I AM NOT A PROTESTANT
I am not a Protestant because not one of the churches that were formed out
of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500s started in Jerusalem during the
time of the Roman Empire. None were started by Jesus Christ, their worship
service fails to duplicate that of the original Church. And last but not
least, they teach a detour away from salvation!
In addition, they teach attractive legitimate Christian principles sprinkled
with a multitude of distorted doctrines. In most cases they are nice, decent
people doing their best with what they have. Unfortunately what they have is
leading them away from salvation.
Modern churches employ various show-business techniques to entice new
converts. Youth pastors, rock bands, faith healings and love offerings are
not Scriptural but entice people to join. We prefer to revert to the
policies and practices of the original church.
John Wycliffe, John Calvin and Martin Luther, for all the good they did in
leading people away from the Roman influence, were remiss in teaching faith
as the only way to salvation!
Reforming the false teachings of the Roman Church was insufficient for those
trying to find and follow the doctrines of Christ. It would have been better
had they restored the process of salvation and conducted worship services as
performed in the 1st-century church. In other words, the Reformation should
have been a Restoration!
According to 2 Peter 2:1-2 there will be false teachers among the righteous,
bringing in damnable heresies and bringing upon themselves destruction. And
many shall follow there pernicious ways because those with the truth will be
slandered and ignored. This latter is fulfilled when pastors of modern
churches call the Church of Christ a cult, as they have done on TV and the
Members of the Lord’s Church steadfastly follow the Bible, in spite of
differences with mainstream churches. Thus we join the church Jesus Christ
started over 2000 years ago. As it is not a new church created after the
Reformation we deny that the Church of Christ is a denomination.
If you are reluctant to join the church we are offering, for whatever
reason, why not simply follow the Lord’s teaching, the same teaching
expressed in the Bible, written by the apostles when they informed the world
of Jesus Christ and his gospel? Have a worship service on Sunday, include
the communion to remember him, have A cappella singing and volunteer
donations (no tithing). Have a male member provide a lesson from Scripture
and have prayer to our heavenly Father through our mediator Jesus Christ!
This is the way the early church conducted their services. Why not do what
In conclusion, we extend an invitation to you to investigate the rest of
this website. There are other items involved in Christian worship that are
covered. We also offer a Bible study course by mail.
You will also find a list of faithful congregations. If you have any
questions, about this article or anything else concerning the Church of
Christ you can contact the author or the webmaster at