« PreviousContinue »
isted centuries before modern sects arose, and that church was the body of Christ, it follows that the modern sects can not be the true church.
Third. All Christians belong to the church of God. No sect contains all Christians. Reader, observe this truth. The church of God includes in its membership every saved man and woman in heaven and on earth. It is the whole family of God (Eph. 3:15). You can not be a Christian and not a member of the church of God. Whether you are in a sect or out, if you have salvation, you are a member of the Bible church. Since the church of God includes all Christians, it is not a sect; it is the whole. We, the saints of God, through salvation are members of the church of God. We belong to no other institution. Therefore we are not members of any sect, but of the whole, the family entire. To become a sect, we should have to organize and join another body than the body of Christ. What, then, is a sect? Any institution that does not include in its membership every saint in heaven and on earth. For example, does the Methodist denomination include the whole family of God? If so, there are no Christians outside of this particular organization. To admit that there are saved people outside or elsewhere is to admit that that institution is not the church of God. Not one sect on earth includes all Christians; therefore no sect could be God's church. But when goaded and nettled by this positive truth, sectarians cry, that all the churches (meaning sects) together constitute the church of God. If so, then all the sects taken together include all the saved in heaven and on earth. Do they? They all know better. Thousands and millions in paradise are members of the church of God who were never members of any sect on earth. More than this, there are tens of thousands of saints upon earth who do not hold membership in any of the modern sects, yet stand complete in Christ and are members of his church. And again, if all sects taken together, Catholic and Protestant, compose God's church, where was his church before they arose? Ah, God's church existed one thousand five hundred years before the first Protestant sect was organized. So it is separate from all sects and they form no part of it.
Another thought. God's church will exist through all eternity, whereas all sects will cease to exist when time ends. So view the subject from whatever standpoint you may, there is no relation between the church of God and modern sects. To point men to, and lead them into, sects by trying to identify these institutions with the Bible church is to make the truth of God falsehood and to become guilty of the sin of heresy. God help all honest souls to forsake all sects and abide in the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
“But,” say these people, "are you not a sect yourselves? Are you not narrow?" No. In order to become a sect, we must organize a separate institution from the body of Christ. Thank God, we renounce all such institutions and abide only in Christ. Instead of being narrow and sectish, we are members of the only Bible church, the one to which all Christians belong. Therefore the whole family of God are our brethren and sisters. We have fellowship with all the saved. We simply renounce sects and all evil, but recognize the few scattered believers who, for want of better light, are still held in these fallen institutions.
Fourth. Christ is the head of but one body; sects comprise many separate bodies; hence
Christ is not their head. “And he is the head of the body, the church.” Col. 1:18. “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." Rom, 12:5. “There is one body and one Spirit.” Eph. 4: 4. The body is one, or “one body” (Col. 12:12). “Baptized into one body.” Verse 13. “Reconciled in one body.” Eph. 2:16. “Called in one body.” Col. 3:15. The fact that there is only one body proves that there is but one church. Hence all other bodies are out of Christ. Sectism presents almost a thousand separate and distinct bodies.
We prove our loyalty to God by abiding only in the one body-the church of God-and by rejecting all others as antichristian. If the multiplied organized bodies of sect-Babylon are right, then the Bible is wrong; for if the Bible is true, there is but one body, one church in Christ, and all others are antichristian. Reader, stand by the truth and let sects fall. Flee out of the midst of Babylon and deliver every man his soul. Christ is the head of but one body—his body. No sect, then, has Christ for its head. They have only human heads. As head of the church, Christ is its lawgiver. He has given us the law-the New Testament-for the perfect government of his church. Sects have to revise their laws or discipline, whereas the law of the Lord is perfect and needs no revision.
Fifth. Salvation makes us members of the church of God, but not of any sect. This point is worthy of careful consideration. Jesus said, “I am the door. By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.' John 10:9. "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:47. The church and the kingdom are the same. Conversion puts us into the kingdom (Matt. 18:3); through the new birth we enter it (John 3:3-5). The moment a sinner receives pardon, that moment he becomes a member of the church of God. Does conversion make one a member of the Baptist, of the Methodist, of the Dunkard, or of any other sect? It does not. These one must join. Some sects claim to be orthodox, among them the Christian, the Disciples, and the Catholic. But when a sinner repents and gets salvation, that does not make him a member of any of the above sects. Yet he is a member of the church of God. So with all their boastful claims, they are