Singular and Exclusive in Nature

An honest examination of the Scriptures discloses the unpopular and often assaulted truth that there is but one church that God established and accepts today (Matthew 16.18; 1 Corinthians 12.13; Ephesians 4.4-6). The difficulty in ascertaining this verity does not lie in the determination of truth itself, but in the process of coming to terms with truth and accepting it regardless of the implications (cf. John 6.60-61). In a world run amuck with pseudo religiosity it has become extremely difficult to see the truth for all the opinions of man that have obfuscated reality. Yet, “truth crushed to earth shall rise again!” Among the nebulous hodgepodge of personal religious views comes the clarion call of the Sacred Writings––One God! One nation! One church!

When we consider what the Bible says about the church, we soon discover a compelling argument for the exclusive and singular nature of the church. From the Bible we learn that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6.4; Isaiah 44.6, 8; 45.5-6; 1 Corinthians 8.4-6; 1 Timothy 2.5). Under the Old Testament we learn that God worked exclusively with one nation (Exodus 19.5-6; Deuteronomy 4.20; 7.6; 1Kings 8.53; Psalm 135.4). Today, under the New Testament, God has established one church (Matthew 16.18; 1 Corinthians 12.12-14; Ephesians 4.4a). The idea of singleness is the common thread that runs throughout the entire message of the Bible. Consequently, religious pluralism as an acceptable practice to God is foreign to the Scriptures.

Polytheism (the belief and worship of many gods) has existed since the beginning of time. This system of belief was characteristic of the first civilizations (Genesis 31.19, 30, 32; 35.4; Joshua 24.2, 15). Egypt, one of the first world-powers, was polytheistic, serving over eighty different gods (Exodus 12.12; Numbers 33.4; Jeremiah 43.13). In the midst of this farrago of religious ideas, God would usher in His religion. The first thing God reveals about Himself is His name (Exodus 3.13-15). Jehovah God distinguishes Himself from all other gods by referring to Himself as, “I AM THAT I AM” (i.e., The Existing One). God’s message was simple, “Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah: and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6.4-5). Jehovah God is the only true and living God, and to Him we ought to submit our entire being.

If there is but one God, reason would demand that there be but one church! Is this not what we learn from the New Testament, as we compare it to the Old Testament? Jesus came to build His (singular) church (Matthew 16.18). Paul, inspired of the Holy Spirit, declared that “there is one body” (Ephesians 4.4a). Earlier, to the Ephesians, Paul stated that the church was the body (Eph. 1.22-23). Now, if there is “one body,” and the church is the body, then there is but one church. Simple…right? Then why are there over 2,000 different denominations in the United States alone? Each denomination with different names, titles of identification, beliefs and practices. Jesus declared, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12.50). Note well, in order to be a part of Christ’s spiritual family one must “do the will of [His] Father.” How many churches can prove (not simply claim) that they are in compliance with this statement? God is true!

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