It is amazing how varied the views are that people have of the church. It is downright offensive to some individuals if it is suggested that the church is an integral part of one’s salvation. Some cannot even fathom that their eternal dwelling in heaven would have any connection at all to the church, which is often viewed as a religious club or organization that serves some limited purposes on this earth but is not essential to one’s entrance into heaven.

Rather than examine all of the views that various folks have regarding the essentiality of the church, let us turn our attention to God’s Word. The church was eternally purposed in the mind of God (Ephesians 3:10-11) — that must mean that it has a significant purpose in the mind of God. The church was personally promised and purchased by the Son of God (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28) — that must mean that it has a significant purpose in the mind of Christ. But, does the church have anything to do with me going to heaven?

Let us answer this question by asking another question: Does being “saved” have anything to do with me going to heaven? Do I have to be “saved” in order to go to heaven?

The Scripture teaches plainly that “there shall by no means to enter [heaven] anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:27) Only those who are saved from the defilement of sin and written in the Book of Life shall enter heaven. What does that have to do with the church?

The Scripture teaches plainly that those who are “saved” are “added” by “the Lord” “to the church.” (Acts 2:47) When one is baptized (Acts 2:38) for forgiveness of sins (i.e., is “saved”), that person becomes a part of the church immediately. They are “added,” by God (Acts 2:41), when they are “baptized into” the body (1 Corinthians 12:13), which is the church. (Ephesians 1:22-23) It is impossible to be saved and to not be in the Lord’s church. God places His saved into His church.

The Scripture teaches plainly that only those in the church are saved. Where does it make such a claim as that? The inspired penman wrote, “Christ … is the Savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23) Obviously, Jesus is the Savior of the saved, but this passage affirms that Christ is the Savior of the “body,” which is the church. (Ephesians 1:22-23) Therefore, one must be in the church (the body), in order to be saved by Jesus Christ. It is impossible to be saved and to not be in the Lord’s church. God saves His saved in His church.

One cannot go to heaven without being saved. One cannot be saved without being in the Lord’s church. Therefore, one cannot go to heaven without being in His church.

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The Beattie Road Church of Christ loves you. If we can assist you in your spiritual journey, contact us at (229) 435-2193 or (870) 500-5535. We offer in-home and online Bible studies. Visit our website beattieroad.org and our Facebook page Beattie Road Church of Christ.

(1) comment

Silence1995

Good afternoon.

I'm 73 have survived three bouts of cancer, the death of my husband, and so much more. But I feel quite blessed. I stopped going to church many years ago, and have no worries concerning my salvation. Oh, I used to listen to my pastor read from the Bible every Sunday, and I since I was a little girl, attended Bible Study. When I got cancer many years ago, my husband too lost his job. In the end we lost everything. But, that's when we found a whole lot more. You see, one day, we realized that we weren't truly free because of all the worldly possessions we had. Why do I say that? Becuase we were more concerned about our stuff, our things, than we were literally possessed by them. One day, my husband and me we both prayed and thanked God for setting us free. We heard remembered what the Lord Jesus said, "that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to gain the gates of Heaven." We also remembered Jesus telling us to pray in private and not to make a specticle of ourselves. Of course, we remembered how many times we went to church and prayed out loud with everyone and thought, this isn't what Jesus wanted. In the end, we realized that God was everywhere, all around us and in us, and in everything other human being. He so loved us that he send one and only Son Jesus Christ to be among us. Now my husband Bob and me love Jesus and al the things he said, we aim to practice what he preached. Love one another as we love ourselves. We believe that the presence of God is in each and every one of us. That each of us is a 'one and only' child of God. As there are no two people exactly alike, we felt filled with the spirit each time we met a new, one of a kind image of God. In the end, we didn't see the need to fear God, because we knew He loved us just as we are, one and only, unique images of God and because of that, we loved everyone we met. We were so happy and filled with the Spirit even thoough we didn't have much of anything. We knew God would provide just as Jesus told us hewould. And he did. Like I say, we lived a simple life, and now without Bob, I do too. You see, I figure that I shouldn't worry so much about getting into Heaven, because as I see it, Bob and me found heaven right here on Earth, just as it says in the Lords Prayer. "thy kinddon come, thy will be done,ON EARTH as it is in heaven. If there was anything wrong with the times of today, I would say it was everyones attention on things, buying things, possessing things and a whole lot of meaningless things. All of this seperates us from God, and that my dear friend is what I see as sinfullness. Being seperated from God. So, if I were to say anything after everything I have seen and learned, it would be live a simple life. Don't worry about getting into heaven, don't judge people, and don't surround yourselwith things of this world. Freedom is a choice, and everyone who puts worldly things in front of God, can no longer see God. Praying for salvation is useless if one goes home to a life of comfort surrounded by useless material things. Those people aren't free, they are prisoners in jail...prisoners of thier things and all the thinking that goes into acquiring them. I wasn't born again when I simply said, I accept Jesus as my Savior. I was born again when I practiced what he preached. I didn't need a pastor reading from the old testiment of all the sins of people back then. I needed a pastor who sat with me, and listened to me and heard my truth. If you as a christian man really loved your flock, you wouldn't tell them about the truth of Jesus Christ, but you would let your flock tell you their truth. That is true ministry. Filling the minds of people with fear of damnation isn't helping anyone. Listening to their truth and comforting them without judgement, is the way. No, I don't go to chuch to worry, If I went back to church, it would be to listen to the troubles of others and then try to help them. Helping others I have found is where all the joy in this world comes from. Not from sermons telling me how I am a sinner and how I need Jesus to get into Heaven. I found Jesus, and I'm already here.

Silence DoGood.

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