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Topic: The Nature of the Church

Is Your Gospel Automatically Correct?

by Darrel Cline

There is only one true God and He has only one true Gospel. He also has only one true Church. The multiplicity of local churches creates confusion for the person who genuinely wants to go to heaven when he dies. But, in order to go, the person must recognize that he has to weed out the false in order to discover the true. To do that, he must be willing to check out the possibilities.

There is an amazing blindness in most of us: the assumption that the gospel we believe in is, ipso facto, the true Gospel. This is a major blindness, and a point of significant hypocrisy when we realize that we think nothing of sending missionaries to those who do not believe as we do. Why is this a point of hypocrisy?

Well, let's consider what the implications are of what we are doing when we send missionaries to others. The fundamental assumption of the act is that we are right and they need to be converted to the way we think and believe, or they are going to Hell. A second fundamental assumption is that they have a moral obligation to hear what we are telling them by our missionaries and renounce their entire belief system in order to buy into ours. Are these fundamental assumptions hypocrisy? Of course not: we must believe we are right or we do not believe; and we must believe that those who are wrong have a moral obligation to hear the truth and renounce their former beliefs because that is the essence of Jesus' demand that we find our way to the Father through Him alone.

Where, then, is the hypocrisy? It is in the unexamined faith to which we hold. We naturally believe that we believe the right gospel--though if we had to defend our beliefs from some legitimate foundation (such as the Bible), most of us wouldn't even know where to begin. We would simply refer the questions to our priest, preacher, rabbi, or guru. This ignorance of ours is the hypocrisy. We want others to believe what we cannot defend ourselves!

There is no excuse for this before God. He has spoken in His Word and in history in powerful and dramatic declaration. Anyone who refuses to listen to His Word, study it in order to understand what He has said, and base his belief on what he has found in the words of God is a full blown hypocrite if he expects anyone else to believe what he does just because he does.

This is another reason why God has allowed the multiplicity of churches in the face of the fact that there is only one true Gospel and one true church. God reserved the harshest of His words to hypocrites who claim with their mouth that they believe in Him, but never have the heart to pursue the true knowledge of Him. He hates this blind arrogance that insists on believing the unsupportable claims of churches whose people are ignorant of the content of the Bible, His Word. And if He hates it, you can guess what He is going to do to people who refuse to examine their faith to see if they have any real foundation for it.

Are you a student of your Bible? Or are you automatically correct in what you believe?

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This is article #149.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.