Are Members of the Church of Christ the Only Ones Going to Heaven? (1)

by Richard Mansel
This is the rhetorical version of a trump card. Intended as a verbal deathblow, it nonetheless needs an answer. Sadly, many who ask this question have accepted denominationalism as God’s plan and closed their minds to any other option. There is a better way.
We immerse ourselves today in a denominational mindset foreign to Scripture. These various religious bodies did not exist in the first century. They are part of the apostasy prophesied in Scripture (2 Timothy 4:3). If we maintain this mindset, we will never understand and fully appreciate God’s plan for unity. We will continue to create a worldly version of unity outside of the body of Christ./1
Denominationalism is not God’s plan. He created one church (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:4). We are in this body or we are lost, just like the ark. Noah and his family, being inside the ark, survived the flood, while those outside perished (Genesis 6-8). Noah’s family, spared due to their faithfulness to his name and word, is the model for everyone today.
The question is whether members of Churches of Christ are the only ones who will enter heaven. This supercharged question must first be deconstructed.
Jesus built his church (Matthew 16:18). Entering this church requires a new birth through water and the spirit (John 3:5). In Acts, the apostles, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, proclaim that we must have our sins remitted in the waters of baptism, so we can be added to the church (Acts 2:37-47). Later, Paul wrote that salvation occurs because of the grace of God, but he washes our sins away in baptism (Ephesians 2:8-9; cf. Acts 22:16). Entering Christ’s church is not a result of merit but because of the shedding of the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:8-9). However, obedience to God’s Word is indispensable to salvation (Ephesians 2:10; John 14:15; James 2:26; Revelation 20:13). While we cannot earn salvation, we please God by bearing fruit in his kingdom (John 15:1-8). The failure to do so is to refuse to live an open faith before men. Being ashamed of Christ will lead us to be rejected by God (Mark 8:38).
A life of righteousness portrays to the world the blessings of being in Christ. We stand accepted in Christ because of his blood (Ephesians 1:6). “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace which He had to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence” (Ephesians 1:7-8, NKJV). We are the “praise of His glory” after we trust him and are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13). The “exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe,” works because of his “mighty power” (Ephesians 1:19). Being in Christ is the only place to be if we wish to enjoy the blessings of God.
We get into Christ through baptism. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3). If we are not baptized into Christ for the remission of sins, then we are not in him. If we are not in him, then we cannot be in the Lord’s Church. “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).

7 thoughts on “Are Members of the Church of Christ the Only Ones Going to Heaven? (1)

  1. It is possible that a thought provoking rhetorical response might be – are you a member of the church going to heaven? The conversation may then follow along the same lines as stated in the article. Thus, avoiding “denominationalism” as the truth is revealed. This may be effective with some thinking people – but not all.

  2. To answer you question…no, not just members of the church of christ are going to heaven bur I think some of them will if they follow after Christ. As I read the Bible, I see where the Church of God is mentioned more times than any church but I don’t believe they teach they are the chosen ones. Jesus said..” I am the way..” and I believe He is.

  3. Kevin, thanks for your comments. My first thought would be, if I am understanding your meaning, is that asking someone if they are a part of the church that is going to heaven would be countrproductive. Everyone thinks they are in the “right” church. But, only Scripture [given by God] gets to make that decision.

  4. Lee, thanks for reading my article. I hope you will stay with the series.
    ALL those who obey Christ will be in heaven.
    God’s people, by His standards, are the chosen ones. What we think is ultimately immaterial in the end. We can think we are an elephant and that does not make us one.
    Acts 20:28 says Christ is the one who died and purchased the church with His own blood. Therefore, it bears His name because He owns it.
    God gave it to Him. So, it bears His name.

  5. Richard, you need to answer the question Lee asked. There are 10 times the reference to “church of God” than the favorite Romans passage……
    You also beg the question of who is ‘obeying’ Christ. Our C/C heritage has added so many ‘traditions of men’ as if they came from scripture. You equate ‘obedience’ when you really mean ‘the old paths’ which equates to not a demonination, but a sect…..

  6. John, I did answer Lee’s question.
    I wrote,
    “Acts 20:28 says Christ is the one who died and purchased the church with His own blood. Therefore, it bears Christ’s name because He owns it.
    God gave it to Christ. So, it bears Christ’s name.”
    We have added traditions. Anmd yes, obedience is required of us. And, yes, we must walk the old paths.
    Thanks for reading Forthright.

  7. So can you just answer the question…
    Does the church of christ believe they will be the only ones to enter the gates of heaven?
    If that is the belief is it “No matter what?”, or just if they live in him for him?

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