There is a statement that is commonly heard throughout our society that says: “Go to the church of your choice.” You have probably seen it (or similar statements) emblazoned on various bumper stickers, signs, posters, and billboards. This statement presupposes that there is a choice to be made in picking a church. For many people, this type of statement makes perfect sense – “it stands to reason!”
Within our communities, whether they be small towns or large, metropolitan cities, there are so many different “houses of worship.” In many places, you can find a number of “churches” – three, four, five, six, or more, all located within a short distance of each other. On one corner, you might see the church building where the local Methodists meet, across the street is the imposing place of worship of the “First Baptists,” while down the avenue is the large, impressive Roman Catholic cathedral. This supposedly presents the member of the community with a wide number of choices to be made when they start planning where to place their membership and attend worship services.
Many of these “churches” consider themselves “Christian,” meaning that their members at least maintain some sort of belief in Jesus Christ and recognize the Bible to be a source (however limited) of spiritual guidance and encouragement. Yet, these same “churches” also represent many different religious groups which vary greatly in their own beliefs, doctrines, and practices. For example, Roman Catholics strongly believe that it is necessary for infants to be baptized while Baptists do not.
The very existence of these different “churches” (religious groups) inevitably leads to some questions: 1.) Which “church” (group) should I select to place my own membership and attend? 2.) Which “church” has members that share my own personal convictions? and 3.) Which “church” is correct in its teachings and is right with God? These are all valid questions! They need to be answered.
The many choices that are presented to the common person have the potential to lead to great confusion and frustration. Some people deal with this confusion by saying (and believing): “It doesn’t matter where you go!” or “One church is as good as another!” Trying to rationalize their decision, they may add: “All roads lead to heaven.” or “All roads lead to the same destination.” Those who believe this way frequently maintain that the only thing that really matters is attendance at some type of “church.”
This has ultimately led to the statement: “Go to the church of your choice!” We are told to select the “church” that pleases us. We are encouraged to go to the group that makes us feel good and happy – which best meets our “felt needs.” Still, the questions linger!
However, when we go to God’s word, the Bible, we discover that our choice is quite simple and straightforward. There is only one correct choice to be made! In his letter to the brethren at Colossae in Asia Minor, the apostle Paul writes: “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18) [NKJV]. The “He” that Paul is referring to here is Jesus Christ. Notice that Paul states that Christ is “…the head of the body, the church” [underlines mine, eas]. He repeats this idea later on in this same chapter in v. 24 and also explains that “the body” is “…His body.” Thus, Paul emphasizes here, as he does also in Ephesians 1:22 – 23; 4:4, that Christ’s body, the church, is singular, not plural!
Christ is not the head of “a body” which is “a church.” Rather, He is the head of “the body” which is “the church.” The church, therefore, is not one of many but the one and only! There is no other! It is the “…one body” mentioned in I Corinthians 12:12 – 13, Ephesians 4:4, and Colossians 3:15.
So we come to the obvious and necessary conclusion that there is only one true church! As we look out at all the choices that are available, we do not have to be confused or frustrated. On the contrary, we can be confident as we select the church that teaches the truth – the truth that is in God’s word. One of the key attributes of the one, genuine church is that it is “…the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Timothy 3:15).
Let us choose to become members of the church that is headed by God’s precious Son Jesus Christ and is ruled by His teachings. Let us: “GO TO THE CHURCH OF GOD’S CHOICE!”