disobedient to God’s commands is self deceived.
It is mission impossible to be saved outside the church. Sardis was an example of a church where few inside it were going to be saved (Rev. 3:4) but nonetheless all in Sardis who were going to be saved were in the church there. Jesus “is the savior of the body” (Eph. 5:23 NKJV) and the body is the church (Eph. 1:22-23, Col. 1:18, 24). One is either in that which Jesus is going to save or he is not in it. It is that simple, even black and white.
I want to close with this thought. I have no use for denominationalism nor the Catholic Church. I am not advocating either. I have written quite a bit on denominationalism already. What I do advocate is a return to New Testament Christianity and that can only be done through restoration. The New Testament is our pattern, our blueprint, for what it takes to make one a Christian and what it takes to remain faithful. The same is true of the New Testament as a pattern and blueprint for the church.
I know many do not believe in the concept of restoration. I would simply say to those people that to be consistent they ought to never ever again use a blueprint or pattern for anything. Why? Because they have just confessed that to them a pattern or blueprint is worthless.
There is nothing illogical in the concept of restoration. The problem is not in the concept. The problem is New Testament Christianity is a radical religion that places stringent demands upon man and few want to be bound by its cords. Men would rather do it their way than God’s way. If we lived in Noah’s time and place we would tell God we will build the boat as long as we do not have to use your pattern.
As for me I will live and finish my life out in a conservative church of Christ, one which believes in restoration, using the pattern of the New Testament and be content therein. That is not to say all churches of Christ are what they ought to be but neither were they in Rev. 2 and 3. Neither was the church at Corinth. But, the concept is right. It is the right idea. There is a pattern God has given and we ought to try and live by it both as individuals and as organized congregations.
All of Denny’s articles, over 100 audio sermons by Waymon Swain, a free online Bible correspondence course, plus access by links to many other Bible study resources can all be found on Denny’s web site dennysmith.net.