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So, Which Church Saves?
Do you wonder if you have to go to church to be right with God?  Has someone told you there’s a certain church that offers salvation? Here are some clarifications.

Many years ago I remember trying to encourage a non-church going Roman Catholic to try a service at the Baptist Church. He would have no part of it. As we parted company, he commented, "Remember, we have the keys of the kingdom!"

… each church is responsible to be true to Scripture and show people what God’s Word says.

Is that true? Does the Roman Catholic church "have the keys"? Is salvation through that church? Or is salvation through the Baptist Church or the Anglican Church, or the Pentecostal Church?

Well, if you aren’t sure of the answer, try, "None of the above!"

In spite of any claims made by any church or denomination, no church saves. No church can get anyone into heaven: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us," says Titus 3:5. In other words, no amount of churchgoing or good deeds can make us right with God.

Only God’s mercy can provide forgiveness and peace of mind. The story of God’s mercy is told in the good news contained in the Bible. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes," Romans 1:16 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Act 4:12 (other than the name of Jesus)

Each of these passages from the Bible affirm that salvation is not found in any church, any sect, or any cult, but only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Does that mean that people are right who claim that the church is irrelevant? Does church attendance have no value after all? That is a completely false assumption.

The purpose of the church is to bring people the good news of salvation through Christ. Churches do it in different ways. When I write columns about different churches, that does not imply that I agree with everything each church teaches. Nor would they agree with everything I teach, but each church is responsible to be true to Scripture and show people what God’s Word says.

Sadly, to so many, these words have no meaning. Lacking teaching, they do not understand that the things which make them feel bad, or ashamed, or isolated or lonely are the very reason Jesus came to earth and died on the cross. They don’t know that Jesus has provided a real answer. But helping people to understand the truth is the job of the church.

So which church saves? The church which saves is the one which does its real job of helping each person into a living relationship with the one who really saves – Jesus Christ.

Originally published in the Lake Cowichan Gazette, October 18, 2006.




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