Does it say anywhere in the Bible that only the church of Christ will go to heaven? That is, only people who go to the church of Christ? What about the other churches, such as the Church of God, or a none denominational church, or the baptist?
The reason I ask is that I grew up in the church of Christ with my whole family! Now I go to a nondenominational church and love it! We do a lot of the same things, such as the Lord's supper and water baptism. I am so much happier now. I love the Lord much more and respect everything in the Bible more. I really feel it and understand it better. I now feel happy to go to church.
However, my family tells me, "You know what you were taught when we were raised in the church of Christ, that only church of Christ people go to heaven!"
They don't believe all of the church of Christ will get into heaven. They keep saying something about the Bible says getting into heaven will be like putting a camel through the eye of a needle and if your not church of Christ you can't go!
I am not up on all the Scriptures like I should be, but will you please explain? I can ask my preacher, but I would rather hear it from a church of Christ preacher.
I feel bad a lot of the time after talking to my family about the church, even about the smallest things. They believe that not even someone who believes Jesus died for our sins, loves the Lord with all your heart, believes baptism is connected with salvation, etc. is going to heaven. Only if your church of Christ. Not even a preacher (a true God-loving and living one) is going to heaven if he is from another church!
Please explain this to me!
I'll give you an answer, but I'm wondering if you will actually listen if it contains something that you don't want to accept.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23).
You treat the church as if it is a denomination, which it is not. There is only one church founded by the Lord (Ephesians 4:4-6). Nothing says that only people who worship in a building that has the name "church of Christ" over the door will go to heaven. By focusing on this you miss the issue completely.
Jesus stated that believing in him and accepting him as the ruler in your life is not enough to get you into heaven. Doing good deeds and claiming to act under his authority is not enough to get you into heaven. There are a lot of people claiming to love Jesus, but then they go off and do those things which they find pleasing to themselves. "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).
No, not everyone who attends a church of Christ will reach heaven, but that is because everyone isn't willing to be obedient to Christ. The name "church of Christ" is not exclusive to one particular group. There are groups using this name who teach truths and those who teach falsehoods. But that has always been the case, the seven churches in Asia had both good and bad churches among them (Revelation 2-3).
The point isn't where you attend worship, the point is whether the group you worship with is obedient to the Lord's commands. You say you do some things the same as the church your parents attend. But that implies you know there are things which are different. Are those differences something that the Lord wants in his church or are they things you like and you really don't care whether God approves of them or not? "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10).
Look back through your note. Not once did you argue that the church you are currently attending is more accurate in its following of God's teachings. Instead, you talk about how much fun you are having and how much you are enjoying yourself. That is not a persuasive argument. I enjoy serving God. You enjoy doing your own thing. That doesn't prove you are serving God in the way God wants to be served.
The "eye of the needle" quote is taken out of context and misapplied. Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:25). By this Jesus is saying that rich people have so many distractions and temptations that it hard for one of them to reach heaven. There are two views as to what is meant by "the eye of a needle." If Jesus is referring to a sewing needle, then he is either saying it is impossible or he is using hyperbole (saying something "outrageous" to make a point) to say it is very hard. Since other passages tell us that rich people have gone to heaven (Abraham and Job were both rich men), we know the former is not true. Thus, if Jesus was speaking in hyperbole, then his point is that it is seemingly impossible for a rich person to reach heaven. Another view is that Jesus is referring to the night gate in most cities. After the main gates are closed, there is a side entrance that can be used. This entrance is very narrow and low. Only one person at a time can go through it. A camel would have a very hard time getting through this gate, though with patience and a lot of effort you might be able to drag a camel through it. The gate was popularly called "the eye of a needle." Today we might call it "fat man's squeeze." If this is what Jesus was referring to, then he is saying it is very difficult for a rich man to get to heaven, but he might make it with a great deal of effort and persistence. Either way, this statement is looked at, the same conclusion is drawn: It is seemingly impossible for a rich man to enter heaven. His wealth is not an advantage but a hindrance.
But there is another passage which you should consider. The Lord warned that the way to heaven is not a popular path. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). The reason is that truth, by its very nature, is narrow and limiting. "2 + 2 = 4" You can insist on it being 5, 8, or even 2,000, but the true answer is very restrictive. But when you say truth doesn't matter, then any answer will do. Thus, Jesus says there is only one way to heaven and countless ways to hell. Few people will take the narrow path, most will pick some path that they like even though it eventually leads in the wrong direction.
Being a Christian has never been about doing your own thing. "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Corinthians 1:10). We can be united when we follow the same standard and live by the same rules.