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What Is a Denomination?

What is a denomination? You know it’s not really a new concept to us we just sometimes forget the meaning of the word maybe you remember in math class finding the lowest common denominator I mean you might not because for some of us it’s been a lot longer than others but what you had to do in math class was to find the smallest number that you could divide into both numbers or maybe a better example maybe you’ve walked into a bank with a hundred dollar bill and asked the bank teller to divide it up for you and she asks you what denominations would you like tens 20s to 50s you see you understand she’s asking you how would you like to have your money divided the word denomination means division and if you were to look that word up in a dictionary you might even find the definition of denomination as to divide up into different denominations the tendency to divide or cause to divide insects or denominations I love it in a dictionary when you look for the definition of a word and it gives you the definition of the word and it uses the word in the definition but you honestly see this all over America do you not the religious idea in our world we’re very familiar with that word denomination in the religious sense you know we drive down the road wherever we live and we pass church building after church building after you get the point have you ever wondered why are there so many of these churches why are there so many denominations maybe you’ve even asked is that okay I mean it doesn’t seem odd doesn’t it that there’s one Bible and yet all these churches they teach different things I mean does the Bible teach different things to different people is that really what Jesus wanted and did he talk about that in the scriptures you know maybe you’ve even actually read your Bible and you thought wait a minute now I have never read of any of these churches in my Bible you know in my Bible I read about one church the church Jesus’s Church you know Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 and I also say to you Peter Petros in Greek it means a small stone and on this rock it’s a whole different Greek word it’s Petros which means a massive stone structure and he’s referring of course to the structure being the confession that Peter has just made 1st Corinthians 3:11 but Jesus said on this rock the confession I will build my church singular later when the church was established in Acts chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost Peter preached to those people about their sins and they said back to Peter men and brethren what shall we do in Acts chapter 2 and verse 38 then Peter said to them repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission that word means forgiveness for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit verse 39 for the promise is to you and to all your children and to those who are afar off the Gentiles as many as our Lord God will call then if you keep reading verse 41 says those who gladly received his word were baptized and three thousand souls were added souls were added to what well verse 47 says and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved now some of the different translations may not have the word church there but later in acts 5:14 the believers were increasingly added to the Lord and of course Colossians 1:18 tells us that his body is the church so we can get there using different passages as well this shows that when people were saved from their sins they were added to the church in Ephesians 4:4 says there’s one body well the body is the church therefore there’s one body one church you know some people have said to me today Aaron I don’t want to be in any Church I don’t like organized religion I just want to be saved well the Bible says when a person is saved acts 2:47 they are added by God to his church his one church so if you’re saved you’re a member of his church if you’re a member of his church you’re saved the two go together you can’t separate them I mean scripture doesn’t so we shouldn’t now you might say Aaron whoa whoa whoa wait a minute one Church that sounds narrow-minded well it does doesn’t it but do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7 verses 13 and 14 Jesus said 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 and buy it and then in verse 14 Jesus said because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life and there are few who find it so yes Jesus said the way to eternal life is narrow isn’t that how God has always done it though his way I mean how many arcs were there one how many brazen serpents were there that the people had to look at to be saved 1 are you starting to see a pattern in fact imagine this with me let’s all get in a time machine and go back 2,000 years or so to the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 now we see Peter preach men and women repent and they’re baptized for the remission of their sins they’re added to the church and so we walk up to a man who’s soaking wet and we say excuse me sir I see that you’ve been baptized can I ask you what denomination you’re a member of what do you think he would say 2,000 years ago he’d probably say what what am i a member of then we could ask him I mean are you a Baptist Methodist Catholic Presbyterian Lutheran Jehovah’s Witness Mormon Quaker Mennonite Eastern Orthodox don’t need to keep going I think you get the point what do you think that man would say I assume he would probably say I’m sorry I’ve never heard of any of those things I’m a member of the church that Jesus built I believe in Jesus Christ that he was the son of God that he died was buried and resurrected from the dead he ascended to heaven and I just repented of my sins I was baptized to have those sins forgiven by the blood of that man Jesus which he shed on a Roman cross and I was added to the church that he built his church Jesus’s church my friends that’s the church we want you to be a member of that church that Jesus Christ built was not a denomination it was the Church of Christ the church purchased by Christ that belongs to Christ in fact did you know that none of those churches in that long list that we just mentioned even existed during the time of the Apostles they didn’t originate until hundreds of years laters you can fact check me you can pause the video now or wait till after go get on Google and you can research the dates that all those churches began if it isn’t 2000 years ago on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem it’s not the Church of the Bible we mean that lovingly but here’s something to consider if it isn’t new it isn’t true if it’s true it isn’t new it’s got to be 2000 years old to be the truth of Scripture now maybe you’re thinking okay Aaron I hear what you’re saying but does the Bible actually say it’s wrong to be in a denomination I mean I want to see Scripture for that because I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to have different denominations that teach different things okay just hear me out number one it goes against what Jesus desired for his followers you know right before Jesus was crucified he prayed in John chapters 14 through 17 and he said in John chapter 17 verse 21 to his father he’s praying to the father that they speaking of his followers also may be one in US and that the world may believe that you sent me Jesus said father I want all those who believe in me to be one to be unified so that the world will know that you sent me jesus’ prayer was that all believers would be unified and following him but how is that possible if everyone just follows their own way if everyone just picks and chooses what to follow in the Bible and doesn’t follow what they don’t care for you know I personally call that cafeteria Christianity it’s like going to the buffet line and picking what you like and leaving what you don’t like now don’t get me wrong I like buffets but that’s not how Christianity works Christianity is not a buffet line jesus said all authority has been given to me in heaven and earth Matthew 28:18 through 20 verse 19 go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father of the son of the Holy Spirit verse 20 teaching them to observe all things that I’ve commanded you and lo I’m with you always even to the end of the age so jesus said teach them to observe some of the things know all of the things that I commanded you not just some of them not just the ones we like so if Jesus said that we should be unified to show the world Jesus really came then doesn’t dividing up and having different beliefs do exactly the opposite you say Aaron okay I hear you on that John 17:21 but I want actual scripture that says denominations are wrong okay well the word denomination didn’t actually even come about or originated until about the fourteenth century so you’re not gonna find it in the Bible since the Bible was written thirteen years thirteen hundred years earlier in the first century in Greek before the word denomination even came into existence but what about the concept of denominations now we’ve already established that the word division sect and denomination all really mean the same thing right so let’s take a look at first Corinthians chapter 1 verses 10 through 13 now this is Paul writing to the church in the city of Corinth and Paul says 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 no divisions among you no denominations no sex among you but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind in the same judgment for it’s been declared to me concerning you my brethren by those of khloe’s household that there are contentions among you now I say this each of you says I’m of Paul I’m of Apollo’s I’m of Cephas or I’m of Christ is Christ divided was Paul crucified odd for you or were you baptized in the name of Paul now that’s a long section of Scripture but here’s what Paul says he says stop dividing up and falling after different men follow Christ now think about this if Paul says it was wrong for them to divide up into different sects or denominations or divisions and follow after those men Peter and Paul who were inspired apostles do you think it would be any better to follow after uninspired men and groups maybe that they started hundreds of years after Jesus Christ I think we’d agree of course not in fact later in 1st Corinthians chapter 3 verses 1 through 4 Paul talks about this exact same problem again but in this case he actually says when you divide yourselves up and you follow after men you are not spiritual you are carnal he calls them carnal four times in four verses for them dividing themselves up in this manner you see the church that Jesus built was not a denomination it was not a division of the true church it was the true church maybe you think well people in the Bible were all members of denominations weren’t they really which one use Google try to find it do you know that actually that’s what someone accused Paul of being a member of if you have your Bible go to Acts chapter 24 in verse 5 there was a man named tertullus and he was accusing the apostle paul and he called paul quotes a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes so tertullus accused Paul of being a member of a sect or a denomination do you know how Paul responded it’s the same way I respond if anybody tells me today Aaron you remember the Church of Christ you’re just another denomination look at Acts chapter 24 and verse 15 Paul answered by saying this but this I confess to you that according to the way which they call a sect the way they call it a sect so I worship the God of my father’s believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets Paul would later even writing Galatians 5:22 about one of the works of the flesh he calls it heresies which means a sect a party a faction and the definition is that holds to a distinctive set of views apart from the truth so Paul said being division divided up was actually a work of the flesh Galatians five in verse 20 so Paul taught against dividing up the church all over the place Paul said I’m not a member of a sect or denomination like you accuse me of I’m a member of the web which they call a sect but it’s not a sect it’s what the law and the prophets predicted you know in Daniel chapter 2 and verse 44 in the Old Testament it reads this and in the days of these kings speaking of the Roman Empire the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed in the days of the Roman Empire you know two thousand years ago from today Jesus established that Church two thousand years ago during the days of guess what the Roman Empire that’s what Daniel 2:44 was prophesying about that is the church that Christ promised to save Ephesians 5:23 Christ is the head of the church he is the savior of the body that church that Christ purchased he purchased it with his own blood on the cross acts 20 and verse 28 that’s the church that you read about in your Bible Christ owns it he bought it it’s named after him the Church of Christ the Church of God acts 20:28 which he purchased with his own blood Christ was God the church that belongs to Christ it’s not a denomination started by men it’s the church that you read about in your Bible I have a question for you are you a member of it do you want to be a member of it maybe you say yes I want to be a member of it but how do I do it you know it’s kind of ironic you do it the same way they did 2,000 years ago you need to believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God John 3:16 just like they did you need to repent of your sins acts 17:30 just like they did confess Christ Romans 10:10 and acts 8:37 just like they did and finally be baptized in water to have your sins washed away by the blood of Christ acts 22:16 revelation 1:5 just like guess what just like they did if you do that you’ll be added to the Church of Christ Romans 16:16 the body of Christ Colossians 1:18 just like they did 2,000 years ago if you want to do that send us a message here at the gospel Broadcasting Network and we would love to talk to you you

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