The Churches of Men

Text: Matthew 15:13

There are many churches in the religious world that can be classified as “churches of men.” We need to be warned about these churches – not just so that we can avoid being a part of them, but so that we can help lead others out of them.

Define “Churches of Men”

  • We often think of the religious landscape as a contrast between the Lord’s church and denominations – but it is broader than that; non-denominational churches are still not the Lord’s church
  • The problem is that they are churches of men rather than churches of Christ
  • Churches of men – through their work and teaching, they are not leading people to obey the gospel

Denominational Churches

  • What is a denominational church? – united together based upon a common set of beliefs and practices (man-made creed); multiple local churches under the leadership of a central governing body
  • Why denominational churches are classified as “churches of men” – not established by Christ (Matthew 16:18); invented in the mind of men, not God (Ephesians 3:10-11); do not lead people to obey the gospel (Acts 2:37-38; cf. James 2:24; Romans 10:13; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21)
  • Why denominational churches are wrong – they are churches that the Lord did not establish (Matthew 15:13); they teach and practice things that are contrary to the word of God (2 Timothy 1:13); they prevent people from being saved by keeping them comfortable in the lost condition (Jeremiah 6:14; Amos 5:18)

Non-Denominational Churches

  • What is a non-denominational church? – an independent, autonomous congregation with no denominational ties; follows the direction of a single “pastor” or small leadership team
  • Why non-denominational churches are classified as “churches of men” – independent and autonomous, but are not the local “churches of Christ” found in the New Testament (Romans 16:16); invented in the minds of men (1 Corinthians 1:12-13); do not lead people to obey the gospel (Mark 16:16)
  • Why non-denominational churches are wrong – they are churches that the Lord did not establish (Matthew 15:13); they teach and practice things that are contrary to the word of God (2 Timothy 1:13; 4:3); they prevent people from being saved by soothing their conscience, despite their lost condition (Acts 23:1)

Why Do These Churches Exist?

  • People believe in Jesus – all of these are “Christian” churches; they claim to believe in Jesus; however, there is a difference between believing in Jesus and believing Jesus (Luke 6:46; John 14:15)
  • People have failed to do what Jesus said they must do to become His disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) – a disciple is a learner; therefore, true disciples will continue in His word (John 8:31)
  • People follow religious leaders rather than following the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 1:12-13) – God’s word is always true (John 17:17); if man contradicts this, man is always wrong (Romans 3:4)
  • People are content with just being religious rather than being right (Matthew 5:20) – we must be right by God’s standard (Romans 1:16-17; 1 John 3:7); not self-made religion (Colossians 2:23)

Conclusion

  • Salvation is found only in Christ (Acts 4:12) – He saves those who are in His church (Ephesians 5:23)
  • Those in other churches will be lost (Matthew 15:13) – this is preventable if people will examine and follow the Bible

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