But first, let’s discuss how the Bible has not brought about unity of the many different churches found on the earth today. One anti-Mormon states in his book, ” The doctrine is that the true Church of Jesus Christ is not to be identified exclusively with any one earthly organization, but that it includes members of various denominations scattered throughout the earth.” If this is true, one only has to ask why don’t all true members of the Church of Jesus Christ from these different denominations come forth and form one true Church? Another question also comes to mind – who gave these different and various denominations permission to break off into different divisions? And where in the Bible does it say that it was ok to do so? Why does one church teach baptism by immersion, and another by sprinkling? Can they both be true? Why do the different churches teach differently about the next life? Why do they teach differently about how and when one receives the Holy Ghost? Why do they teach differently about grace and works? Infant baptism? The Sabbath day? Tithing? The sacrament? How can different teachings from all the various denominations all be true?
In Matthew 15:8-9 Jesus said : ” This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
In his letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul assured the members of the imminent coming of Christ. Many apparently thought Christ would arrive in their lifetime, but Paul corrected them saying, ” that day shall not come but there be a falling away first.” Thessalonians 2:3 The word for “falling away” in the Greek for this passage is apostasia, and it literally means apostasy.
The Apostle John also knew that an apostasy would take place and that the time of the Church was growing short. In 1 John 2:18 he said: ” Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; we know that it is the last time.”
Acording to John, the falling away predicted by Paul was already beginning in his own time. The author of Acts reaffirms this prophecy of a falling away in Acts 20:29-30 : ” For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
These passages, clearly show that a falling away from the truth was to occur before the second coming of Christ, but see also the following verses: 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 1:15; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Peter 3:3; and John 16:1-4.
One of the marks of the apostasy, or falling away, was the changing of the name of “The Church of Jesus Christ” to the Catholic Church, and when the protesting groups finally broke away from the Catholic Church, through the Reformation, none of them took the name of Jesus Christ but named themselves after men, or after the method of baptisms, or after other religious beliefs that caused them to break away from the Catholic Church in the first place.
The Church of Jesus Christ, established during His ministry, was properly known as His Church. and not the Church of John the Baptist, or the Church of Peter the Apostle, nor the Church of Paul the Great Missionary.
One of the problems with anti-Mormon logic is that they insist that Christ’s original church did not fall away. Then to be consistent they should also admit that their own church is a fraud, because there would be no need to organize any modern-day churches if the original church was still here.
Tomorrow, I will discuss the infallible, perfect, and final Bible. IMHO