The Church Of Christ firmly believes that it is the only Church that belongs to God and thus, the only one that will be saved on the Day of Judgment. And this has solid basis from the Bible. However, other people find this absurd and unacceptable. They ask how could this be when the Church Of Christ that emerged in the Philippines is considered a minority.
The Holy Scriptures teach that since the ancient times, it has been God’s policy to set apart or choose people for Himself:
“Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.” (Ps. 4:3 New International Version)
During the Old Testament times, the nation of Israel was chosen by God to be His people from among all the nations on earth.
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (Deut. 7:6 NIV)
God chose Israel as His people not because of their number but because of His love for them: “The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deut. 7:7-8 NIV).
There might have been nations bigger than ancient Israel then, but still, the Israelites were set apart by the Almighty Himself to be His people.
In the Christian era, God’s policy of electing people to be His own continues (Rom. 9:11). Apostle Peter, in fact, wrote to God’s chosen ones during his time: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (I Pet. 2:9-10 New King James Version).
Apostle Peter was speaking to those who belonged to God’s “holy nation, His own special people.” They are called out of darkness and brought into His marvelous light. Apostle Paul clarifies who they are: “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:12-14 NKJV).
Those who benefited from the redemption of Christ through His blood are none other than the members of the Church Of Christ: “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation). Therefore, the Church Of Christ is God’s nation in the Christian era.
Again, it cannot be said that the Church Of Christ is of God and of Christ because of the small number of members. The Bible testifies that this Church started as a “little flock” (Luke 12:32 NKJV). Christ appeared to “more than 500” brethren before His ascension to heaven (I Cor. 15:4-6 NIV), while according to an article published by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), How Many People Have Ever Lived On Earth, the world’s population at the onset of the Christian era was approximately 300 million.
But, just like what happened to ancient Israel, the first-century Church Of Christ was not able to remain as God’s chosen people. Many of the disciples then were deceived by the false prophets. On the other hand, those who stayed true in the faith were put to death (Matt. 24:4, 9, 11; Acts 20:29-30).
As it is His policy, God has also set apart His people in these last days. The Almighty foretold through Prophet Isaiah about the “daughter of Zion”:
“Behold, the LORD has proclaimed unto the ends of the earth, Say you to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and you shall be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” (Isa. 62:11-12 KJV2000)
In biblical prophecies, “Zion” symbolically refers to the Church Of Christ (Heb. 12:22-24 Living Bible; Master Study Bible, p. 1840). But in that prophecy of Prophet Isaiah, it does not refer to the first-century Church Of Christ because the “daughter of Zion” being mentioned would emerge in the time period called “ends of the earth,” or when the end of the world, which is also the Second Advent of Christ, is near or at the doors (Matt. 24:3, 33). The event that would signify that the time is already at the “ends of the earth” is the war that would be rumored or heard around the world, or one that is global in scope (Matt. 24:6-8). The fulfillment of such war was the First World War, which broke out on July 27, 1914 (footnote, Matt. 24:6-8 Last Days Bible; The Story of the Great War, p. 923). Hence, on July 27, 1914, the start of the time period, “ends of the earth,” God’s chosen people would emerge as prophesied. The Bible also calls the “daughter of Zion” as “the redeemed of the LORD.” What the Lord Jesus Christ redeemed through His blood is the Church Of Christ (Acts 20:28 Lamsa).
In fulfillment, the “daughter of Zion” (Isa. 62:11-12), which is God’s nation in these last days, is the Church Of Christ which was registered with the government in the Philippines on July 27, 1914.
Hence, according to the Bible, the Church Of Christ is the only true Church, which is of God and of Christ, and will be saved. This teaching is not absurd but is the truth. This Church is the nation of God in these last days based not on the number of members, whether big or small, but based on God’s policy of electing or setting apart people for Himself.
Furthermore, it is not true that the Church Of Christ members want the blessing of salvation only for themselves. The fact that the Church Of Christ is even more intensifying its efforts in the works of propagation proves otherwise. The Church members continue to invite many people who are not yet members of the Church, to attend Bible studies and worship services, so that they can listen to the teachings that the Church firmly holds on to. They also encourage others to tune in to the Church’s religious programs on television, radio and the internet. They do all of these to follow the command of the Almighty God, who “wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth” (I Tim. 2:3-4 Good News Bible).
The Savior Jesus Christ Himself taught the truth, which people must know and obey in order to be saved: “So Jesus spoke again: ‘In very truth I tell you, I am the door of the sheepfold … I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe. …’” (John 10:7, 9 Revised English Bible). The fold or flock is the Church Of Christ (Acts 20:28 Lamsa). Thus, those who come into or join the Church Of Christ are the ones promised to receive salvation.
Church Of Christ members may only be few in number compared to other religious organizations, but the Bible clearly proves that they are the people whom God has set apart for His own.