“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us...” — John 17:20, 21
It is often asked, “What is the right denomination?” There are hundreds, if not thousands of denominations all claiming to be this one true church, but does God recognize any of these as His representative on earth? This subject should be approached prayerfully and honestly. If there was but one church in the beginning, established by our Lord, there should be but the one church in the end — the church triumphant in glory. Colossians 3:4
The word church was first used in the New Testament and is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which means a calling out. Jesus said to his disciples, “I have chosen you out of the world.” (John 15:19) The true church is a company of believers who, in accepting the invitation of Christ, have become sanctified or separated from the world, worldly pursuits and worldly organizations.
Those of the early church bore no denominational names, but were simply identified by their location. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, …sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” (1 Corinthians 1:2) These sanctified individuals in various communities set themselves apart from the world and dedicate their lives to God through the merit of His Son. Thus, the true church is not a place to go to, nor is it a denomination to belong to. The church is the gathering of sincere believers. Paul emphasized this when he confirmed that Jesus’ followers were baptized only into Christ and not into an earthly organization. There is but one baptism, and that is into Christ. Thus, it is a misconception that one joins or is baptized into a particular church denomination. Ephesians 4:4-6; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3, 4