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Why Are There So Many Denominations in Christianity?

When the Lord Jesus came to earth to do His work in person, all those who believed in Him came under His name. The apostles spread the gospel everywhere, and joined all the brothers and sisters who had accepted the salvation of the Lord Jesus and come under His name together, uniting them into one in Christ. The believers then only followed Jesus Christ. Just as the scriptures read, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:5-6). Therefore, there didn’t appear different denominations in the age of apostles.

Bible Questions

The last days have arrived. The followers of the Lord all have faith in the same God, read the same Bible, and all speak of the Lord’s teachings. However, more than two thousand different denominations have come into being among the believers in the Lord. What’s more, each of them holds onto the tenet: Our denomination is the most orthodox among the world. So there appears a situation where they each want to become the “king of the castle,” form cliques and stick to their own views. This makes lots of devout believers in the Lord confused: All those who are in the name of the Lord Jesus look up to His salvation of the cross, practice baptism, breaking bread, humility, patience, forbearance and love, and walk the way opened up by Him. Why do so many denominations arise? What is the cause?

Regarding this issue, I have ever asked many preachers and pastors of the church, as well as the theology PhDs. However, none can explain it. Later, on the recommendation of a friend, I read a spiritual book and found the answer in it. The book says, “People have studied the Bible for all these years, they have come up with so many explanations, and put in so much work; they also have many differences of opinion about the Bible, which they debate endlessly, such that over two thousand different denominations have been formed today” (“Concerning the Bible (1)”). Pondering this brief record, I was clear: Because we corrupt humans have arrogant nature, we do work by gifts and knowledge. Some people have studied varieties of theological theories from the facts recorded in the Bible and preached the Bible out of context relying on their minds and imaginations. Because each one had different understandings of the Bible, thus differences of opinion emerged. Afterward, they began to organize a group to build up their own kingdoms and administered in their own ways, bringing believers before them and making people believe in and follow God according to the sermons preached by the leaders. In this way, the leaders unconsciously turned God into a mere figurehead, and hence lots and lots of denominations formed. For example, the Bible says that when the Holy Spirit descended on Pentecost, the Lord’s disciples could speak in tongues and had various gifts. So, some people place importance on gifts of the Holy Spirit and believe that one is certain to speak in tongues as soon as he is baptized, just as the Holy Spirit descended upon man on Pentecost. Besides, it is also written in the Bible, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). According to these verses, some regard the theory of being justified by faith as important. In their opinion, they have been saved and can enter into the kingdom of heaven as long as they believe in God in the heart and confess Him with the mouth. Take another example: In the Bible, when the Lord Jesus talked about regeneration with Nicodemus, He said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Based on this, some think that following the Lord requires being born again, confessing their sins and repenting. … Each denomination leads people with its own theological theories and doctrines. Consequently, different understandings produced different denominations, such as the Pentecostal, the Justification by Faith Church, the New Birth Sect, and so forth. Furthermore, many people think that their understandings are the highest and their knowledge of God is the purest. None can accept others’ understandings, which leads to attacks, arguments and rejections among denominations, and breaks up a denomination into fractions. As a matter of fact, these sayings of every denomination are all people’s imaginations and conceptions, and are the out-of-context knowledge of the Bible. They are only workable in their respective denominations, but cannot completely convince the whole Christianity. This is the reason why there is one Bible, one God, one body or one belief but there appears thousands of denominations.

Many brothers and sisters are puzzled: Will this situation be continued like this? Now that all brothers and sisters believe in the same God, how can we achieve the genuine oneness and come back before God? On this account, many co-workers and I prayed to and sought the Lord, and studied the scriptures together. Then we saw these words in the Bible, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Ephesians 1:10). We also read the Lord Jesus’ words, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16). “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” (Isaiah 2:2). From that, we knew that the work can only be done by God Himself. We corrupt mankind has no solution to this issue. Because God is the Creator while we are His creation, and people of any denomination will return under God’s dominion. From these verses, we can see that in the last days there must appear the scene of unity. The work must be done by God Himself and we human beings have no such ability. It is not until God comes that all the true believers in every religion can come under His name. At last, everybody will speak the only true God. By then there will appear the scene of all denominations becoming one.

The Lord Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:47-50). The work of all denominations becoming one is done by God Himself. However, the uniting work is not to gather all the believers in every religious denomination together, but to select wise virgins and those who can hear the voice of God. Such people long for God’s appearance and are capable of accepting and pursuing the truth. Those foolish virgins have a lukewarm attitude toward the return of the Lord, and don’t long for or love the truth. So God won’t choose them. Those evil servants and the wicked, who steal offerings, struggle for fame and gain, and interpret biblical knowledge to shackle and control believers in the church, are even more detested and cursed by God. From those scriptures, we can see God’s righteous disposition and understand what kind of people God likes, what kind of people He hates, and what kind of people will enter into the kingdom of heaven. If we pursue being someone that God likes, then when the Lord comes to do the work of all denominations becoming one, we can have the opportunity to be chosen and be raptured into the kingdom of heaven by Him.

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