ULTIMATE LOYALTY IN RELIGION
What kind of religion do you have? Someone has said, “God has no grandchildren.” We’re either a child of God by obedient faith or we are not. Do we believe and practice what we do in religion simply because someone (a parent, a religious figure, a friend) told us or is because we learned it directly from God?
Jesus said, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd” (Jn 10:16). The context is talking about His ministry among the Jews in Israel (Jn 9:40-10:15), but He looked to His eventual outreach to the Gentiles, that believers in Him might be “one” (Eph 2:11-22).
Who make up this “one flock” (one church) of Jesus Christ? It is those who listen to His voice only in matters of religious faith and practice. Sheep must depend on their Shepherd to guide them.
Jesus continues, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them…” (Jn 10:27-28a). The undenominational church of Christ is loyal to Christ alone. The opinions and traditions of men have no authority to guide or save us. In fact, the presence of over 38,000 denominational churches, according to Wikipedia, professing faith in Christ only adds confusion by distorting Jesus’ voice and scattering His flock by human division.
Ultimate loyalty to Jesus Christ alone leads to unity in religion, as we “hear” His voice in Scripture and then follow Him in faithful obedience (Jn 17:20-21). “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).
By W. Frank Walton