Are the Churches of Christ the Only Ones Going to Heaven?

The church are those bought with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28). Those in the church are the only ones saved (Acts 2:41, 47; Eph 5:25–27).

Because the churches of Christ proclaim this biblical teaching, many are mistaken to assert that the churches of Christ mean only those with name “church of Christ” on the building’s sign will receive eternal life. The churches of Christ are made of imperfect people and they are not perfect in themselves. Only Christ perfects Christians in their faults and weaknesses.

Churches of Christ

The churches of Christ agree with Scripture that only members of the church of Christ Jesus are enrolled in heaven (Heb 12:23). Implicitly, all children are safe in Christ (Matt 19:14).

 As a minister trained by loving evangelists within the church of Christ, this Christian has never heard that only the “Church of Christ” denomination, only “church-of-Christers,” or only those with the sign “Church of Christ” on the building are the only ones going into eternal life in paradise. My brethren in the churches of Christ do not make that judgment.

God makes the judgment of who is going rise and live in the new earth (2 Pet 3:13). “The Lord knows those who are His” (2 Tim 2:19). In the Scriptures, no one was baptized into the Baptist church, Catholic church, evangelical church, or any man-made denomination or sect. No one was baptized solely into a local congregation, but rather into the church of Christ (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Cor 12:13).

Denominations Divide over Salvation

Because believers are only baptized into the churches of Christ, the Scriptures do not assure the salvation of those baptized into denominations. The Scriptures teach against denominations, which are by definition named divisions (1 Cor 1:10–13; Gal 5:19–21). Divisions are destructive, and those who cause and maintain such division will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Gal 5:19-21). Jesus prayed that Christians be one (John 17:20-21). Did His prayer fail? Certainly not! Christ is the Head of the one church (Eph 1:22–23; Col 1:18).

Did Jesus build His church as He promised (Matt 16:18)? Did He purchase the church with His blood (Acts 20:28)? Jesus certainly did. For the church of Christ is a part of God’s eternal purpose (Eph 3:9-10). Where is that church? Look to the Scriptures.

Many denominational leaders slander the churches of Christ, and they do not desire that their followers look into the Scriptures to see the church that Christ built and bought with His blood. The plea of the churches of Christ is to abandon the denominations and join as one church of Christ.

Churches that Follow the Word of God

Whatever teachings that churches set aside are clearly not the Word of God. God commands that Christians speak the oracles of God rather than the doctrines of men (Matt 15:1–9; 1 Pet 4:11).

Interdenominational churches may boast of working together despite their differences, but their differences are apparently trivial opinions and man-made traditions or they would not compromise them. Certainly, ecumenical churches can compromise their own traditions, opinions, and inventions. No Christian should divide over opinions (Rom 14). Christ’s church cannot compromise His words.

If someone must do something to join a local church that a believer does not have to do to join the church of Jesus Christ, then those church leaders are adding to Christ’s words and they are not the church that Christ built. Adding and annulling parts of God’s Word is the foundation and source of divisive sectarianism (Gal 1:6–9). If joining a denomination is the same as joining the church, then all Christians would be a part of the same denomination.

Must one be a member of another’s church or denomination to go to receive eternal life? No. Must one be a member of the church of Jesus Christ to enter into eternal life? Yes. Which church should we be a part of: a denomination or the church of Jesus Christ? My brethren believe that all believers join the church of Christ when they are baptized through water in Jesus’s name (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Cor 12:13). Now, are those of the church of Christ the only ones going to new life in paradise? Yes! 

Unity by Following Christ

How can all churches unite? The church of Christ is solely built upon the Rock, who is Christ, by the confession of faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Matt 16:16-19). Because Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone and Head of the church, the church finds Jesus Christ to be infallible (John 6:63; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 2:22).

Therefore, Jesus’s words are infallible, and He gave those words to His Apostles and prophets in the Scriptures (John 15:20, 16:12-13, 17:8, Eph 3:3–5). Christ’s church will not compromise Jesus Christ and God’s commands for man’s traditions (Matt 15:7–9, Mark 7:6-9).

The Only Church that Christ Saved

My brethren in the churches of Christ believe the Scriptures that Christ only saves the church of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:25–27 confirms,

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Christ saves the church. Are Christians in the church of Christ the only ones saved (Heb 12:23)?

Entering the Church

Jesus commands believers to become disciples and be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:18–20). “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

Therefore, Peter commanded, “to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:47–48). The Scriptures teach that Jesus saved the baptized and added them to the Church (Acts 2:38, 41, 47; 1 Cor 12:13, cf. 1 Cor 6:11). As Ephesians 5:26 depicts, Jesus washed those in the Church with water, and Ephesians 4:5 says that there is only one baptism and one body, the church.

That is the baptism Jesus commanded in His resurrection to make disciples of all the nations (Matt 28:18–20). Jesus said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15–16). Christ saves believers through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1–4). Therefore, do not reject Jesus’ resurrection; be saved by being raised with Christ from baptism (Rom 6:4–7; Eph 2:4–6; Col 2:12–13).

Christ established and bought the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). Christ cleansed the church of their sins by His blood (Eph 1:7; 1 John 1:7; Matt 26:28; Rom 3:25; 5:9; Col 1:20; Heb 9:12, 14; 13:12, 20; 1 Pet 1:19; Rev 1:5). Ephesians 4:5 says that there is only one body, and Ephesians 1:22-23 says that this is the church. Because of these scriptural teaching that those of the church of Jesus Christ are the only ones saved and going into paradise, churches of Christ proclaim this church urging all believers to leave denominationalism behind and let all come to Christ by His Word.

The Church that is of Christ

The churches of Christ refuse to bear a denominational name or form a man-made organization. Christians bear the name of Christ by being called “Christian.” By the name “Christian,” the church is “of Christ” and there are no dividing walls of denominationalism in the church. The church carries the name of God and Christ in descriptions such as “church of Christ,” “churches of Christ,” “Church of Jesus Christ,” “Christians,” “disciples of Christ,” and so on with Scriptural names. That is why most congregations of Christ’s church almost unanimously use the name “church of Christ”.

My brethren in the churches of Christ seek to be the church of Christ. The churches of Christ are not perfect, and the churches in the first century were not perfect. Like the first century, churches of Jesus Christ are made of imperfect people who are only perfected by the death of Jesus Christ (Col 1:21–23).

Some churches will continue to struggle in their immaturity, but those who are truly believers will unite in love for Christ and one another (Eph 4:16; Col 3:14). Christ makes these Christians holy, blameless, without spot, and blemish (Eph 5:27; Col 1:21-23). Therefore, the churches of Christ diligently strive to unite and not to divide by man-made doctrines and divisive names. Although, churches in the first century struggled with divisions and false teachings too (1 Cor 1).

Making a Stand

My brethren stand against the leaders and teachers of denominations, and plead with all believers to be Christians only following Christ through His words. Because of our confident stance upon the Scriptures as our sole authority for doctrines and practices, churches of Christ are diligent to “observe all things” that Jesus instructed (Matt 28:20). The churches of Christ strive to not go beyond the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). Because of this, many judge the churches of Christ and scoff at the church’s love for God, love for one another, and obedience to His commands (John 14:21, 23; 1 John 5:2–3; 2 John 6).


Let it be clear that members of all denominations are welcome and urged to become Christians only — apart from denominationalism. If you disagree, kindly plead by the Scriptures, and if they are honest, they will repent.

All may visit and enter the assemblies of the churches of Christ. The church welcomes all as honored guests. The churches of Christ are at their service for the church proclaims the praise of Christ (1 Pet 2:9). All Christians are in the church of Christ. Let this be clear. Only members of the church of Christ are enrolled in heaven (Heb 12:23).

Find out more about the churches of Christ via this article, “Ten Clear Characteristics of the Church of Christ,” or online video, “Searching for the Truth.”

About Scott J Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]
This entry was posted in Christ, Church, Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

191 Responses to Are the Churches of Christ the Only Ones Going to Heaven?

  1. Rob Trevino says:

    I urge anyone who believes they can be saved into a church not belonging to Christ, to visit, and watch the teaching video entitled “Why Are There So Many Churches”. Jesus commanded us to love one another, hence why we plead with the world to believe The True Gospel of Christ, and not the man-made unsound doctrines that are saturating our friends, family members, and the world. We come to you with LOVE. When your brothers and sisters are living a life of crime and sin, do you just let them keep on living that life, or do you do your best to help them change their lives? We love everyone, as Jesus commanded us to to, which is why we humbly reach out to the world’s denominations, and non-denomination organizations. May God soften your hearts, as he did mine, as I too, was also at one time in the same mode and believed that any denomination or non-denomination would get me to Heaven. satan wants the world to be spiritually divided, in order that he has plenty of company on Judgment Day – Rob Trevino


  2. Tony says:

    Anecdotal- many have implied to me that Church of Christ denomination is the only church with the truth, and only those with the truth are saved. Additionally, unless you are baptized in the words, “In the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” you are unsaved. Maybe you should just use the original Greek so the words are really the right words? This reminds me of two things- “The Christian Church” doesn’t believe there’s a right church apart from them. Also, Catholics claim that they don’t pray to Mary or the saints. Denial of the things I actually have seen from these churches trumps what they put in writing.


    • This article is not about the “International” or “United” church denominations.

      This is about the church of Christ in the New Testament that Jesus built and bought with His blood.

      The Christian church see themselves as churches of Christ. They are right to seek to be such.

      All churches have access to find Christ in His words. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to Father except by Him (John 14:6). Jesus taught baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Matt 28:19-20). Christ declared that whoever believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16). One must take his cross daily and lose his life to save his life according to Jesus (Luke 9:23-24).


      • steve says:

        church of christ is a shell of a church they are dead…they do not have any power they dont cast out devils..they dont heal the sick..they thier souls destruction that speaking in toungues and the baptism of the holy ghost isnt for today…and that they have the holy ghost upon baptism which is a lie..they leave out almost half the new tetsmnent by denying the power of the holy spirirt they never demonstrate it cause they dont have it


  3. Peggy says:

    So your saying pretty much that other believers that are not in church of Christ will be lost.


    • I am not saying anything other than what Christ and His Apostles and prophets say. Demons believe, and yes, they will be lost (Matt 25, Jas 2:19). The same is true for false teachers and all believers who have no works of faith (Jas 2:14-26). The condemned are thoae reject Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor 15). Those who do not do God’s will (Matt 7:21), and continue in sin will be lost (Rom 6:1-2, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21, 1 John 1:5-10). All who refuse God raising them in Christ refuse God’s grace and are still dead in their trespasses (Eph 2:1-7). These are not saved and not in the church of Christ.


      • steve says:

        and your entire church who does not have the holy ghost and think they do then according to the word will all be lost as dont get the holy ghost cause you were baptised the book of acts and the account of the samrtians clearly shows you they werre baptised and still didnt have the holy spirirt..your elders and your pastors are blind you have not recived the baptism of the holy ghost no one who belives toungues are for then and not now has the holy ghost baptism


    • Did you read the article?


  4. Peggy says:

    How can a loving God not let other churches go to heaven as well if their Christians also. I don’t get that.


    • Peggy,

      The churches of Christ are not talking about a sect but the whole church. I am not judging who is in Christ’s church. Only His church are the saved, because only the saved are added to the church (Acts 2:41, 47). These are those who God has raised by grace (Eph 2:4-7, Col 2:12-13). When does God raise believers with Christ (Rom 6:4-7, Col 2:12-13, 1 Pet 3:21)? Believers must die and be buried with Christ for God to raise them into newness of life. Remember that we must lose are lives to save them (Luke 9:23-26). Add to this that true worshipers must worship in spirit and truth and not like David’s worship of Jerusalem (John 4:21-24).

      God bless your search for the church of Jesus Christ.


  5. Scott,
    My response was actually in response to David Jones.


  6. In the Blood is life. There is a vast difference is a blood transfusion and consuming blood as part of a religious ritual, which was very common in older times and still practiced by some. A blood transfusion can give life. Consuming blood destroys the RBCs in the gut. I would agree that we’ve become a people more reliant on modern medicine than faith and prayer. But the context of Acts 15 is a refutation of “blood rituals”.


  7. David Jones says:

    If the churches of Christ strictly follow the instructions of Jesus, why is there so many differences in the various churches of Christ? I belonged to one and couldn’t understand why we drove by 3 churches to go to our little congregation of 20. The narrow road is not that narrow. Seems to me this contradicts unity and oneness of mind. If the churches pride themselves with following the commands of God, why do they not obey the command at acts:15,28,29? It reiterates the command to abstain from BLOOD. Is taking a blood transfusion considered abstinence? You all guessed it. I’ve been studying with true Christians. They are called by Gods divine name: Jehovah’s Witnesses. No one else is teaching the truth! Peace.


    • If we remain in pursuit of being churches of Christ, we can be saved according to Jehovah’s Witnesses even if we do not convert to them. Yet, if we convert to Jehovah’s Witnesses, we will reject that Jesus is God in the flesh, and Jesus said, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).

      Our plea is that you reconsider. By your sincerity and honesty, Christ spoke so that you can understand Him without a hierarchy interpreting the Bible for you. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:14-16).

      Why do the JWs have numerous congregations in one building? There are thousands congregations of Christ who are united in the doctrine of Christ. You must also consider that all because the sign says “church of Christ” that does not mean that they are a church of Christ. Some denominations have assumed the names “UCC” and “ICC” in the last 60 years. The former group openly denies inspiration of Scripture and more, and one man formed the latter group as he was the head of a shepherding movement.

      Also, churches of Christ are not perfect. Jesus warned the churches of Asia to repent or they would not be saved (Rev 2-3). Those were struggling churches of Christ. Should we construct a man-made hierarchy to interpret the Bible for us or to form another translation so that we can be united? What do the Scriptures say? What you are rejecting is the ability of believers to be united in Christ by just following the Bible.

      Lastly, there is life in the blood, and we can give it to help others. Blood transfusion is not eating blood. The churches of Christ do not eat blood as the Scriptures command. This is a profaning and disregard for the image of God and life that God has given through blood (Gen 9:4-6, Lev 17:11-14). The blood of Christ is for our atonement (Matt 26:28, Rom 3:24-26). He is the express image of God (Heb 1:2-3). Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9).


  8. We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to checking out your web page again.

    Liked by 1 person

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