In conversation with a brother, I told him his church was not the church. He looked at me funny, but went on talking about our subject. Later, I remembered that peculiar look and sent this letter:
When I said your church is not the church, I never got to explain.
(Gal.5:19,20) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, (Note: denominations) parties.
(1Co.1:10) Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (11) For it hath been signified unto me concerning you, my brethren, by them [that are of the household] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. (12) Now this I mean, that each one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. (13) Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized into the name of Paul?
(Joh.17:21) that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me. (22) And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we [are] one; (23) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me.
Men divided God's flock. (Act.20:29) I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. According to the word, there is only one church in Pensacola. It is called the church in Pensacola. Examples of what I mean are:
(Rev.2:1) To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. (8) And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived [again]. (12) and to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These things saith he that hath the sharp two-edged sword. (18) And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like unto burnished brass. (3:1) And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead. (7) And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and none shall shut, and that shutteth and none openeth. (14) And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
A sect is only a portion of the whole. The church is all who are born of God. You will have to admit that everyone in your church is not born again any more than in any other sect of Christianity. There is much to learn from others when they don't depart from the Word, but you won't get to hear it if you are sectarian in spirit. Each sect has a piece of the truth, but sectarianism keeps us from seeing the other piece. Babylon is divided by the tongue.
There is a great falling away in the observable church right now. (2Th.2:3) let no man beguile you in any wise: for [it will not be,] except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
There are many tares among the body. (Mat.13:24) Another parable set he before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that sowed good seed in his field: (25) but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.
Jesus said "the kingdom of God cometh not with observation". What is observed to be the church is not. Those who are born of His Spirit and His Word are His true body. Those who abide in the son are the true body. (Joh.8:31) Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, [then] are ye truly my disciples. (1Jn.2:3) And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. (4) He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; (5) but whoso keepeth his word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected. Hereby we know that we are in him: (6) he that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk even as he walked. (24) As for you, let that abide in you which ye heard from the beginning. If that which ye heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son, and in the Father. (Note: the doctrine once delivered unto the saints [Jude 6], not modern doctrine).
These verses show us that all the denominations together are not the church. The people of God world wide who abide in Him (in or out of the denominations) are the church (and our brothers and sisters).
God bless you.