Q. I would like to know if there is any where in the Bible that says in order to belong to a local church you have to be voted on by the members of a church. I may be wrong but I think that it is a denominational “custom” and the early church didn’t require a vote to accept someone as a member. I thought when you repent of your sins and trust in Christ that was the basis for membership into the church body. Please correct me if I am wrong and could you please back up any answer with scripture?
A. Joining the Church is different than joining a local congregation. In many local congregations you can join with out becoming a member of the Church, and you can also become a member of the Church without joining a local congregation.
To join the Church you need to believe that you’re a sinner in need of a savior, that Jesus died for your sins and rose again (Romans 10:9) and ask Him to be your savior (Romans 10:13). If you’re sincere in doing that, you’re in the church forever (Ephes 1:13-14). It’s called being born again.
Joining a local congregation is a matter of following whatever procedure the local congregation has developed. Some don’t have any membership requirements and in others the process can be lengthy and complicated. Like you said, it’s a denominational custom.