Choosing A Church
Churches come in different sizes, and hold a variety of doctrines and rules. In Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3, Jesus provides a description of seven, 1st-century churches that needed some adjustments in their doctrines and how they were operating. Granted, there are no ‘Perfect Churches’; after all, every church is populated with human beings. So, let us be wise in considering a prospective church, before making it our ‘church home’. A simple rule to follow; listen closely to what’s being preached from the pulpit and study the written statements of a church’s doctrine. Then compare them against what the Word-of-God has to say, and what He and Jesus think. When you do that, the Holy Spirit will enlighten you as to what to do next. It really should be no more difficult than that.
I believe that the cross is at the heart of the Gospel. Jesus came to earth, to offer himself as a Holy and living sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. And without the Resurrection of Christ, Christianity would have quickly withered, becoming a footnote in history. So be careful, as some churches will tiptoe around this issue. They have adopted a gentler approach to sin, forgiveness, and Salvation. It is an easier philosophy to swallow, and will likely keep the pews and the offering plates full. But like the Church at Ephesus; they have lost their 1st love; the love of God may not be within them.
In contrast, churches that preach the Gospel and have the love of God, present a pleasing aroma to those who are ready to hear and respond. The Holy Spirit will convict them to make a decision for Christ. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuke, correction, and training in righteousness. When a church isn’t quoting Scripture from the pulpit, they are preaching according to man’s word and his philosophy, with stories and platitudes.
It is only the living Word-of-God, that is more powerful than any two-edged sword, that will pierce the soul and the spirit, to decern our thoughts and the intent of our hearts… Hebrews 4: 12.