FINDING THE RIGHT CHURCH
“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God,
who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.”
Churches aren’t like McDonalds, they aren’t all the same. Some are biblical and some are not. Some lead people toward a right relationship with God and some, even though they may call themselves "Christian," don't. Some proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and some proclaim a different gospel. Those who gladly preach to "itching ears" are easy to find (See 2 Tim. 4:3-4).
Notice that the text above points to three major characteristics that identify the true people of God (what Paul calls “the circumcision”): Their worship is Spirit-led, their purpose is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and their hope is based on God’s grace and not their good works.
Friends, there is, in reality, only ONE true church. It is not a denomination. It is not a single local church. It is the body of Christ. In every organized earthly manifestation of that body, however, there is an element of corruption. Until Jesus calls us home, the church is in the world and, for that reason, until the end of this age there will be weeds among the wheat. But take heart; some local churches are less weedy than others. Here are some questions to ask as you attempt to evaluate the "rightness" of a particular congregation:
1) Is Christ central in both the worship and the teaching?
2) Is the true gospel of salvation by grace through faith being consistently proclaimed?
3) Is the Scripture considered inspired, infallible, and authoritative?
4) Is the present power of God to change lives acknowledged?
If the answer to each of these questions is "yes," then you have found a good church--not a perfect church--but a good church. I encourage you to worship there often!
Pastor Keith Andrews