Once we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior,
we instantly become members of
"The Church", also known as,
"The Body of Christ", and,
"The Bride of Christ",
with Christ our "Bridegroom".
These terms are used 135 times in the
New Testament of the Bible,
so we have to know that this subject
is pretty important!
As the number of believers has grown
over the last two thousand years since
Jesus went back up to heaven,
so has the number of churches to hold them.
Some churches meet once a week; some two; some three. Some even give us the opportunity
to come in every day, at least for prayers.
But no matter how often we attend,
going to church is likely to become
an especially favorite part of each week;
because there, we will be with
our brothers and sisters in Christ, our family.
With them, we will worship Jesus;
together we will be singing, praying,
and giving thanks to Him.
We will receive and give love and support,
which will help all of us throughout the coming week.
Our pastors will preach and teach God's Word, which will help us to mature and grow as Christians.
Our church will be a safe and wonderful refuge for us.
Yes, there are many good reasons for going to church.
But how do we know which church?
There are many good ones; but,
unfortunately, there are some bad ones as well.
Praying that God will lead us to a godly,
Bible-based church is one necessary step
towards ending up in the right church.
Studying our Bibles and doing our homework
on the beliefs of the various churches
is another vital step.
There is no perfect church.
Because each church is made up of imperfect people,
there will always be relationships to work out, problems to deal with, and the attacks of Satan to repel.
There are a few main points upon which
any true Christian church will be standing,
and these points will always be in harmony with the Bible.
A truly godly Christian church will be
teaching and preaching from the Bible.
The people of this kind of church will not only be
preaching and teaching what Jesus said,
but doing what He said for us to do as well;
and worshipping Jesus, not only as
the Son of God, but as God incarnate.
('as God incarnate' means, 'as God who came
to earth and took on the form of man'.)
How will you know true Christians?
One way we are told of in Matthew 7:16 is this:
"Ye shall know them by their fruits".
Galatians 5:22 tells us that,
" …the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
long-suffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, and temperance…".
Although none of us is perfect,
Christ in us is perfect,
and as we live and walk in His Spirit,
we and our brothers and sisters in Christ
at a true church will be bearing all of these fruits;
learning to be like Christ in all of our ways,
repenting and asking forgiveness when we fail.
A true Christian church will be standing against sin…
things like: unmarried sex; homosexuality; same sex 'marriages'; adultery; murder; abortion; drunkenness; illegal drug use; addiction; worshipping other gods
(such as Buddha, Allah, or Vishnu);
witchcraft; new age spiritism, and the like;
jealousy; hatred; violence, etc.
Choosing a church is vitally important,
so we must do all that we can
to choose carefully and wisely,
in order to live our lives for Christ,
in loving fellowship, peace, and harmony
within the Body of Christ.