What is Your Reason for Going to Church? Is it…
- To be seen?
- Because your parents or spouse said so?
- Because you were born ________ Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, whatever?
- To feel good?
- To sing in the choir or play in the band?
- Because you’re drawn to God but you don’t know why?
- Because you’re searching for answers?
- To worship and praise God and hopefully hear a good sermon/message that speaks to you?
What would Jesus say about Your Church?
Would he approve of the message? Would he be impressed with your service projects? What category does your church fall under:
- Do you love the church more than Jesus?
- Is your church facing persecution?
- Do you pray to statues, light candles, burn incense, and does the pastor condone immorality?
- Are you unknowingly listening to false teachings that are unbiblical?
- Is your church dead? Are you not growing spiritually? Apathetic? Do you feel like a robot going through ritual after ritual?
- Is your church going through a “time of testing”?
- Is your church lukewarm? Neither hot nor cold?
- Does your pastor’s message sound like this…
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”Luke 4:5-8 NIV
Many churches are inviting and they say to come and you’ll feel good. Or you love sitting in a pretty church with lots of elaborate decorations and man-made statues. I remember when I toured Italy, I visited cathedral after cathedral that could pass as art museums as well as pagan worship centers.
Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross so that we could have religion!
What is Religion?
Religion is mankind’s attempt to reach God. Jesus is God’s attempt to reach mankind. Sitting in church doesn’t get you into the Kingdom of God nor does it make you a Christian. Being raised going to church on Sunday, doesn’t make you a Christian either. Not unless you made the conscious decision to repent of your sins and be baptized after the age of accountability — about 12 years old. Religion doesn’t get you into the Kingdom of God. You have to be BORN AGAIN!
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’Matthew 7:21-23 NIV
Jesus told this parable…
24 …“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”Matthew 13: 24-30 NIV
Jesus explains what this means a few verses later…
36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.Matthew 13:36-43 NIV
Think of the true salvation of Jesus Christ — being born again — as Fire Insurance.
You can be absolutely sure that you won’t be going to hell. Oh, if you think you’re going to Purgatory, my friend, it doesn’t exist. If you’re not saved by the blood of Christ, you’re going to hell. We are living in the Last Days! You’d better figure it out fast!
How do you get saved? How do you get into the Kingdom of God?
- Jesus is the door.
- Repentance is the key.
- Baptism is the water that cleanses us from our old life.
- And the Holy Spirit is the fire that refines or sanctifies us so we are good enough to get into Heaven. Because on our own, we will never be good enough.
If you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation and a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
Next Steps in Your New Walk with Jesus…
- Start reading the Bible daily. If you don’t have one, I recommend the YouVersion, Bible.app and Through the Word app — both are free and have a lot of great daily devotionals and Bible studies.
- Pray every day. Talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily.
- Find and join a Bible-believing church — preferably a non-denominational one and be baptized!
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!