Attending the right church

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We make many important decisions in our life. These decisions affect the direction of our life. No person would decide what job to take, where to live, or who to marry without serious consideration. Yet for many people who profess to be Christians, they take a less serious approach when deciding which church to attend. Spiritual factors fall by the wayside, and carnal thoughts dictate the decision. Is such an approach right?

What factors should decide which church you attend? Is it: how many people attend that church? The music? The amount of ‘young people’ or people your own age group? The close proximity of the church to your home? The activities of the church?

While some of these things may have their place, they should not be the determining factors in choosing which church to attend.

If you are responsible before God for children, how do you want them to grow up? Do you desire that they would be those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness”? Or is your desire that they would be ‘entertained’ by the church, and hope this will see them converted?

Let us look at some of the most important factors which should help us decide what church to attend.

1- Faithfulness to Scripture

A church that does not have the highest possible view of the Bible as the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, is a church that is not faithful to God. The Bible must be the supreme authority on all matters of faith and practice for all churches. Any diminishing of the Scriptures, even on one point, is opening the floodgates for further departure from God’s Word.

The history of the visible church is evidence that when a church loses it’s holy reverence for Scripture, departure from God follows soon after.

2- Sound preaching of Scripture

A Christian who is walking with God will desire to be under sound preaching of the Word. An epilogue, or a ‘thought for the day’ is not proper preaching. True preaching, is expounding the Scriptures and applying it experientially to the hearts of the hearers.

Christians desiring a close relationship with God, will want to hear preaching that is convicting, convincing, converting, comforting, and challenging. This cannot be done in a light-hearted, five minute epilogue, it can only be done by opening up the Word to the hearts of the congregation.

Just as a flower grows best in nourishing, well watered soil, so a Christian who is in a church being fed by sound preaching, will grow strong in faith, and in the knowledge of the Lord.

3- Reverent and biblical worship

Many people today come to church so they can leave feeling good about themselves, having received a ‘moral boost’, if there is such a thing. They fail to see that true and reverent worship is not about how we are left to feel, but what we should be giving to God. Music that gives a ‘buzz’, provokes emotionalism for two minutes, repeats the same line two dozen times, or has a catchy tune but meaningless words, is not biblical worship.

A church should have worship that renders to God the glory due to his name. The Psalms and ‘proper’ hymns are full of great doctrine, biblical truth, and humble adoration of God. God delights in such worship, and a biblical church, should delight to worship God in this way.

4- Emphasis on prayer

You cannot read the book of Acts without observing that the early New Testament church was a praying church. This was not to be a one generation occurrence which would die out, like tongue speaking, but rather it was to be the secret power of the church; communion with God.

Great revivals in Scripture and church history, have all began with the Holy Spirit moving God’s people to pray. Therefore, a church that has emphasis on prayer, is a church that is following the biblical pattern, and that is humbly waiting on God to revive His church, and the nation.

5- Urgency in evangelism

Any church that holds the scriptures to be true, will be aware of their duty to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. A church that does not evangelise, is a church that is not obeying the command of Christ, that does not care about lost and perishing souls, and that is not seeking the glory of God in the salvation of the lost.