But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
Mike and I go to different churches. He attends the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Nova Scotia, Canada while I go to Bethany Baptist Church in Cantilan, Philippines, It is quite a long distance apart. In fact, we are half-a-globe away! Yet, we do fervently believe we have attended churches that belong to the true and living God. In other words, we are one in worship, united in Christ, one in the Holy Spirit, and someday we will go to heaven together with other believers.
As I was reading the Amazing Grace Baptist Church tract, I began assessing my church if it qualifies. I was very happy it did! Praise God! It is not because I want to fit in to Mike's choices, but that the criteria are based on the word of God, the Authorized Bible. It must be otherwise it is not God's true church!
Friends, here are the criteria (Choosing a Church by the Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Bridgetown, NS, Canada). Assess your church (i.e. pastors and leaders, too) in relation to YOU attending the services:
1. They clearly teach how to know for sure that I am going to heaven when I die. (1 John 5:13)
2. I can easily apply the preaching to my everyday life. (Colossians 1:9,10)
3. All teaching is from the words of God, not man's words. (1 Corithians 2:4,5)
4. A life of holiness and conformity to scripture is taught and shown by example. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
5. There is a demonstration of love and compassion among the Christians. (1 John 3:14)
6. There is an intangible Holy Spirit that ministers to my heart. (Romans 8:16)
7. There is an abundance of sound teaching and Bible doctrine to feed me spiritually. (Acts 20:28)
8. They believe the same Authorized Bible that I can read in English (we have vernacular version based on Authorized Bible) is God's final authority in all matters. (1 Corinthians 14:9)
9. People are routinely given an invitation to come to Christ and submit their will to God. (Matthew 11:28)
10. Sinners are regularly warned of eternal suffering in Hell for all who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour. (Ezekiel 33:8)
Friend, be honest with yourself. Assess whether the Bible clearly states what your practices in the church are. If they do not follow what the Bible teaches, then you know you are taught differently, too. Then, you know exactly where YOU might go when you leave this world. What really matters most is how each of us will stand before God when the time will come. Make your choice now before it is too late.
From Couples' Nest, Volume 2
(c) April 2010, Luisa Mercado