The Bible is the basis

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different doctrines preached today? Different denominations? It’s no wonder that so many unbelievers become confused when faced with embracing Christianity. There is nothing wrong with people of the Christian faith forming or joining a church that preaches the gospel, but is different from other churches in the form of that service. People do like to flock together just like the birds of the air flock together. This is not about people wanting to be united with those who are like them in their character. As an example, we are seeing an emergence of the Cowboy Church. Some might even sit on bales of straw or hay, but the message should be the same, and for many it is. But I am talking today about the churches, or those that call themselves churches, that totally go against Scripture in what they preach, and their behavior. Some want to have the look of a church, yet be active in the sin within the church that the bible talks of as detestable. Paul fought that battle even at the very beginning of the church. I’m sure the churches he planted or helped plant had some differences in the character of the makeup of the believers within, but it was the message of the gospel he was always concerned about, that it not be changed from the message that was passed from Jesus Himself. He wrote about this to the churches in Galatia: “I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him! For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-10 It’s important to find a group of believers that you can “fit” in with, that you love, and who live lives that follow the commands of Christ. We know we are not perfect, and will never be this side of eternity, but our desire should be for the things of God, not the things of man. Many want to find a church that believes like they do, but their thinking and the formation of their faith has not come from the truth, but from men, who tickled ears, and spoke things that made people feel good. The gospel of the Lord will not make you feel good, because the truth cuts sharper than a double edged sword, and the message should always be challenging us to live like the Lord, and not like the world. The church doesn’t need to be fancy, but the word spoken within needs to be the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it. Jesus would speak to the crowds: “Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to turn a man against his faither, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother- in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” Matthew 10:34-36 What Jesus is saying is that people will become divided because of what they want to believe, and men will want to become leaders that tickle their ears with untruths, and there will be divisions even within family members. That’s what happens when the truth is preached and practiced. But blessed are the ones who desire to hear God’s word, even when it challenges us, and causes us pain to know that we were living differently than the word tells us to live. When that happens, it is up to us to change our ways, not find other groups that like going the way we are, even though it may be against the very Scripture we claim to follow and love. So get into the word! Pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten your hearts, and know what the word says is truth, not just what you want to believe. Then find others who share the truth, even when it hurts. But it’s shared in love, and the desire that all of us are fighting the same battle: “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” Ephesians 6:12 Pastor Andy

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