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One TRUE Religion, Does it Exist?...Truth Is...
How Do I Know If My church is the Right One?
Religion has become quite a hot topic. Arguments, fights, dis-associations and even wars are just a couple of the results of disagreement over what is true and what is proper in worship. as it is my stated and long established focus and goal, this hub is intended to enlighten, instruct as well as encourage those who seek after knowledge and truth when it comes to the things of Almighty GOD...Truth Is...
First off, let me help you to understand what TRUE religion contains: 1) It should enlighten you as to what GOD loves, has done, promises, and expects from us. 2) It should provide direction and ways to apply what is found in GOD's WORD the bible. 3) It should hold FIRM and not compromise when it comes to what it will and will not accept/allow within it, and base that on what GOD says and NOT what men, man or the masses want...4) It should provide HOPE.
Today it is very difficult to convey GOD's Truth thoroughly due to the fact that people have been inundated with half-truths, misguided, and totally false teachings from the hierarchy of the church. This is something that regardless of what religion you attach yourself to, there is but ONE TRUE and ALMIGHTY GOD and in the end it is what HE wants and says that will really matter.
Here are some examples of how you can tell if you are attached to a church or religion that is NOT of GOD: Does your Pastor or church get involved or promote involvement in politics? If so...it's NOT of GOD. Jesus established what is important and also promoted the premise that ONLY GOD is qualified to rule mankind and that HE does have a plan set forth to do just that. No matter WHAT ruler or politician it is, they are not, will not, nor can they promote GOD's way, due to the fact that the majority of those who either support, finance, or otherwise grant them whatever measure of power and authority they may wield, neither care for or respect GOD's way as it does not benefit their agenda. The TRUE Christian way is to continue seeking after GOD and his Righteousness and then TRUST him to sort things out when HE has set and promised to do.
Does you Pastor or church condone, promote or engage in all the dancing, shouting and "catching the holy ghost" nonsense found in churches today? If so, you are NOT in a house of GOD. All that shouting and convulsing is NOT what was found in the First Century Christian congregation; their activities consisted on preaching and teaching the Good News that Jesus brought to mankind and helping others understand what they had to do, how they had to change, how they had to trust and how to behave in order to align them selves with the opportunity to receive the total blessings that GOD has set forth. Allow me to elaborate:
Many try to use the event that occurred on Pentecost found at Acts chapter 2, to base their belief of being overcome with GOD's spirit and thus uttering un-decipherable words that many claim are "Speaking to GOD and the angels" etc. ; who would be the only ones able to discern what was being said. But by actually READING the account found at Act 2: 1-12 we see that this was NIT the case at all. In fact what was then uttered were HUMAN languages understood by those from different lands who were in proximity of those speaking them. The purpose therefore was to broaden the scope of where the Gospel was distributed so that it would spread; in conjunction with GOD's stated goal: That "...Men of ALL sorts be saved.." and have the opportunity to gain an "ACCURATE Knowledge of the one TRUE GOD..." So you see, the act of GOD bestowing his holy Spirit upon humans was for the purpose of spreading his Truths, not impressing other people that one is "holy" or "sanctified"; that is just some nonsense contrived of men and found NOWHERE in the Bible.
Further, NOWHERE in the bible does it mention members of the first Century congregation dancing and shouting and convulsing, having a choir or ONE Man overseeing any congregation; nor does it mention them celebrating any "Pastor's anniversary". "Pastor's appreciation" or the like, nor Christmas or Easter for that matter. In fact, it has long been established that Christmas and Easter are actually of pagan origin and observed hundreds of years before Jesus even walked the earth!
Why do I repeatedly mention the First century christian congregation? Because it is the one established by Christ's closest followers and "apprentices" as it were; his Apostles, whom he taught, guided and instructed to carry on his work. They were (the first Century Christians), the template or example for us to follow when comes to being followers of Christ and thereby GOD's true worshipers...Therefore, if your church conducts it's self in practices not in line with and identical to those of the first century Christians, it is of men, NOT GOD...
Next, one needs to examine what is being taught in his church/religion...Just because the name of Jesus is tossed about freely in church, does not make it one of GOD; nor does the frequent use and quotation of scripture. Not only did Satan himself quote scripture to Jesus, but Jesus himself said that yelling his name and calling upon him will not be enough (Matthew 7:21-23). Notice that in these verses it was Jesus who said the focus should be doing the will of his Father in heaven...Jesus did not say :My will" he said GOD's. Does your church teach you that there IS a difference between Almighty GOD and Jesus? Jesus said there is; in fact, just before his death when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus said to GOD: Not my will, but yours"(Mark 14:36) He even said it again when he said that even he doesn't know the day and hour of his return, but that ONLY GOD does(Matthew 24:36), to be replete for the purpose of accurate knowledge this is again confirmed at 1 Corinthians 15:27,28, where it tells us that even after GOD hands power over mankind to Jesus, that Jesus in turn would then hand that power and authority BACK to GOD and submit to him. When Jesus prayed he did not pray to himself, nor did he raise himself from the dead. Now given these things found IN THE BIBLE and mainly uttered by Jesus himself, if your church, pastor or religion tells you that Jesus is GOD who came down and walked among mankind, your pastor, church or religion is a liar and is calling GOD and Jesus one!Should you continue to follow them?
There is a penchant to make worship of GOD to be all about Jesus, when in truth it is not. Jesus is the SON of GOD who was also obedient and trusted GOD. Churches/pastors teach the gospel ABOUT Jesus, but the fail to teach the Gospel OF Jesus; the things he said and said to do., which included "Teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.." Matthew 28:19,20...Nowhere in the account of Jesus does it say that he taught or instructed his disciples to condone or accept homosexuality, or even debate whether it is acceptable, nor politics, the pursuit of money, judging whether people are worthy of their help or withholding it, boasting about how "blessed" they are or what GOD has given them, etc...all common practices of so-called Christians today...Truth is.
Homosexuality is a BIG issue these days, as Society pushes to force Christians to accept it at the risk of being called "intolerant", etc. But when it comes to serving GOD, we must love that which HE loves and HATE that which he hates. Too many times it is made clear in the bible that homosexuality is an abomination before GOD. Many use the argument that it is no worse than any other sin, but in truth, if your church/pastor/religion condones homosexuality or permits those who ACTIVELY are gay to hold positions of ANY type(even in the choir, and especially the pulpit), it is NOT of GOD! However, homosexuality should be treated the same as any other sin/sinner and the opportunity of forgiveness, fellowship and grace from GOD should be set forth as a goal for them...in other words they should be taught that one must first STOP doing it, repent as it were...This includes, murders, fornicators and yes, even molesters..Truth Is...
If your church has a woman pastor, associate pastor or one serving in ANY position of authority, it is NOT of GOD(1 Timothy 2:11,12)...The women's movement was contrived by women not GOD...and just like Eve, they wanted more say-so than what GOD had intended. Was it not when the serpent told Eve that if she disobeyed GOD and ate the fruit she would be able to decide what is right or wrong, good or bad?(Genesis 3:5,6) I encourage you not to label me as sexist or chauvinist as this is what GOD has set forth in his word, not me...Women pastors is just another example of the church compromising to please men/women rather than GOD...Truth Is...
If your church/pastor of religion teaches that "Once saved-always saved"...it is NOT of GOD. Even Paul, whom GOD granted to write the majority of the New Testament conceded HIS salvation is not assured(1 Corinthians 9:27).
Does your church teach you that GOD wants you to be rich or prosperous during these times which Jesus CLEARLY stated would be difficult to the point where GOD would have to intervene for the "sake of the elect" at Matthew 24:1-25 when he describes the times that we actually are living in now and labeling it the "Time of the End". If your church/pastor or religion teaches you otherwise, it is in direct conflict with what is actually in GOD's Word and thus in conflict with GOD...Truth Is...
If your church does not teach you or encourage that you help those less fortunate whether they are friends, family, or strangers, on your own, and not leave it to the church to do...it is NOT of GOD. I have actually heard pastors tell their members NOT to help people for fear of being "used" etc. But NOWHERE does Jesus say that this should be a concern of ours; he simply said DO IT! (Matthew chapter 28) He doesn't use the word "discernment" in that context as many churches tend to do as an excuse NOT to help others.
Furthermore, if your church mandates the collection of Tithes, it is NOT of GOD. Tithing was a requirement of the Israelites as part of their covenant with GOD; a covenant THEY broke in fact. Jesus represented a NEW covenant, one that applied to ALL mankind and allowed all the opportunity to become GOD's "elect" or chosen. If one is compelled to pay tithes then one must also sacrifice sheep, bulls etc in compliance with the rest of the covenant. You can't pick and choose which parts of GOD's laws you will obey and expect him to accept it. That said, there is nothing wrong with supporting your church, but is your church using that which you give to help others? Is your church getting bigger, have pillars, plush seating, new choir robes, etc while there are members or attendees who wear worn shoes, are having utilities cut-off, being evicted etc. while the pastor's family and hierarchy dress overly well and drive expensive cars, have opulent or overly appointed homes and live affluently? Again I refer you to the first century congregation, the TRUE Church, who had the focus and determination that NO ONE among them was in need and actually brought all their belongings and set them before the apostles so that everything could be divided equally among them...does your church/pastor or religion promote and require this same mentality?
Has your church become a place where there is more "performances" than teaching? Choirs going crazy, interpretive dancing, rappers, pastors rhyming and making jokes and saying the same "Church-sayings" that you've heard a thousand times: "Prayers go up, blessings come down", "GOD is no respecter of persons", "your season is coming"...and the likes...NOT in the bible, NOT of GOD; all done to amuse, entertain and mollify men, but not conducive to what GOD has to say.
Does your church/pastor or religion teach you about the "tree of Life" that was in the Garden of Eden? Not the tree Adam and Eve ate from and became disapproved, but the one GOD stationed two powerful angels and a flaming sword to guard after he put them out of the Garden...(For more on this subject please read my Hub: Man's Fall..."). If your church/pastor or religion actually TAUGHT you about the significance of the Tree of Life, which is mention in genesis AND Revelations, they would have to admit that they have taught you LIES all of your life, your grand Ma too(sorry), They would have to tell you that all that "dying and going to heaven" they've taught isn't really true...and more.
So WHAT is TRUE religion Truth Is...?
True religion is not found in any ONE organized church, as somewhere along the line they will slant things to promote their own wishes and impose their will upon you to comply with; this is due simply to the fact of man being imperfect and falling short. However, one can find the groundwork for true worship and pleasing GOD simply by reading GOD's Word and asking in sincerity for clear and accurate understanding. Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount(Matthew chapters 5,6, and 7) is a good and excellent place to start as it tells you in JESUS' own words what is pleasing to GOD and expected from us. This will be discussed in the follow up to this article.
As always, I encourage you to PRAY on the things that I have said and ask GOD for confirmation...