Question: How can I know whether a church is teaching the Bible’s truths and not people’s opinions?
Answer: In this day of many churches conforming to our cultural trends to gain more members, it’s crucial to know what the Bible actually says. If you will read and study the scriptures, you’ll recognize what is true and what is a false, man-made religion. Christian churches vary in their traditions but shouldn’t err on these most important foundational Christian beliefs:
- What does that church believe about Jesus?
The Bible shows that Jesus is the only Son of God, and He died for your sins on the cross so that you may go to heaven. Jesus’ blood was shed as the final sacrifice God required to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind. He was resurrected to life and is in heaven now, preparing a place for you. Accepting Jesus and His free gift into your heart and life is the only way to be admitted into heaven after you die.
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:11-13
- What does that church teach that you have to do to enter heaven?
No one can do enough good works to earn passage into heaven. God wants you to care about and help others, but that won’t make God accept you. The Bible uses the world “grace” to mean God’s acceptance of you even though you didn’t deserve it as a reward for your commendable deeds. Your only guarantee of spending eternity in heaven is by believing that Jesus is the one God sent to be your Savior and the leader of your life. The Bible states you must acknowledge Jesus as your Savior before your death; seconds after your death, it will be too late!
“For by grace you have been saved through your faith, not because of anything you’ve done. This is a gift from God. Its not something you got by working hard because if you did, you’d brag about it and think you’re better than others.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“And just as each person is destined to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
- What does the church believe about the Bible?
God has preserved the Bible as “His word” so that it will always be an authentic message from Him to us. If a church says that the Bible has mistakes or that they also use other books from God, that’s a warning sign! This departure from the scriptures is the main problem in church leadership today, and some churches are splitting their denominations due to this tragedy of false teachings. Even Jesus Christ taught His disciples as He quoted from the scriptures. (Luke 24:45)
“…God’s truths will endure for all generations.” Psalm 100:5
If you are searching for a church to attend, pray and ask God to direct you to the group of believers He intends for you to bless with your presence AND one in which you will be a blessing to others. When you ask God, He will answer! His Holy Spirit will also give you discernment in listening for the teaching of His timeless truths.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13