CHURCH-05 - What Church Should I Attend?

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Transcript

CHURCH OF CHRIST

Acts 2:47 says, "And the Lord added to the church daily, those who were being saved."
What church should a person attend? I remember recently reading a newspaper
article in which the whole front-page article was all about different couples who were
making decisions as to what church they felt was best for them. As I read the article it
was as though you were going to a department store that fit you best or you're going to
a restaurant that your taste liked it the best. When we think about the Lord's church, it's
not as though you can choose a restaurant or go into the menu and choose off the
menu or the buffet. That's not the idea. Too many times in our society today we have
what I refer to as a Burger King Philosophy when it comes to churches. Burger King's
Philosophy is ‘having it your way’ and we have that same mentality when it comes to the
Lord's church. So many people want it their way, when in reality it's all about pleasing
God. We were created to glorify God. He's our Creator we are His creation and it really
ought to be about what God wants, not what does man want.

As we think about choosing how one chooses the church, not a church or many
churches but the church, let's realize that that right has already been decided. It is not
as though there is a smorgasbord of different choices that I can choose from and any of
those will be fine. The right is not mine to choose the church. Jesus chose the church
for me. God planned the church for me in His divine wisdom. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus
said, "I will build my church." There's the choice already made. Jesus established it.
Jesus built it. It belongs to him. It is the church of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 1
Corinthians 1:10-13 the apostle Paul pleaded with the brethren in Corinth, "Let there be
no divisions among you." That’s not God's plan he's not looking for all these different
religious organizations. He built one body; that body is the church Ephesians 1:22-23
and Ephesians 4:4. Instead of choosing based on individual preferences, let's ask,

"What church does God approve of? Which one did God choose? Which one does God
want me to be a member of?"

Let's realize first and foremost that a person doesn't just decide to join this
church or move their membership to this church. That's not what we find in the Bible. In
Scripture God adds us to His church. In Acts 2:36 Peter preaches, "Therefore let all the
house of Israel know assuredly God's made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord
and Christ." The Bible says in Acts 2:37-38 that ‘those who heard that they were cut to
the heart they cried out men and brethren what shall we do’ the answer was, "Repent
and be immersed, baptized, every one of you for the remission of your sins." The
Scripture tells us, "Those who gladly received that word were baptized and the Lord.”
They didn't choose, the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
How did they become a part of the church? God in heaven knew when they had obeyed
the gospel; when they met His terms of pardon. Then they became members of His
church when they were immersed in the body of Christ, baptized into his blood, and
added to that wonderful body of all the saved.

We need to realize what we’re talking about when we talk about the church.
We're not talking about going down to the corner of Main Street and sitting in a pew.

That's not the church; the church is not the building. The church is not pews or stained-
glass. The church is the people. I know it's not the building because Acts 7:48-50 says,

"God does not dwell in temples made with hands." That's not where God dwells, but
God is in His people. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:27 to members of the Lord's
church, "You are the body of Christ and members individually one of another." Who are
we going to be joined to when we obey the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

Let's look at some of the reasoning, as this newspaper article interviewed these
four different couples, and their preferences on why they went here, why they went
there, why they joined this church. They each gave different reasons. I want you to think
about these reasons scripturally. The first couple said they went to the place they did
because they were searching for a church with relaxed and liberal views by that things
like women preaching, women leading in-service, where homosexuals and gay
marriage were accepted openly. They were just looking for something liberal something
that didn't criticize or condemn or didn't have any hard-core standards on anything and
anything goes type of mentality. If that's what you are looking for you can surely find a
multiplicity of those today. Is that what God's looking for? Is that what God wants from
his people and his church today? Let's realize that the God of the Bible has a definite

standard and it is not the liberal mindset that we see today. In John 12:48 Jesus said,
"He who rejects me and does not receive my word has that which judges him, the word
that I've spoken will judge him in the last day." Whether we realize it or not or like it or
not this book is going to be the final judge. God has a definite standard even in worship.
John 4:24 says, “God is a spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in
truth.” Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever we do in word or deed we're to do all in the
name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the father through Him.” This book does
not condone things like women preaching. 1 Timothy 2:11-12 Paul said, "I do not permit
a woman to preach or to be in authority over a man." That's not according to the Bible. If
I want to please God, we don't find things like that in the Bible. God does not approve of
homosexuality or gay marriage. The Scripture says in Romans 1:26-28 that that is a vile
unnatural and deserving of a penalty. According to Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, it's an
abomination that under the Old Testament deserved stoning. Does the God of the Bible
want us to go somewhere with liberal, relaxed views and anything goes? No, that's the
effect of a very liberal society and we need to make sure that such is not the idea or the
mindset of God.

The second group that was interviewed by this newspaper said they went to a
certain church because that's where their children wanted to go. We want our children
to learn about God. We want them to know God. We want them to see the importance
of the Bible and worship. There's a problem in society in general if children are telling
parents what to do. They're taking the leadership role of being the parent when in reality
parents ought to be leading the way and they ought to let God's word choose for them.
Proverbs 22:5-7 says, “You've got to train up a child in the way he'll go and when he's
old he'll not depart from that.” Parents are to bring up their children in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord. Would most children rather go somewhere where there are
balloons, games, or fun activities all the time? In a child's mindset that may be what
they're looking for, but is that's what's best for them? Will that help them to learn about
God, learn how to live a good moral pure Christian life? Will that help them to ultimately
get to heaven? When we let the children lead the way, naturally they're looking for fun,
entertainment, and less rules. If we let them lead the way and it's all about fun, what
about when what's really fun wears off a little bit? When one fun is not so much fun
anymore, you have to find something that’s more and more fun each time until you can't
find anything that’s more fun. Then you lose them because they get tired of that form of
entertainment. There has to be something more solid in this day and age and of course
according to the word of God.

A third couple that was interviewed by this newspaper said that they chose to go

to a certain church because they wanted the right music. Meaning that they wanted a
big music performance, they wanted instruments, they wanted bands, they wanted great
singers, they wanted a seven piece rock band and smoke and lights and all these
things. It doesn't matter what kind of music I like and it doesn't matter what kind of
music you like. If we're to worship the God of the Bible and we're there to honor Him we
need to ask, "What kind of music does God want? That's what is important that's all that
matters in this scenario. Worship is not about me and you, we're not there to be
entertained or to be praised; that's not what we're there for. We're there to honor and
magnify God how He tells us to. When we've done that should we feel encouraged and
uplifted that we've honored our Creator? Absolutely! What kind of music is God really
looking for? The New Testament is that by which we will be judged John 12:48. The Old
Testament has been done away with. It was for the Israelites and it is not a law that is
living for us today. It was nailed to the cross Ephesians 2:14 and Colossians 2:14-15.
When I open to the New Testament, what do I learn about music? In Ephesians 5:19
the Bible says, "Sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord." Colossians 3:16 says,
"Teach and admonish one another in psalms hymns and spiritual songs singing with
grace in your hearts unto the Lord." The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:15 that we are to
sing with the spirit, to sing with the spirit and with the understanding. In Matthew 26:30 it
says, "Is anyone happy, let him sing." Jesus and His disciples "sang a hymn and went
out." In the New Testament, all that we find is vocal music unto God. In the New
Testament we don't find instruments, we don't find things of that nature, we don't find
rock bands. If God wanted that, he surely would have told us; he could have told us,
that's what His word is for. God did tell us, "Sing and make melody in your heart unto
the Lord."

Then a fourth couple was interviewed by this newspaper. This fourth couple went
to church because they felt like this is where the Lord had led them. Now they were
basing that off of many factors: emotion, feeling, some idea of sensationalism as well.
Really and truly that's where we ought to go when the Lord leads us through His book.
Did that couple mean that? Probably not. They were basing it off of other factors that
they incorrectly thought that the Holy Spirit had somehow led them there. That's what
we need to let the word of God do. How does a person find the church you read about
in this book? By letting God and the Holy Spirit lead through His revealed will. How does
the Holy Spirit lead people to the church today? In John 16:13 Jesus said to his
disciples, "When He, the spirit of truth, has come, He'll guide you into all truth." Did he
come? You bet he did! 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of
God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness that the man of God may be complete." 2 Peter 1:3 says, “We now have
the perfect law of liberty. The Holy Spirit has revealed God's complete will everything I

need for life and godliness.” According to Revelation 22:16-19, the Bible is not to be
added to or taken from. If I'm going to let the Holy Spirit lead me, I've got to let Him lead
me through His word. If I'm going to let God and Christ lead me to the church of the
Bible, I've got to get out my Bible and I've got to see what exactly God wants for His
people.

What is the nature of His church, what is the Lord's church really like? What are
some things we should look for in a church? First one wants to choose the church
because it is the scriptural church. That means it is the same church that existed in your
Bible. Did you know that the church that Jesus established, the church that Peter. Paul,
James, and all these men we read about in the Bible were a part of; you can be a part
of. How is that, 2000 years later, how can I be a part of the church Paul was a part of?
We have the same seed. In Luke 8:11 the Bible says, “The seed is the word of God.”
The same word preached forth from Pentecost that created and instituted the Lord's
church for the very first time. That same gospel, same plan of salvation by which when
men and women obeyed it, they were added to the church, exists today. When
someone preaches the gospel, when people respond with penitent hearts, they hear the
word, they believe in Jesus, they repent and change their lives, confess him as Savior,
and when they're baptized for the remission of their sin, God adds them to that same
church that you find in the New Testament. What was that church like?

Here's a few of the scriptural characteristics of the church has. In Daniel 2:44 it
was prophesied that the church would be established during the time of those four
kingdoms: Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and the. We know that during that Roman
period was the only time God set up a new kingdom. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18-19,
"I'll build my church." And then He said to Peter, "I'm going to give to you the keys of the
kingdom." Did it start during that Roman era; did it have the right place of origin? Isaiah
2:2-3 says, "God will establish His house in Mount Zion or Jerusalem." Where did it start
at? In Acts 2 Peter's in Jerusalem on Pentecost, he preaches the gospel, and the Lord's
church has its beginning in Jerusalem. Who founded it? Who started that religious
group? Jesus did. He said I'll build my church. He promised to His disciples, "There's
some of you standing here today who will not taste death until you see the kingdom
present with power." Paul would later say, "God is translating us out of darkness into the
kingdom of his dear Son." Who started the church? Was it some man, some restoration
leader, someone like that? That's the wrong person. Jesus is the founder of His church.

When we talk about the scriptural church of the Bible and one choosing the

church, you need to look for biblical descriptions and biblical ownership. The Bible says
in 1 Corinthians 1:2-3 that in this book it was called the church of God. According to the
Scripture, it was designated as church of Christ belonging to Christ Romans 16:16. It is
referred to as the church of the firstborn Hebrews 12:22-29. It's the household, temple
of God, in 1 Timothy 3:14-15. Does it have a biblical designation of ownership and
authority? In choosing a congregation of the Lord's church the churches of Christ, no
doubt you want to choose a very loving and active congregation where God's truth
comes first and where people love one another and are actively involved in the work
and worship of Almighty God. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give you: that you
love one another as I have loved you that you also love one another Jesus said by this
all will know you are my disciples." Is love there? Hebrews 13:1 says, "Let brotherly love
continue." Do people really love the Lord with all their heart soul mind and strength?
Mark 12:30 Jesus said, "If you love me keep my commandments." Are the fruits of that
evident by people trying to study and follow the word of God? Does that congregation
have a love for the Bible? "Oh how I love your law," David said Psalm 119:97. Do we
have that same love and respect for the word of God? Do we love one another John
17:20-21? There ought to be that unity First John 4:7 "Love one another as God who is
the great example of love has shown us in his son Jesus Christ." Is there a love for the
lost? The Lord's people can't sit around hoping that things will just eventually get done.
We've got to have the incentive to go out and take the gospel to the lost, to do as Jesus
said in Luke 19:10, “to seek and save that which is lost,” to take the gospel to the whole
world.

What reasons do we give today in helping to identify the church the right church
of the Bible? We want to choose one that is built upon the word of God the only one of
the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want to choose in such a way that it will glorify
God; not worry about glorifying men but glorifying God. What are we here for? Solomon
thought about this big question and he came to this conclusion, "Let us hear the
conclusion of the whole matter, fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the
whole duty of man." Let’s have the mindset that it doesn’t matter who I make happy or
unhappy as long as I please God when I decide what church to attend. He's my judge;
I'll give an account to him. I want to choose the right church because I've got the goal of
growing spiritually at the top. 1 Peter 2:2, "As newborn babes desire the pure milk of the
word, that you may grow thereby. Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.” I want to attend the Lord's church because that's what Jesus
wants me to do. In Acts 20:28 Paul said to the elders at Ephesus that they were to
"watch the flock which the Lord purchased with his own blood."
If Jesus came to this earth to save the lost and purchase His church, I'll assure

you that's the one Jesus wants you to go to. We ask lovingly, we ask kindly of you, are
you a member of the church you read about in this book? Are your goals and desires to
please the Almighty more than anything else? If you've never become a Christian, we
urge you to obey the gospel: hear the word that Jesus is Savior, believe that message
so much so that you'd be willing to repent and turn from sin, confess Jesus before men,
and then as 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, "By one spirit are all baptized into that one body."
We urge you to visit the Lord's church in your area, get out your Bible and see, and if
you find it in accord with Scripture, become a member of the church of Christ.

Study Questions for: “What church should I attend?”

1. According to Acts 2:47, who did the Lord add to the church?
2. What will judge us, according to John 12:48?
3. How must we worship God, according to John 4:24?

4. According to 1 Timothy 2:11-12, who must not preach?

5. According to Romans1:26-28, what is vile and unnatural and
deserving of a penalty?
6. According to Proverbs 22:5-7, how should parents bring their children
up?

7. How are we to make music, according to Ephesians 5:19?

8. According to Matthew 26:30, if one is happy, what should he do?
9. Where is all scripture from, according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17?

10. What did Jesus command us to do in Luke 19:10?

TGOCChurch of Christ