From: David Foss
How many people are members of a God-approving church? The majority of the world’s population is not attending a church that preaches and teaches Biblical truth. The majority of church goers are members of churches that preach tradition, good deeds, church membership, etc., as ways to Heaven. The Bible teaches that tradition is useless: Matthew 5:3,6,9 states, “Good works are as filthy rags.” In Isaiah 64:6, membership in any specific church is never mentioned; II Corinthians 6:14-18.
How can we tell if we’re sitting in a church that meets the approval of God? Here are some telltales: the pastor will be using God’s book (the Bible), not Billy Blah’s book; church members will have the Bible with them; members will be scrutinizing scriptural verses throughout the sermon; before the end of mass, the pastor will ask if anyone needs to be saved.
If we visit other denominations, we will undoubtably detect a noticeable difference in what is being spoken from the pulpit. The critical key is knowing the Word of God. If we do not know His Word, we won’t be able to become aware of deceptiveness. However, if the preaching we hear is foreign to us, we should not simply cast it off as untruth. We should compare it with scripture first. As believers, we should always examine the scripture we hear in church of which we are but visitors.
It is a fact that people are being fed heresy in the vast majority of churches around the world. So why take the time to visit other churches? It is because the majority of men preaching from the pulpits of the world are teaching worldliness. If unorthodoxy is all one has heard, what better way to become aware of such delusion than comparative preaching? If this were never done, nobody would leave a church that was spouting worldliness instead of Godliness. Here’s an example: when people have been told all of their lives that there is no Hell, how can these people come to the knowledge of God’s truth? By studying His Word, correctly interpreting His Word, not taking any verse out of context, and not accepting another man’s truths over that of God’s, we can begin to become knowledgable.
Is anyone going to Heaven by accepting the ways of man? Do birds yodel? Eternal life is assured by only one way — God’s way. If you take the time to visit a God-fearing, Bible-believing church, it will be an unregrettable visit. After all, where we spend eternal life is at stake.
Ponder II Corinthians 2:17, 4:2, 11:13-15; and II Peter 2:1-3.