From: David Foss
How many people are members of a God-approving church? The majority of the world's population are not attending a church that preaches and teaches Biblical truth. The majority of churchgoing people are members of churches that teach tradition, good works, church membership, etc. as ways to heaven. Of course God's word does not mention that any worldly way is a surety to eternal life in heaven. The Bible teaches that tradition is useless. Matthew 5:3,6,9 Good works are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 Membership in any specific church is never mentioned. II Corinthians 6:14-18
How can we tell if we are sitting in a church that would meet the approval of God? Here are just a few telltale things: 1) the pastor will be using God's book, not Billy Blah's book, 2) the church members will have God's book with them, 3) all the members will be scrutinizing some scriptural verses throughout the sermon, 4) before everyone leaves, the pastor will ask if anyone needs to get saved.
If we visit other denominations, we will undoubtedly detect a noticeable difference in what is being spoken from the pulpit. The critical key, of course, is knowing the word of God. If we do not know His word, we will probably not become aware of any deceptiveness, however, if the preaching sounds foreign to us, we shouldn't assume that the preaching which we have heard was untruthful. Of course we should check it out with Scripture afterwards. We should always examine the Scripture we hear in the church of which we are members and the Scripture which we hear in a church of which we are but visitors. If the words sound new to us, it doesn't mean we are hearing untruth, after all, most people have memberships in churches which feed them untruth. This is a fact: people are being fed heresy in the vast majority of the churches of the world.
Why take the time to visit other churches? Again, it is because the majority of men preaching from the pulpits of the world are preaching and teaching worldliness. If unorthodoxy is all one has heard, what better way could one become aware of such delusion than by comparative preaching? Listening to the preaching and teaching of another denomination? If this were never done, no one would ever leave a church that was teaching worldliness. Here is but one example: When people have been told all their lives that there is no hell, how can these people ever 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 man's (Billy Blah's) words over God's words.
Is anyone going to heaven by accepting the ways of man? Do birds yodel? Eternal life is assured by one one way - God's way.
If one visits a God-fearing, Bible-believing church, it will be an unregrettable visit.
Ponder II Corinthians 2:17; 4:2; 11:13-15 II Peter 2:1-3