How to Know if Your Church Leadership is Grounded in God’s Word

preach Christ

Months ago, I wrote about a pastor from a Southern Baptist church in Richmond. He has gone the way of the Emergent church. He pastors a church of over 1000 people. He believes and teaches that the God of the Bible is the same as Allah. He is also bringing teachings and practices of the RCC into his church.  I spoke to him on the phone, and that did not go well at all. He was enraged with me that I would question his beliefs.

I had such a burden for his congregation. I wrote to his deacons and staff members. I showed them clearly that our God is not the god of the Qu’ran.  I never heard back from any of them. Now, I just pray for them.

I spoke with a board member of the Southern Baptist Convention. He told me that each Southern Baptist church is autonomous, and that they cannot control individual churches. I must say that his words saddened me greatly. I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the people who trust their leaders in churches, when their leaders are not following Jesus. How many are destined for hell because they trusted the pastor?

The Apostle Paul said:

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

WHAT CAN WE DO?

If you are looking for a church home, it is imperative that you set up a meeting with the head pastor, and even some of the elders or deacons, and ask questions. It has never been more important to know what a pastor and his team believe about the Word of God.

If you are a part of a church, and you have a feeling that something is just not right, you too should speak, one on one, with your pastor and ask questions.  The believers in the church of Berea never simply believed what they heard. They searched the Scriptures to make sure that what they were told matched the Word of God.

“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:10-11)

DEMONS IN THE PULPIT

Taken from blogos.org

“Today, Satan and his entourage of demonic helpers stand unchallenged in many church pulpits around the world. Deception is Satan’s most powerful weapon against believers and would-be converts. He cloaks himself in the liturgical vestments of the clergy while using smooth oratory to win over undiscerning believers to doctrines of demons. He is an accomplished speaker, liar and deceiver. He is the master of disguise. From the very beginning of creation, he is the enemy of our soul and has used deception to change the truth about God into a lie. His burning passion for deception and destruction is relentless. His tactics are deadly and carry the sting of eternal ruin. The church needs to learn and understand just how skillful he is at deceiving believers through false doctrines, half truths, and counterfeit spiritual experiences.” [1]

I am placing a list of questions that should be asked. This is in no way an exhaustive list. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to show you important things to discuss with the leadership.

  • Do you believe that the Word of God is perfect and inerrant?
  • Do you believe that the Word of God is God-breathed, yet penned by men who were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
  • Do you believe that the Bible is sufficient and that words should never be added to it, nor taken away from it?
  • Do you believe that God is not Allah?
  • Do you believe that there is only one way to get to heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ?
  • Do you believe that Eastern mystical mediation has no place in the church?
  • Do you believe that Yoga is not for the follower of Jesus Christ, since it is grounded in Hinduism?
  • Do you believe that the miracles in the Bible truly happened, and are not allegorical?
  • Do you believe that men and women are born into sin, and therefore need to repent and trust Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins?
  • Do you believe that homosexuality is an abomination unto God, and that we are to love the homosexual, but reject the lifestyle as sinful?
  • Do you believe that abortion at any stage of gestation is murder?
  • Do you believe in a literal hell, and that all of those who reject Christ will be in hell eternally?
  • Do you believe that Christ’s death on the cross was sufficient as payment for our sin, and that we, who believe, are no longer under the curse of the law; but that we are under the better Covenant of Grace?
  • Do you believe that Israel is still under the Abrahamic Covenant, and that a follower of Jesus Christ should not hate Israel, or the Jewish people?
  • Do you believe and teach the heretical belief in “Replacement Theology” – that Israel was replaced by the Church?
  • Do you believe that Jewish people need Jesus in order to be saved?
  • Do you believe that extra-Biblical prophecy is against God’s will, and that the Bible is sufficient and contains everything a follower of Jesus needs to know?
  • Do you believe and teach pre-tribulation Rapture, that the Lord Jesus will return in the clouds and take His people (the Church) to heaven with Him? (this is not the Second Coming)
  • Do you teach about End Times prophecy, and about the Tribulation?
  • Do you believe that we who follow the Lord should be sharing salvation with the lost?
  • Do you believe and teach that the Bible instructs that women should not be in a position of authority over men in the church; and that women should never be a pastor?

If you are a serious follower of Jesus Christ, and want to be sure that you are worshiping in a church whose foundation is the Word of God, then you will be proactive in this process. A true born-again Bible believing pastor will be overjoyed that you are being careful. He will gladly answer all of your questions.

Brethren, heretical teaching abounds, and it’s going to get worse. I pray that the readers of this piece will take this to heart.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4: 3-4

Blessings in Christ.

MARANATHA

(read rest of article on blogos.org)

[1] http://www.blogos.org/keepwatch/apostate.html

Are You Attending the Church of Laodicea?

new-churches-lukewarm1

I can just hear the evil one whispering to church leadership “If you would just make it more fun, more worldly, you would attract more people. They won’t even feel like they’re in church!”

And so goes the slippery slope in the Seeker Sensitive churches. The Word of God becomes obscure — almost obsolete. Surely people know how to pack their church pews, right?  They make sure that the name of Jesus is mentioned, at least a few times. But the main thing is that everyone has a good time. After all, we want them to come back!

Why not throw in some Eastern Meditation? Most of the women in the congregation attend Yoga each week anyway, so why not create a Christian form of meditation. Not the meditation of which God speaks in the Word — not filling our minds with His Word.  No, no…..just emptying our minds of all noise and trouble. Maybe some visualization; yes, you’re at the beach and you hear the birds and the waves and smell that salt air…..and then ohm ohm ohm……..

Then there is that business of God. Is He the same god as other religions worship? Well, certainly there is only one God, so He must be the same as the Muslims worship, right?  We don’t want to alienate people. We want everyone to feel a part of the experience of worship. God can be called by many names, right? What does it matter…..Jehovah or Allah?

ENOUGH!!!!!

Do these people not know that their hearts are far from the Lord?

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (2 Timothy 3:5-7)

Can these people actually believe that Jesus Christ would come to earth to die the most horrific death at the hands of wicked men, so that they could come once a week (maybe twice) to a building to socialize and have fun?  Do they never read the Word of God? Has no one ever told them that they are wretched sinners, and that Jesus came to pay their sin debt? Have they not heard of repentance and placing their trust in Jesus for salvation?

When these Sunday socialites approach Jesus, they will hear the most dreaded words in the Bible:

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  (Matthew 7:22-23)

They will be distraught and dumbfounded. All the good deeds they did in His name. All the people they served from their church pantries. Why would He say these words to them?

SALVATION IS A GIFT

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

WE MUST BELIEVE

“For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:11-13)

CHRIST DIED FOR US

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

GOD LOVED US SO MUCH

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

ONLY JESUS CAN SAVE US

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

WE MUST CONFESS

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE WILL NOT BE SAVED

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16)

WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE ARE SINNERS

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

WE MUST BE BORN AGAIN

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

WE MUST DO GOD’S WILL

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

What is God’s will?

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

These Scriptures about salvation are key to our becoming children of God. They have nothing to do with how many good things we did in church.

All of the so-called “Righteous deeds” that we have done in our flesh, are as filthy rags before our Lord:

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

So, that means that all of the things that church goers do to try to enter the Kingdom of heaven are to no avail.  IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS!!

If a person has not come to the place in their life where they know that they are sinful, desperately in need of a righteous Savior (Jesus) and they have not repented of their sinful life, and have not placed their trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, then they have not been born again.  When a person comes to God with a broken spirit, and kneels before Him and confesses their need for Him; only then are they truly born again. This is a supernatural event!

After a person has been born again, then their good works are very important — they are the evidence of genuine salvation!

And until that takes place in the persons’ life, the Word of God will not make sense to them.

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”  (1John 2:27)

When we are truly born again, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. He guides us; teaches us, and leads us unto righteousness.

Have you been trying to reach God by good works?  Do you notice that there is an emptiness inside of you?  You are trying to do that which only God can do. He is the one who saves you.

Commit your life to Christ today. Tell him how sorry you are for your past sins. Tell him that you know that you need Him. Ask Him to come into your life and your heart and transform you into a child of God.  He will do it!  He waits for you.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

Shalom b’Yeshua

MARANATHA!

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