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What does your church really believe?

I was visiting a church recently. The service followed a customary format of singing followed by a sermon. The message in the music program was dynamic with a theme of giving up everything for Jesus. After the musicians were through, the sermon preached was on receiving all kinds of financial and materialistic things from God. If I were a new Christian, I would leave that service confused. Which path do I follow? The one where I give everything away or the one where I wait for God to give me everything?

I have also been in a church where we constantly sang about faith with song lyrics of "Leaning on Jesus," and "Trust and obey," but the full time staff was contemplating meeting cash flow troubles through temporal methods. I have even heard of a church that didn't emphasize members giving because they were receiving enough revenue from an investment in a bowling alley to meet the church's financial needs.

There are now pastors in the news who state that they do not preach against sin - even though a constant theme of the Bible is the need to repent and that repentance is necessary for salvation. If your pastor doesn't teach sin, how do you know you need to repent? If you don't know to repent, you can't be saved and if you're not saved, you won't go to heaven when you die.

Paul warned Timothy that a time would come when people would seek teachers that would tell them what they wanted to hear. It is so obvious in today's church. It's not the gospel of Christ people want today, rather it's someone who will tell them, "I'm okay; you're okay; you're going to be healthy, wealthy, and wise." I fear today that people think Christ died a cruel death on the cross so they could have a bigger house and a newer car.

The sad thing is Jesus warned us that people will follow the doctrines of false teachers and those that do will not be saved and will not enter into heaven. Paul warned there would be those that would pervert the truth and preach another gospel and said that those that do so should be cursed. If the teacher will be cursed, what do you suppose will happen to those who follow a false teaching?

It is important that you study your Bible for yourself and ask God to teach you truth. Is it really worth risking eternal damnation just because the person you are following has a charismatic personality, is a dynamic speaker, never offends anyone, and has a great music program?

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