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Subject: The Perfect Church?
Replies: 48 Views: 1680

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:09am
First let me as*ert that there are 2 definitions of ''the church''.

There is the true church, which is collectively every born again Christian on the face of the earth. This church is perfect and blameless in the sight of God because of their faith and because their sins have been forgiven.

The other definition of the church is a building or an organisation where Christians and people gather to fellowship and praise God.

These 2 should not be confused. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:15am
The church I am now talking about is the place where people gather to fellowship and grow in their faith. The question I want to address is, is there such a thing as a perfect church or group of believers who are perfect in all their ways and doctrines? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:21am
Now I am not talking about a group of churches which includes every denomination or type of church such as Jehova's Witnesses, Catholics and Mormons etc who hold blatantly unscriptural doctrines: I am talking about Protestant churches which profess true Biblical faith. This can include baptists, methodists, presbyterians etc and any Protestant organisation. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:26am
Many Christians, especially newly converted ones, put a great deal of care into selecting a good church to attend. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:28am
People are rightly concerned about attending a good, God fearing church which will preach a true Gospel and teach sound doctrine. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:29am
I am often asked how to find or where to find a perfect and good church to attend. The question is, does such a church exist? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:34am
The reality is that people are pro ne to error. There is not a single perfect person on earth. Unfortunately, I dont believe a single perfect church exists anywhere in the world, because each will by human nature have some or other minor error. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:35am
Note: MINOR error. Not major error. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:37am
The best advice I can give when looking for a good church is to look at the leadership and observe their attitude towards the preaching of the Gospel. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:39am
There are a few questions I think you should ask yourself about the church you are considering attending, to help you with your decision: *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:41am
1. Does the church submit to the Bible as the sufficient and inerrant Word of God? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:48am
Unbelievable as it may seem, some churches actually deny some of what the Bible teaches and replace it with what they deem to be acceptable. They dilute or try to explain away things. For example, they might say that the Bible has errors and we are free to use our own discernment to decide whether something is acceptable or not. Stay away from them. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:50am
2. Is the church and its teachings, activities built on the Bible as its foundation? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:52am
Or do they lean on worldly philosophies, church growth strategies, fashions etc to keep their benches filled on Sundays? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 09:53am
3. Do they preach about sin? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:16am
There are a lot of churches and even famous preachers and TV evangelists who preach a ''prosperity gospel'', and they will tell their congregations all sorts of things to boost their self esteem and make them feel good about themselves. Joel Osteen is one of them. They typically preach about prosperity and wealth and personal gratification. Like Joel Osteen's book, Live Your Best Life Now.

Generally these churches will never want to rain on your parade or make you feel bad, they only want to make you feel happy about yourself, which is very dangerous for your soul.

For example, when Joel Osteen was asked about this in a radio interview, he openly said that his ministry did not want to preach about sin or make people feel bad about themselves. He just wants to boost self esteem and help people live a nice life. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:20am
The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with any church whose ministry has nothing to do with sin. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:22am
This is because the primary work of the Holy Spirit is to convict people of their sins and bring them to repentance and conformance to God's will and the image of Christ. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:28am
All of the Old Testament prophets, Jesus Christ, the apostles, Paul.... They all preached about sin, the dangers of sin, and the need for repentance. Even in the book of Romans, Paul begins the book by using the first 3 chapters to speak almost exclusively about the sin of man and our need for repentance and God's grace. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:35am
If a church does not preach about sin, how will the congregation be convicted of their sins and be brought to repentance and the realization of their need for salvation? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:36am
4. Does the church preach the true Gospel? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:39am
Does the preacher teach that we are saved because of what the Roman soldiers and Jews did to Christ? Or do they teach that we are saved because of what God the Father did to His Son while He hung on the cross to satisfy His justice? See Isaiah 53:10 and Romans 3:23-27 *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:40am
5. Does the church practice accountability to one another? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:43am
Are the church leaders accountable to one another and to the congregation? Or do they hold themselves as untouchable? Can a christian brother approach another brother, even an elder, with love and say to him, brother, you are doing wrong and you are in sin? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:44am
6. Does the church practice church discipline? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:49am
The apostle Paul exhorted Christian leaders to have discipline in the church. He said that if somebody in the church is in error or committing some sin or practising a false doctrine, that he should be confronted about it with love but also firmly with scripture to show him his error. If the person continues in his error, he ought to be brought to the elders for further correction. If he still continues in defiance, he ought to be excommunicated, expelled from the church, because Paul said ''a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump''. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:51am
Please read 1 Corinthians 5:1-7 *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 10:53am
If somebody in your church is a gossiper and constantly stirring trouble amongst the congregation, for example, do the church leadership discipline that person, or do they leave the person to continue out of not wanting to hurt feelings? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 11:02am
7. Is the church fruitful? Are they involved in charity work and community upliftment and caring for the needy? *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 11:06am
Faith without works is dead. One of the evidences that the Holy Spirit is at work in a church is that the congregation and church leaders have compassion for the needy. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 11:08am
Now I know that it may not be easy to find a church which conforms fully to all of these guidelines. But it really is just that - a guide. The important thing to look for is the attitude of the church and its leaders. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 11:20am
I will use the church I attend as an example. It falls short on more than one of the guidelines I posted here, but importantly the hearts of the congregation and leaders are in the right place and THEY ARE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. Although it is not perfect, it strives to be perfect. It is being conformed to God's Will, slowly but surely. And the congregation and leaders have a great compassion and love for one another and outsiders, and they have a desire to learn God's will and obey it. Even if they dont always make the right choices. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 11:34am
There is also evidence of the Holy Spirit being active in the church, which is a sign that God is pleased with what is happening there. We have seen miraculous healings take place. We have had people collapse at the communion bench, being overwhelmed by the presence of God in the place. We have had people - even large men - in tears and crying unconsolably because of their sin, repenting and asking for God's forgiveness. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 11:41am
I and 2 other elders in the church run a ''soaking'' session every Tuesday night in the church. All we do for about 2 hours is just let everybody sit quietly by themselves in the dimly lit church, quiet praise music playing, and we pray quietly to God and focus on Him. If people want, we anoint them with oil and pray for them. Guys, its amazing what happens to people in those precious hours. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 11:43am
There are also a lot of different Bible studies and cell groups, which shows the hunger that exists to learn more and more about the Word of God. *

n1ck 30.10.09 - 11:45am
I hope that this topic has been of some assistance and encouragement to anybody who may be concerned about looking for the right church to attend. God bless you all. *

iilmadme 30.10.09 - 11:46am
hug.GIF nick,thanks :) *

jadin_17 30.10.09 - 03:53pm
hey nick, great guide!i believe my church is very good at all this,and i can even quote my head pastor as once saying, 'if you find a perfect church, for heavens sake, dont join it!-youl ruin it!'Which was just a joke,but it highlights what ur saying *

verb101 2.11.09 - 05:19pm
n1ck Jesus said He has a fold on this earth.Are you saying the doctrines of this fold are not pure and biblical? *

n1ck 3.11.09 - 09:34am
Please post the scripture references you are referring to verb101 lets see what Jesus was saying. *

verb101 3.11.09 - 04:21pm
John.10:16 *

bail 4.11.09 - 08:55am
The church is we faithfuls. the Bible says we all hv sinned en fallen short o Glory o God. so the church is not perfect. *

bail 4.11.09 - 09:06am
My desire is that every church seeks 4 perfection and righteousness thr' Christ Jesus to hv a perf. HSE OF GOD! *

tsi 15.11.09 - 06:49am
From the preamble n1ck does not believe a single perfect church exists anywhere in the world. However, n1ck has no doubt that the Jehova's Witness, Catholics and Mormons hold blatantly unscriptural doctrines, while the protestant churches profess true Biblical faith *

tsi 15.11.09 - 02:53pm
I sense a contradiction here, I want to believe that every christian church profess Biblical faith. Therefore, we should not be judgemental. God shows no partiality, He has no special church per se apart from that of His dear Son Jesus and every christian is a part of it. READ ACTS 10:34,35 *

canuck 19.11.09 - 06:33am
Then Read 1 Timothy 4 The Spirit Clearly Says In The Latter Times Some Will Abandon The Faith And Follow Deceiving Spirits... Order Them To Abstain From Certain Foods... I Know Many A Church That Says Dont Drink This Dont Drink That... A Little Yeast Corrupts The Whole Body!!! Further Many A Church Completely Deny The Holy Spirit! John 3 I Tend To Agree With Nick. There Is One Church-The Church That God Has Revealed Himself To! Rev 2:17 Known Only To Those Who Receive It. *

canuck 19.11.09 - 06:55am
Amen. Just Read From The Beginning Nick. ... Repentance And Forgiveness Of Sins Will Be Preached In Jesus Name Beginning In Jerusalem... Indeed! You Cannot Preach Forgiveness Of Sins To The World Without Revealing To It Sin. Jesus Upon The Cross Became Sin For Us That We Might Become The Righteousness Of God Thru Faith In His Blood And In The Resurrection Of Both The Wicked And The Righteous. More Often We See The World Denies Its In Sin Yet As Those Who Receive The Holy Spirit By Faith Know... It Was God Who Called You Out Of The World To Himself By Name Thus Revealing Himself To You. Church Doctrines And Traditions? Dont Be Snared By Them. GOOD GUIDELINES NICK. Praise The Lord! As Many As Are Led By The Spirit Of God Are Sons Of God. Amen. *

fonxplor 21.11.09 - 07:08am
Hi N1ck and everybody - have not been here on didgts for a WHILE - what you have posted is not only insightful, but the truth. The guidelines you have given is spot on, I see there is a few that begs to differ, as usual. I know there is no compramising with the inerent Word of God and it seems, I currently feel not to serve at my church anymore as many of the contradictory things emerged from the leaders in our church. BUt my faith is strong in Christ my Saviour and have an open mind for the bible that teaches that many will come in His name and preach false doctrines. Sweet words is very dangerous to cling onto, especially when it do not appera in the bible. I'm proud that there are men and women of God that is not afraid to address this hard topics, which is revelatory and a contradiction. Well done N1ck *

fonxplor 21.11.09 - 07:10am
and not a contradiction, I meant to say and also ... that some are compramising with the Word of God. *

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