Let's delve into these questions and find an answer or some answers. Going or attending church isn't for salvation, it's for learning and growing. Salvation can only come from God, through His Son Jesus.
Following the Roman Road is a great way to know that you know that you know. You can go to this link and it will explain the Roman Road to Salvation. http://theromanroad.org/
But if you don't know Jesus, you should. Life isn't always easy, but it's fun and it's a life changer. If you pray this prayer and you believe with your heart, you turn from your ways and acknowledge Him, He will make your path straight.
In the early days of the Gospel, people met in home churches. They were not filled with the same man made stuff they are today. They spoke of the life of Jesus and what He did. What the Torah said, they learned and grew together. The Holy Spirit was their teacher. In many churches the Holy Spirit is not allowed to be the teacher. It's not really welcomed into the building.
Why are we walking away? Lots of reasons- if you aren't in church- why? If you are why?
Can we really feed ourselves? Of course you can.
Can we really be trusted to get into the Word of God and understand it ourselves? Of course you can!
Can we survive without being around like minded believers? Some churches really have like minded believers in them. I think we each have our own thinking depending on how we view the world, what we know about what the WORD says and how we view that.
As a pastor, I have had a difficult time sitting in a church and the most important "thing" is not Jesus but the building or the music, the focus isn't on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I have sat in churches that I am the oldest (and I am not that old!) and I am grateful for the church because it is reaching college students with the true WORD OF GOD and they are growing fast. They have home churches to grow them deeper. They are filled to capacity at every service! At first, when I went, I thought this is just a one time thing, but it's not, every time I drive past, it's packed out.
But I have also been in churches that just tickle your ears, allow sin to walk in and out of the ministry without the Word of God being used as the tool to stop it. Tool as in not hitting them over the head with it but loving the person where they are and helping them see the truth in love.
I like the Word of God to be taught, hearing those wonderful pages being turned as everyone gets to the scripture. Taking the scripture and making it real.
I remember at Pastor Art's church in Hawaii- Word of Life Christian Center, he would make a comment about "you're almost there, oh! we are there", or "I don't hear those pages turn". It always helped, and taking notes, as meticulously as possible in a short span of time. I still had those notes after years of moving around. Sometimes they were spattered notes but the gist was there. I love God's Word and I like when you marry the old and new testaments together to show the whole picture. Pastor Gary Hart in GF MT, did the same thing. It was an honor to be under this type of teaching, it's how I taught too. I loved hearing those pages turn. It also told me who needed help and who didn't. I would ask those that found the passages to help those that didn't. Never did I hear an unkind word from the children I taught. We never made them feel that they couldn't, but that they would learn.
We feed ourselves. We do have a few Pastor's we follow who use and teach the Word and love the Word of God. We read our Bibles but we also read others works and measure that with what we have been taught.
God speaks to me through music and His Word. Music can touch us to our core.
For Steve, it's through the Word. If the Word isn't taught, he tunes out.
Revelation 2:14New King James Version (NKJV)
14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality
Revelation 3:2New King James Version (NKJV)
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.[a]
Revelation 3:3New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
Revelation 3:15-18New King James Version (NKJV)
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[a] I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
From Charisma Mag.
5 Signs of Ear-Tickling Preachers
That warning proved true in Timothy's day, and it has proved true many times since, especially today, when we have a multitude of ear-tickling preachers. How can we recognize them?
We know that deception is very deceiving and that no one is willingly duped. And we know that no one stands up and says, "What I'm teaching is false doctrine meant to deceive and destroy you!"
We also know that it is arrogant for any one of us to think that we alone have sound doctrine while everyone else is in error.
Yet Paul did not warn Timothy in vain, nor is he warning us in vain, and so we must ask ourselves what, exactly, are the distinguishing characteristics of ear-tickling preachers.
1. Ear-tickling preachers bypass self-denial and the cross. Jesus told His disciples that if anyone wanted to follow Him, they had to deny themselves and take up the cross (see Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; in Luke 9:23 He says we must take up our cross daily). And Paul taught that "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:24).
Saying no to self and taking up the cross—meaning, giving up the claim to our own lives, dying to this sinful world and renouncing its claims—is a fundamental part of discipleship. Yet ear-tickling preachers will not talk about it.
The reason is obvious: It is not what our flesh wants to hear.
2. Ear-ticking preachers go light on sin. Throughout the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New Testament, including the Gospels, Acts, the Letters, and Revelation, there are warnings about the dangers of sin and calls to turn away from sin.
Of course, it is absolutely true that through the death and resurrection of Jesus and by the power of the Spirit we have been given victory over sin. And it is absolutely true that the message of grace, rightly understood, turns us away from sin (see Titus 2:11-14).
But that doesn't mean that as leaders, we no longer need to warn our hearers about the deceitfulness of sin or urge them to vigilant against sin. To the contrary, because so much grace has been given to us, our responsibility before God is even greater (see Hebrew 2:1-4; 10:26-31; 12:25-29).
3. Ear-tickling preachers are loved by the world. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul recounted the persecutions and suffering he endured for the gospel—they were frequent and intense—and then said, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Tim. 3:12-13).
Jesus said that the world would treat us the way it treated Him (John 15:18; Mat. 10:24-25) and that His disciples, like the prophets of old, would be persecuted for righteousness sake (Matthew 5:10-12).
"If you were of the world," He said, "the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:19).
In other words, "Don't make us uncomfortable, preacher! Don't make us squirm! Stop confronting us with the standards of a holy God!"
A friend recently shared with me that he learned that the owner of a local strip club was attending the same church that he and his family attended.
His sister-in-law approached the pastor and asked him about it, and the pastor said, "At least he's coming to church. That's better than not coming at all."
That would be true, except that the pastor never said a word about sin and never said anything that would make the man uncomfortable about his exploitation of young women (and others). And so rather than this man getting convicted of his sins and discovering the life-changing love of God, he went home deceived.
Ultimately, my friend and his family had to leave.
5. Ear-tickling preachers get away from the Word and give way to myths. They may use a verse or two in their preaching, but their sermons are driven by their own worldly ideology—especially if it sells—rather than by the content of the Word.
Some even get into the realm of complete fantasy, preaching alleged heavenly or angelic revelations that titillate the ears of the pseudo-spiritual but do not exalt Jesus, do not turn people away from sin, and do not produce lasting spiritual fruit.
I personally believe there are preachers today who genuinely know the Lord but have bought into a lie about the nature of the gospel, and while they think they are helping people, they are really hurting them in the long run.
May God grant these men and women repentance—especially those who actually are charlatans and deceivers—and may God give us discernment, repentance, and a love for the truth, regardless of cost or consequence.
Michael Brown is an author.
From Reinhard Bonnke
Paul prays for the Ephesians (1:19) that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know his incomparable great power FOR US who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead”. Paul uses a word here to describe the greatness of the available resources – ‘megethos’. When scientists created the nuclear bomb they wanted a word by which to measure the greatest explosive force known..., and this was the right word. This weapon is described in megetons, one or two megetons of power. But Paul goes one better and talks about ‘hyper megethos’ – super greatness. That is how we should measure our effectiveness in Christian service, and that is the resource available to everyone of God’s servants. It is a dead-raising, resurrection power. God bless you with greetings from Florida. REINHARD BONNKE
As you have come into more than you thought when you started this page. May you be blessed in all that you do. May God bless you abundantly and righteously.
Until next time.