As the saying goes, ‘you can’t blink your eyes without seeing a church building’. There are hundreds of thousands of churches all across the country. There seems to be one on most every street corner.
In my county there are over one hundred different churches. Which one is the correct one? Which one should we attend? The answer lies within the Scripture, literally. The most profitable church for you to attend is the one that teaches sound doctrine from the Scripture (Titus 2:1). Is the church you attend familiar with dispensational right division?
If you simply subtracted the number of churches that neglect to use the Bible, then you would greatly increase your chances of finding a quality congregation of saints. If a church is to bear proper fruit, it must operate properly. The properly functioning church must be involved with the teaching and edification of the saints (Eph 4:12, 1 Tim 3:15). [Read ‘What is the function of a church?’ for more information.]
Beware of Ministers of Righteousness
However, it is not simply enough to be Scriptural and to use the Bible. For Satan, who is at the forefront of the doctrinal battle over men’s souls, is extremely Scriptural. When he tempted the Lord Jesus in Matthew 4, Satan used Scripture for his temptation (Matthew 4:3-11).
The Bible says that Satan’s ministers are ‘transformed into ministers of righteousness’ dealing out doctrines of devils (2 Cor 11:13-15, 1 Tim 4:1). So then, there are teachers in some churches posing as ministers of light who may be ignorantly performing Satan’s ministry as they ‘desire to be teachers of the law’ (1 Tim 1:6-7). How do we tell the difference? Through sound personal Bible study.
God says to ‘study to shew THYSELF approved unto God, a workmen that needeth not to be ashamed RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH’ (2 Tim 2:15). Each of us are to be ‘fully persuaded in our own minds’ about the truth of Scripture (Romans 14:5,12).
It is necessary for any Bible student to understand God’s separate purposes for his heavenly people, the Body of Christ, and his earthly people, the nation Israel. Both purposes will revolve around the Lord Jesus Christ at the center (Eph 1:10). It is necessary to understand that we are not under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14).
The Bible says that Jesus Christ revealed to Paul a distinct body of information that was a mystery in time past. This message contains the message of God’s grace whereby you are saved not by your works (Eph 2:8-10). It was ordained before the world unto our glory (1 Cor 2:7-8).
God tells us that we are to be ‘stewards of the mysteries’ (1 Cor 4:1-2). If a church does not preach ‘Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery’, then perhaps you should find a church that does (Romans 16:25, 16:17).
“I’m all Alone”
God does not require that we attend church to gain favor with Him. [Read ‘Do I have to go to church?’ for more information.] However, he does command us to study His word. The best place to learn about the Scriptures and sound doctrine is by studying within the congregation of saints of a properly functioning assembly.
If there is not a properly functioning assembly near you which has heard of the ‘dispensation of grace’ or ‘Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery’, then perhaps you should consider starting your own. If there are a few people where you live who can gather to encourage and help teach one another, then hang a shingle and get started!
God has providentially provided the Word of God for us today. Open up your Bible and start studying daily.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of resources available for your edification online through this website. We try to perform the function of a church in the congregation of saints who do not have a local assembly. If you have a Biblical question perhaps we can help.
If you are in an area in which you do not think has a properly functioning church who teaches sound doctrine, then let us know through our online form. We are in contact with many assemblies around the country and may be able to help you locate the one nearest you.