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I Can’t Find A Church. What Should I Do?
By Grant Phillips
About two years ago I wrote an article called “Can’t Find A Church.”
It has been drilled into many of us that if we don’t “go to church,” we will go to hell. For some reason, that always coincides with a physical structure that is commonly “church like” and is used for worship services. In these buildings are pews, a pulpit, musical instruments and a name over the door. It is the one place we meet with fellow believers and worship for about an hour. The remaining 167 hours are spent in the “real world.”
Apparently, one can only be saved in the structure we call the church, and our salvation is only guaranteed upon our faithful attendance at this special place.
At this point, I’m out of breath and hardly know where to start in responding to this fallacy, so let’s begin with our salvation.
What is the Gospel?
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-5)
What must I do to be saved?
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 9:10)
Can I lose my salvation?
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
It can be readily seen that our attendance at a local structure neither saves us nor keeps us saved. Our salvation is totally dependent upon Jesus Christ, and the security of our salvation is also totally dependent upon Him as well. Jesus is the only means of salvation and once we are saved, nothing can undo the salvation we received through Him.
Should I go to church?
First of all, if you are a true Christian, a legitimate child of God, you are the Church. So wherever you go, you are there.
Should I worship with other Christians?
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
The answer is obvious. We should not be hermit Christians. We need to share company with other Christians and encourage each other, especially as we see the Day of Christ’s return drawing closer. However, there are no specifics given about where we meet.
When I was growing up our local church was the only one in the hollow (holler, for some of us) where we all lived. They actually taught, often, that we should not go to another church out of our area. We had to attend locally. Even as a teenager, that made no sense to me, and quite plainly, it made no sense because it was nonsense.
Yeah, but they say I can’t worship at home. I must go to the local church, you know, the one with the name over the door.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
No matter how you slice it, I see nothing there stating anything about not being able to worship at home. We may worship God alone in our private time, and we can worship God publicly with one or more other Christians. We may worship at home, at the local church with the name over the door, in the back of a cab, on a mountain top, in a parking lot, in a prison cell, wherever we happen to be with another Christian. We are the Church. We are like a MASH unit in war. We are mobile.
It is sad that so many of our churches today have become apostate. Most, and sometimes all, of those attending are Christians in name only. These churches are near replicas of Old Testament idol worshipers that neither knew God nor worshipped Him. They served only their false gods, and were Israel’s kryptonite.
The true Church today is being attacked by Satan’s false prophets just as Israel was years ago. The world has come into most churches and set up their idols while true Christians are being pushed out the door.
That’s okay. Let them have the building. God will deal with that, but we should never forsake our worship, wherever we are. Just as Daniel was faithful to God as a slave in Babylon, we should be faithful to Him.
It isn’t important where we worship the Lord, but it is important that we continue to worship Him wherever we are.
If your local church remains faithful to the Word of God, then praise Him because you are blessed. If your local church is denying God’s Word, it is between you and Him what you do next. Pray about it. Then do as Joshua.
“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)