WHY SHOULD I GO TO CHURCH?

Why should I go to church? I see no benefit of going to any local church in my area. I have gone to church almost all my life. I was forced from the age of 0-18. I became “born again” at the age of 21 and started back voluntarily of course to learn about Jesus. For over 30 years I’ve gone to several different churches, under several different names and denominations, and the end results were the same. Nothing. Words. Just words. I’m now in my 50’s and have quit going to a church (building) since the beginning of 2014 (I now study at home with my spouse). The reasons; no one being truly “born again” (just words), very few water baptized, no one baptized in the Holy Spirit (with evidence of speaking in tongues), no power (probably due to the lack of the first 3 items), no one being set free, no healings, etc. (Mark 16:15-18). The point of “going to church” was to be taught how to do the aforementioned things. I don’t blame the people in the pews (sheep). Here is who I think is to blame:

Ephesians 4:11-12 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for THE EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,”

COULD THIS BE THE PROBLEM?

The leadership doesn’t know how to teach Ephesians 4:12. Maybe they were not taught by their denomination, seminary or Pastor. Leadership is supposed to “Lead”. If they are not going out and telling the good news, the people under their teaching will do the same (or not do as the leadership doesn’t do). “Do as I say and not as I do” is not a scripture in the Bible.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my EXAMPLE, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

2 Thessalonians 3:9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an EXAMPLE of how you should follow us.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an EXAMPLE to the believers in word, in conduct (action), in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Peter 5:3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being EXAMPLES to the flock;

Here is a sad statistic I read on internet published in 2014 (study 2013): In 8 years the following has DECLINED in what we believe (in order of value, highest first):

  • God
  • Miracles
  • Heaven
  • Jesus is God or the Son of God
  • Angels
  • The Resurrection of Christ
  • Survival of the soul after death
  • Hell
  • The Devil
  • The Virgin Birth (Jesus born of Mary)

On the other hand the following has INCREASED in what we believe (in order of value, highest first):

  • Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
  • Ghosts
  • Creationism
  • UFOs
  • Astrology
  • Witches
  • Reincarnation (one to another person)

What does that say about the church as a whole? I think it shows the church is not doing their part. I think the church has pulled their head inside a shell like a turtle and is afraid to go out and take the Gospel to the people who need it. People are not going to come to church, especially if there is no power. Church has to go OUT to them, show them the power, and then you won’t be able to keep them out of church.

We have heard, “Yeah, well that was Jesus or the Apostles.” Here are some of the scriptures that say WE should have power. We are now also the Sons of God which gives us the same power as Jesus (to glorify Jesus and God the Father).

John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, HE (that’s US) who believes in Me, the works that I do HE will do also; and GREATER WORKS than these HE will do, because I go to My Father.”

Matthew 10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

Luke 9:1-2 & 6 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Verse 6, So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Luke 10:1& 9 & 17 After these things the Lord appointed SEVENTY OTHERS ALSO, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Verse 9, And HEAL THE SICK there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Verse 17, Then the SEVENTY returned with joy, saying, “Lord, EVEN the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

The idea of casting out demons is strictly a New Testament idea. We see nowhere in the Old Testament where a demon was EVER cast out. We see examples of healings, miracles and visions but not one example of a demon being cast out of a person. This is why these SEVENTY disciples were so amazed. They preached the gospel, healed the sick, raised the dead AND cast out demons.

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Verse 14-15, These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a HUNDRED AND TWENTY), …. Acts 2:1-3, When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, THEY WERE ALL WITH ONE ACCORD IN ONE PLACE. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where THEY were sitting. Then there appeared to THEM divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of THEM (all hundred and twenty). Acts 2:17-19 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on MY MENSERVANTS and on MY MAIDSERVANTS I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and THEY SHALL prophesy. I WILL SHOW wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

In original Greek there are no punctuation marks; no commas, no quotation marks and no periods. Without doing any damage to the idea expressed here, you could read it like this, God says I will pour out my Spirit on my menservants and on my maidservants and they shall say something and I will do something. You kind of get the idea that if they do not say something He will not do something. Just food for thought. And don’t forget about the time period, DAYS, not just a day.

Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and THAT DAY about THREE THOUSAND SOULS were added to them.

What were they thinking? Apparently they didn’t know how to build a church. They didn’t know that you need a special outreach program or ministry, a concert, a special guest speaker or a church growth consultant. How in the world did Jesus use these uneducated, untrained lay people as a foundation for His church? Doesn’t He know that we need people highly educated in Theology in order to explain to us what His will is? And when did they have the water baptism classes? You just can’t baptized people without a class! Thank God that today we have all this wonderful education and resources to spread the gospel. And aren’t we doing a marvelous job? Just look around and you see evidence everywhere that the church is doing a great job!

Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.

Hey, wait a minute! Stephen had come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. He never even met Jesus. Where did he get the crazy idea that he, a lay person, could do “great wonders and signs among the people”? I wonder where he got his theological degree?

Acts 14:3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

With all this teaching and preaching on “Grace”, how come we are not seeing any signs and wonders (power) done by all these folks who are teaching and preaching it? Huh? But that’s another post.

Romans 5:19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

We should be demonstrating something SO POWERFUL that there’s no way in the world people would believe that we did it ourselves.

I Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

This is how power is displayed in the New Testament:

I Corinthians 4:19-20 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.

This is how it is being displayed today;

I Corinthians 4:19-20 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.

Take the power out, and all you have left is “words”.

So why do you think the church is ineffective? Am I wrong? Is your church displaying the power of Jesus? Doing signs and wonders in His name? I would love to hear about it.

With Love, Cincinnati Christian

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