What does a good church look like?
It is not the outward appearance of a building that makes it a good church. The steeple doesn’t count, or the cross on top. Not the stained glass or even the massive membership. The teaching of the church is what counts. Is the teaching solidly based upon God’s Word? Does the teaching come from the Scriptures? Not a man or a board, but the Scriptures.
√.. Who is Jesus Christ?
Does the church believe that Jesus Christ is God come to earth. Jesus Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit individually and together make up the Trinity (One God in three equal and eternally existing persons). Jesus Christ lived on earth without sin. He suffered on a Roman cross, died, and rose from the dead on the third day. Jesus Christ alone is our mediator with the Father. He lives within the one who has placed faith in Him for their salvation. He will physically return to earth and rapture all believers to be with Him throughout all eternity. A good church must believe in every part of this discription of Jesus. (See also the page describing more the Person of Jesus Christ.)
(Study these verses: John 1:1-18; Romans 8:3-4; Hebrews 2:14-18)
√.. How does one receive eternal life?
Eternal Life is a gift from God and received through faith in Christ. It is not based on doing good works. God forgives sin and justifies the ungodly. He removes us from a destiny of punishment and adopts us into His family. He gives each believer His Spirit as a guarantee of eternal life. A good church must not add any other requirement to God’s plan of salvation than faith alone. Adding just one thing turns the greatest truth into a lie.
(Study these verses: John 1:12-13; Romans 10:12-13; 3:23; 6:23; Ephesians 2:4-10: also see the Salvation page)
√.. Is the Bible taught?
The Bible is God’s revelation to mankind. God transmitted His truth through chosen messengers and preserved it by His Spirit. The sixty-six books of the Bible are the final authority for life and godliness. The Bible alone should be taught in a good church. No other books. No personal philosophy. Just Bible. There are many other books that have value for mankind, but only the Bible’s sixty-six are from God. God is the One we desperately need to hear from.
(Study these verses: Matthew 5:17-20; 1 Corinthians 2:7-13; 2 Peter 1:16-21: 2 Timothy 3:16; also see Finding a Bible)
√.. The Church
The church is more than a building, but a group of people who have been led by God to place faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. This worldwide accumulation of people have the responsibility to love one another and let this love shine into a dark and yet unbelieving world. This group has the privilege of being the family of God on the basis of a new birth and adoption into God’s family. A church building at a time of worship may be filled mostly with growing Christians. But there are very possibly some who have yet to make that decision to ask Jesus to be their Savior from sin.
(Study these verses: 1 Corinthians 3:10-17; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5, 9-10; John 13:34,35; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Peter 1:3; John 1:12,13)
√.. A Testimony
––– A story from my own experience:
When my wife and I were to be married, there was a problem––one that must have greatly troubled me way back in 1968. My wife was raised in one church and I was raised in another. There just had to be one church that God wanted us to be a part of. But which one was it? Even on the day of our wedding she wanted hers and I wanted mine. I made a decision. We got down on our knees and I asked God where he wanted us to be–which church was the right one for both of us.
God led us to the church He had picked out for us. For over forty years we attended, worshipped, served, and grew in our Christian life in that church. (It was my wife’s church.)
If you are in need of a good Bible-teaching church, ask God to lead you to the right one, and don’t stop praying till you find it.
––– John Bush